Themeless Thursday: School Holidays and Draft Revision

Here in Sydney, the school system is in break mode before the final term of the year.  My family stayed in Sydney with my mother while I traveled to and fro for work.  Last Saturday night was a highlight – Goon Show with our largest audience yet and the most fun we had performing too.  I polished off a fairly unpolished German accent but still got lovely laughs.  Most exhausted.  My wife and editor read the first draft of Mother Goose and tells me I need more jokes to please the adults.  I did my first pass at the second draft, added a joke about Gordon Ramsay and another nursery rhyme.  The first reading is going to happen at the end of this month.  Gives me time to give the script a bit of spit and polish.

I also discussed the possibility of writing classes hosted by my local neighbourhood centre.  I’m waiting for approval before I say anything more about it.  Finally this Friday night I am reading at a poetry book launch. Some intriguing poems.

Have a good day everyone.

Themeless Thursday: Digging the seam of imagination.

Well, I’m halfway through the outline for a structural edit being done by Creative Manuscript Services.  I received a free structural edit and I’m using it on the first draft of my novel.  Because I pantsed it, I need to distil the draft into an outline.  What I’m doing is putting a character list, the POV character and the key events for each chapter.  When I started writing it, I realised that the novel was not my best writing in the world. But that’s what revision is for right?  Hopefully after I finish the writing I will be motivated enough to start the revision process.  My wife has finished going through it, but she’s afraid I’ll be depressed by her comments, and apparently there are lots.  Personally, I view the job of a first draft is to simply exist. If the writing is lacking, that can be addressed during revision.

Think of it like a miner.  You go digging in your imagination for a story, and you pull up a great big nugget of something.  It’s covered in rocks and muck and earth and heaven knows what else.  That’s your first draft.  Then you clean it; you wash off the dirt etc and that’s your second draft.  Then you cut it and smooth out the rough edges.  That’s your submission draft.  It goes to an editor for review.  If they like the nugget, then they’ll begin to work with you so that they can make it sparkle even more.  Then you get to send it to a jeweller (the publisher).  And they work with you to put your gem into a piece of jewellery, like a ring, or a hard-back book or whatever.  And that’s the process.  Not everything you dig out is gold, some of it is copper, or brass, or coal (good for lighting fires).  And not every gem makes it to the publisher.  But that’s life.  As long as you just keep digging.

Anyway back to the novel, I saw some sparkle in the first draft.  So that’s motivating me to keep outlining.  I realised that there were some parts that I really enjoy.  I’ve also been working on my teaching certificate and preparing for the goon show.

I was thinking about this blog and doing something different like “Writing Apocrypha” such as

  1. The first line of Charles Dicken’s Tale of Two Cities appeared in the first draft like this… “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was 7:38 am.”
  2. The main character in Moby Dick is clearly a man. When he introduces himself in the first line “Call me Ishmael” you know its a man because the first three letters of the name Ishmael “Ish” is Hebrew for man, the last four letters is an anagram of “Male”. A coincidence? I think not.

And I plan to do this every other day or so, or as I think them up?  If you have any Apocrypha, please feel free to submit them to me.

Themeless Thursday: Start of a new serial and Tim Burton

Well, to start with I have started writing the plays for January.  Whilst researching one of them I came across a couple of early Tim Burton films that were related to what I am about to do.  They featured his design aesthetic and his use of peculiar characters.  In fact I think he was experimenting with Pantomime a bit, as it used the grand dame approach, ie overbearing woman as played by a man.  Don’t know if I like that idea… you see enough jocks do it at high school.

In addition I have been at work completing my trainers certificate.  This Sunday I am going to Supernova in Sydney with my kids.  If you want to meet, that would be lovely, but I will only be there in the morning.  I have to drive back up the mountain in time for rehearsals.

Have fun and stay happy

Simon

Themeless Thursday: Serial Poetry

Well, that about wraps it up for TC Brown. (to paraphrase Douglas Adams).  Poem Noir is one of my favourite poems.  It was written over the space of six months and refined and refined.  I am fascinated with TC Brown and had plans for doing a poem focusing on his ex-girlfriend Ace; one that was more in the style of say a mafia thriller, a violent and brutal poem.  But after several false starts I couldn’t get the hang of it.  I am exploring another TC Brown serial but not in the style of film noir.  Is there another serial poem for next week? Yes, of biblical proportions.

Still riding high on the blog award nomination.  One thing the blog award did was gain me a few more followers so I would like to welcome all my new followers to the blog.  I hope you enjoy my postings.

I have not done much writing at the moment, aside from four poems for the new TC Brown serial.  But the show I have to write for January has been confirmed which is good news.  I have settled on the theme and the poems, so now I have to work on tying the threads together.  I’m looking forward to this.

I am also going to start writing the outline for “The Seven-Layer Curse” for another author to review.  The first draft is finished but I need to distill it into an outline for a structural review.  Never done one of those before… Helpful links appreciated.