Tag Archives: writing

Confusion

By the time you read this I will be ten days into nanowrimo. In theory I will have written 16,670 words. I am hoping that that is more than a theory – I did entertain the rather silly notion of getting 10,000 words a day done in this week as I have been off work for most of it. At least I can get ahead of where I need to be. That should be doable right?

As I write it is 2333 on the 4th and I am 45 words ahead. I have been playing catch up. Due to other commitments I was unable to write much on the first two days. In fact on the 2nd I got no words in at all! Now all I have to do is stay ahead so I can reach that target!

Love this theme tune.

So how is this thing going? Well the title is confusion so I’ll let you judge. Actually in truth it is not going so badly but one of the problems with not planning is that ideas come at you as you write. Therefore certain elements in the plot may be repetitious, irrelevant, or in need of change. I don’t see that as a big issue necessarily – that is why we have editors.

I thought about updating this across the week however that is something I am likely to forget – I do not organise this kind of stuff too well. As I write I am (It is the 7th now) 320 words ahead. I am off tomorrow (8th) too and then back to work so I will be doing more writing today – I should probably try to get outside too. I don’t think that will happen.

I just wanted to say that I have checked this post. I really have. Unfortunately my particular combination of dyslexia and dyspraxia makes it really hard for me to spot typos. Please enjoy and I’ll try not to make too many errors.

I have a Patreon page. I hope you will consider supporting this blog: https://www.patreon.com/unstableorbit

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And so it begins… (2019)

Photo by Maria Pop from Pexels

I am not sure if there will be a knight in my Nanowrimo story but I do know one thing there will be a battle. Hopefully a battle in the story and not a battle of me staring at a blank screen and not knowing what to write.

I have often heard how important planning is for a novel. I find that impossible. I don’t feel I can visualise where things are until they are there. Does that make sense? No. The answer is no.

https://www.pexels.com/photo/gray-concrete-pathway-besides-pink-flower-during-day-158028/

To it is like going for a walk but having to imagine the walk first. Then you write down a sequence and try to follow just that sequence. So rather than having a map you just have a piece of paper that says: left, right, left, left, right, and so on and so on.

So instead of a plan I am going to just start. I am on 2904 words (total) at the moment and have 2096 words to go to get me on track. I want to smash through that and finish this week, which I am off work for, far above the 11,667 target for the fist week. At least that is the plan. Now, if you’ll excuse, I need to get back to it. Toodles.

I just wanted to say that I have checked this post. I really have. Unfortunately my particular combination of dyslexia and dyspraxia makes it really hard for me to spot typos. Please enjoy and I’ll try not to make too many errors.

I have a Patreon page. I hope you will consider supporting this blog: https://www.patreon.com/unstableorbit

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Need to Know

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As a writer it is very easy to get drawn into a rabbit warren of interesting but ultimately useless information.

Photo by Eugene Dorosh from Pexels

The most basic way this happens is when I set out to find one simple piece of information. I had a character, I wanted her to be from France, and so I googled for a map of France. I picked a city name. I lingered on the Wiki page for that city – which was pointless all I needed was the name.

Incidentally the city I decided on was Draguignan – which I changed to Bordeaux when reading it out as I wasn’t sure of pronunciation.

Then there is background information. What do I need to know?

How indeed?

Many years ago I began planning the background information for a science fiction novel I was working on. The ship had many aliens on board and I wanted to know everything about the crew. There were 900 aboard and I wanted to know all their names, races, ranks, and ages.

Photo by Mitja Juraja from Pexels

Why? Because of Star Trek. I grew up watching Star Trek. For other children it was Disney but for me it was Star Trek and TNG and DS9 are still two of my favourite shows. A common feature of those shows, and all the Trek shows, was the crewman who would be unaffected by wherever was threatening the crew this week.

So when I was crafting my own universe I felt I needed to know exactly how many of each race there was. Therefore I would know which crewmen I could use for any given story.

Photo by Artem Beliaikin from Pexels

Also to understand command structures I have done a lot of research into the Royal Navy, United States Navy, and many other navies around the world. I have looked at ships, ranks, positions, and have come to one conclusions. I will never understand. The question I am struggling with is how much do I need to understand? A question I need to answer by the start of November.

https://www.pexels.com/photo/grey-submarine-in-body-of-water-under-cloudy-sky-67575/

I would love for someone who knows of the navy to be able to read a novel of mine and find it to be accurate. I have come to the conclusion that the only way to do that is to literally find a reader with that expertise. There is only so much google can find.

I don’t know exactly what form my nano novel will take. I have tried to plan but I just want to start writing. Five days from when you read this it will all begin.

My solution to the gaps in my knowledge is to skirt the issue. The nature of the story is that I can just invent my own world. If it isn’t the Royal Navy of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland but instead the Royal Navy of …. well I don’t quite have a name yet. Then there can be no mistakes.

If that fails I have to accept that I don’t kneed to know everything. Do I need to know every Seaman, Leading Hand, Petty Officer, Chief Petty Officer, Warrant officer, Lieutenant or Lieutenant Commander? Probably not.

I just wanted to say that I have checked this post. I really have. Unfortunately my particular combination of dyslexia and dyspraxia makes it really hard for me to spot typos. Please enjoy and I’ll try not to make too many errors.

I have a Patreon page. I hope you will consider supporting this blog: https://www.patreon.com/unstableorbit

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NANOWRMO – 2019

It is that time of year again when, possibly mad, writers embark on a 50,000 word start to a novel. I will be partaking once again. I don’t have a title for my project but I do have a basic premise.

https://www.pexels.com/photo/active-ash-cloud-ashes-blaze-417070/

The story concerts two planets. One of magic and one of technology. There are some areas where magic has the advantage and some areas where technology has the advantage. The primary focus of the story is that Fauns steal a warship – its powerful weapons can do far more than the limited magic of the fauns.

I am trying to do some planning for the novel but, in truth, I find it hard to plan and would rather just make a start – in ten days I will.

The other question in my mind is do I just use our world as the technological world or invent my own? I will probably decided that as I go along too. The advantage is that if I build it from the ground up then no one can say I am wrong. The disadvantage is I have to invent everything and there are still things I would like to know that are not easily googled.

I just wanted to say that I have checked this post. I really have. Unfortunately my particular combination of dyslexia and dyspraxia makes it really hard for me to spot typos. Please enjoy and I’ll try not to make too many errors.

I have a Patreon page. I hope you will consider supporting this blog: https://www.patreon.com/unstableorbit

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Becoming Superman

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“No, not gone. Now we make our own magic. Now we create our own legends. Now we build the future. Now we stop–“

“–being afraid of shadows.”

Delenn and Sheridan (Babylon 5: Into the Fire)

I like to read. I usually read about 30 books a year but I rarely talk about them here. When I say read I am including audio books and maybe that is fudging the data somewhat. Then again I think my brother includes the children’s books he reads to his son. Given that I am 8 books behind schedule for my 39 book target maybe that is something I need to do – although I don’t have children so it might be a bit odd.

Photo by Lukas Hartmann from Pexels

I have recently finished Becoming Superman by J. Michael Straczynski. It is his autobiography and it is amazing. I listened to the audio book while walking to work and I must look like a complete imbecile as parts of it are literally laugh out loud funny. Although maybe that is just because I am a writer – unknown and unpublished but still a writer. To me though some passages were most amusing.

I will not sleep, eat, drink, nothing! The words and I will be locked in mortal combat until one of us surrenders

G’Kar (Babylon 5: No Compromises)

Becoming Superman tells the whole story of JMS’s life. It talks about his abusive upbringing and goes on to his career as a writer across many areas of creativity. He was had an amazing career and the volume of scripts he has written is phenomenal. I find myself rather envious that he has been able to do that full time – even with the financial struggles that came with it.

Ask ten different scientists about the environment, population control, genetics and you’ll get ten different answers, but there’s one thing every scientist on the planet agrees on. Whether it happens in a hundred years or a thousand years or a million years, eventually our Sun will grow cold and go out. When that happens, it won’t just take us. It’ll take Marilyn Monroe and Lao-Tzu and Einstein and Morobuto and Buddy Holly and Aristophenes .. and all of this .. all of this was for nothing unless we go to the stars.”

Commander Sinclair (Babylon 5: Infection)

JMS is a man of incredible integrity – on more than one occasion he left working on a TV show because he refused to adjust it to what, in his mind, would be a detriment to the work and to the characters. He also kept a promise made to his wife even after they divorced. A promise that she would never have to work in a closed in office if that wasn’t what she wanted. It was wonderful to reed about a divorced couple that still cares about each other after the end of a relationship. The common wisdom of the world would suggest that that is impossible but it is not.

It doesn’t matter if you stand completely alone. Fight for what you believe.

Captain Sheridan (Babylon 5: Objects at Rest)

I have used quotes from Babylon 5 in this review for three reasons. Firstly it is what I know JMS from and it is a work I very much admire, secondly I don’t have a hard copy of the book, and thirdly he puts his feelings in to the mouths of his characters. He describes this idea in episode commentaries of how his character creation can be based around a particular trait of his.

The quote above is very important and it is echoed in Becoming Superman. It is the idea that a writer, or any sort of artist, well have their naysayers. These are the people who say ‘Get a real job’ or ‘You’ll never make money doing this.’ While tenacity and dedication are no guarantee of success the important thing is to keep going. To try every day to make a step towards your goal. As the old saying goes: ‘A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.’ And a novel of 100,000 words begins with a single word. Even a 500 words a day will get you a first draft in less than a yeah. So keep going and fight to achieve your goals. That is what I take from Becoming Superman. It is a book about the struggles of life and what is important. It is quite simply an excellent read.

I just wanted to say that I have checked this post. I really have. Unfortunately my particular combination of dyslexia and dyspraxia makes it really hard for me to spot typos. Please enjoy and I’ll try not to make too many errors.  

I have a Patreon page. I hope you will consider supporting this blog: https://www.patreon.com/unstableorbit

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What is it?

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I don’t know what this blog post will be about. My mind is a bit on the blank side at the moment. It probably doesn’t help that I am doing three things at once at the moment, this, a YouTube video, and texting.

Multitasking simply doesn’t work. Yet I keep doing it. Why? Probably because I have all the focus of a cat in a field of catnip.

Photo by Wojciech Kumpicki from Pexels

…or it could be that there are so many things I want to accomplish that I am trying to do all of them. Even though none of those things I mentioned are really accomplishments. And all that happens is each thing edges forward at a very slow rate – and this takes far too long – I need help.

https://www.pexels.com/photo/black-and-white-clouds-dark-dark-clouds-557782/

My novel seems to be going well. Reading chapters out, almost, weekly is useful as it means the chapter’s are expected and I am, sort of, accountable to someone else. There may have been a few too many conditional clauses in that statement.

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I’ll give you a little titbit of information. Consider your character’s history. I am writing a section with centaurs and kelpies. It is so easy to put human characteristics to this beings. However a nod may not be a ‘Yes’, a shake of the head may not mean ‘No.’ and a thumbs up is not possible if the beings don’t have thumbs. Even those examples mean a completely different thing in different parts of the world before we even get in to a fictional world So in closing remember…

The Truth Resists Simplicity.

John Green.

I just wanted to say that I have checked this post. I really have. Unfortunately my particular combination of dyslexia and dyspraxia makes it really hard for me to spot typos. Please enjoy and I’ll try not to make too many errors.  

I have a Patreon page. I hope you will consider supporting this blog: https://www.patreon.com/unstableorbit

Leave a comment

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What about our many Fans?

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We seem to live in a creative lull at the moment. That is not to say that we don’t have great TV and films to watch but consider this question: How many films and TV shows can you think of released in the last few years that have no connection to anything that has gone before? Maybe I am just out of touch but what I see is a saturation of reboots, remakes, prequels, sequels, adaptations, and based on real events.

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Star Trek: Discovery is technically a prequel and not a reboot. However so much has been changed and retconned it might as well be a new show. My question is why isn’t it a new show? Answer: Money.

Dollar signs! Money! I didn’t build this ship to usher in a new era for humanity. You think I wanna go to the stars? I don’t even like to fly. I take trains. I built this ship so that I could retire to some tropical island filled with …naked women. That’s Zefram Cochrane. That’s his vision. 

Zefram Cochrane (Star Trek: First Contact)

I look at any work of fiction from a writing and creative standpoint. I am however aware that they are also a business. If a series is being created, and millions spent on it, then it will need to have views. In order to have viewers they need to make it as accessible as possible. And a connection to something that has gone before is as easy a way as any. However I think that that attitude is in danger of alienating the established fans. That is certainly how I feel when looking at Star Trek: Discovery.

…it… it wasn’t our world anymore. They made it theirs.

Willow (Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Prophecy Girl)

The problem with science-fiction is the speed at which technology marches on. Discovery needs to look superior to today’s technology while looking interior to a 1960’s version of the future. This is, of course, impossible.

…well mostly.

I still think Enterprise had many issues but the look of the show, particularly the internal sets, was well done. It really gave the feel of a ship that was more advanced than today but still less advanced than the 1701. There are, naturally, a few compromises but it is never going to be completely cohesive.

Discovery doesn’t seem to have the same care and attention. Having touch screen controls makes sense but the series didn’t need holograms to work. I like continuity and a cohesive universe. In my view if a writer doesn’t want to be concerned with continuity why not begin again… well I have the answer to that above… Discovery has given me an appreciation of Enterprise as now I see the good and can ignore the facepalmingly bad.

https://www.pexels.com/photo/city-man-person-people-34802/

Well ignore might be too strong a word.

Many people are enjoying Star Trek: Discovery and that is wonderful. I truly mean that but it is not for me. One of my friends who likes it said you have to forget about the other shows. Again why not make something new?

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In other news the BBC is adapting His Dark Materials.

Doesn’t it look good?

And I can’t wait! I know that this contradicts all I have been saying above. I am not against books and TV shows based on other things. I would just like to see lots of new things coming out along side them. Said the man who hasn’t been to the cinema in ages and will probably next see Star Wars: Episode IX.

I just wanted to say that I have checked this post. I really have. Unfortunately my particular combination of dyslexia and dyspraxia makes it really hard for me to spot typos. Please enjoy and I’ll try not to make too many errors.  

I have a Patreon page. I hope you will consider supporting this blog: https://www.patreon.com/unstableorbit

Leave a comment

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