Wednesday, 27 October 2010

The Short And Long Of It

Hey there,

Long time no see! Seems like that's how it's gonna be hey?
Well, it will until it ain't, right?!

So here's the news.

Last week I finished a short called The Running Man, just under 2500 words. It tells the story of man that becomes obsessed with death, all the strategies he comes up to dodge it and the result of all that.

I wanted (and still want!) to send something regularly to friends and family. It's a nice way to keep in touch, to hopefully give them something that they'll enjoy and to help myself finish some shorter stuff. I believe that this also helps in finishing the longer stuff.

I've been revising Land Of Fog, as you know, and this long winded process can be pretty frustrating, especially because, for a long time (in my case at least) you can feel that you're not moving. You spend three or four hours revising a single page and then, when you look to the number of the page, and you realise it's page 21 of 230, it might make you feel like you wanna go do something else. There's that certainty of a whole bunch of three and four hours still to come... you don't even know if you're gonna be alive by then!

With a short things are much simpler in many ways. It's like the short is all nicely packed inside your brain and you can see it all of it in more or less one go. Even if you have to spend ten or twelve hours dabbling with it, it's still much easier than the hundreds or thousands you may spend with a book (and believe you me, these numbers come from experience...)

The other thing I wanted to do with the shorts is send them to competitions.

Which I did do yesterday.

Yesterday was an easier day for writing because of what I did the previous night.
I came up with a schedule.

And the schedule was this:

08-09, 1h - Meditation
09-10, 1h - Eat
10-11, 1h - Revise Land Of Fog
11-12, 1h - Post Office
12-13, 1h - Revise Short
13-14, 1h - Email friends
14-15, 1h - Eat
15-16, 1h - Revise Land Of Fog
16-17, 1h - Sort out mobile phone
17-19, 2h - Organise NaNoWriMo
19-20, 1h - Eat
20-21, 1h - Revise Land Of Fog
21-22, 1h - Submit Short Story
22-24, 2h - LOST
24-01, 1h - Revise Land Of Fog

Well, let me tell you what I didn't do. I didn't organise any of the stuff for this year's NaNoWriMo. I didn't sort out my phone. And I missed one of the Land Of Fog revision times (we watched Lost's final episodes yesterday and we just couldn't stop...
I also swapped a couple of things around but, essentially, I stuck to the plan.
And it worked.
It gave structure to my day.

So I did it again yesterday night and, I'm hoping, I'll do it every night and keep things rolling...

The great thing about this is that it primes your mind so when you actually get to the moments you need, your mind is more pliable to actually do the things it's required, rather than just be thrown in the water and expected to swim.
I don't think minds like surprises for the most part...

Anyway, I shouldn't be here writing this: I should be reading some more of Gene Wolfe's The Wizard Knight (and if you haven't read it you should - it's one of the most beautiful pieces of writing I've come across in recent times - and probably more than that by the time I finish it... he's one of the best writers around, and more!)

(I could easily do another post just about the joys that this book has given me, in particular yesterday but I won't - I really want you to read it THAT BAD!)

I hope you are all well.


PS - I forgot to say. The short I'm sending around is called The Running Man. The one I'm working on (and that I hope to finish today) is called One Moment Left.
(yep, I think that's the title that's gonna stay...)
If you want to read The Running Man just post a comment or something and I'll get back in touch with you and email it to you - because I'm sending it to competitions and magazines I can't really publish it here for the time being. A lot of these publications have the caveat that stories can't have been published anywhere else...

Be well!

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