Archive for June, 2009
Posted on June 21, 2009 - by MG
For those of you who are also writers, here’s another of my very occasional posts about writing.
(If I weren’t so lazy about editing videos you’d be having an author visit update about me trip to Scotland, complete with a video of my publicist Alex and I sampling awesome tearooms and sweetie shops. This will happen soon!)
I’m definitely pushing things to the limit at the moment. Writing Joshua 4, editing Joshua 3 and planning a Brand New Thing is not ideal. There are moments when my head can deal with everything. Then it goes and explodes a bit with all the competing stuff.
Kudos to all those writers who write faster than me and work on several projects at a time. For me, write-one-edit-one is the limit of my efficiency.
The plot for the New Thing is almost there. I’m happy now that finally it’s strong enough to start. A conversation with my wicked stepfather-in-law, a composer with a degree in history, the other day elicited a most useful piece of information.
Three ideas clicked into place and bingo, I finally knew the YEAR in which the New Thing is set. Yep, it’s historical. Bit of a departure for me, I know. But writers only develop if they keep challenging themselves.
The next thing to develop is the ‘voice’. Who is telling the story and why?
Normally this wouldn’t be such an issue for me. Except that I would quite like a rest from a very intensive first person narrative, like that of ‘The Joshua Files’. And ideally I’d like a break from writing as a teenage boy. But who could be the narrator of a boy’s story if not him or another boy? His mother? In children’s fiction, no way! His girlfriend? What if he doesn’t have one? His best friend? In the period in which this is set, that would be a boy. So no. His sister? Hmmmm..maybe. The omniscient third person? Risky, tricky to avoid the modern bias on historical events/attitudes.
At this stage I like to experiment. You’ve nothing to lose from trying a few openings, from a few points of view, first person, third person. One usually leaps out as the right one for the story.
Another day or two of work and I might have this cracked. Problem is, I can’t take a day from writing Joshua 4. I’m on a massive roll and it’s occupying SO much story-brain.
How long does it take everyone else to find ‘the voice’ for a particular project?
Posted on June 7, 2009 - by MG
My turn to tell this oft-told story…a bunch of Twitter-aquainted folk got together to collectively fangirl/boy the superstar Mexican movie director, Guillermo del Toro of Pan’s Labyrinth and Hellboy fame. His new book, part 1 of a vampire thriller series title ‘The Strain’, was launched and we just HAD to have a signed copy.
Did I mention that Guillermo is from Mexico, like me? I thought he might like to read The Joshua Files: Invisible City, what with it being a high-octane adventure set in Mexico lindo y querido (that’s a quote from a very popular song – about dear, lovely Mexico). Fellow children’s author Alexander Gordon Smith, one of the posse, thought Guillermo might enjoy his young-adult horror series Furnace: Lockdown.
Here’s a photo of Gordon and I and the books we prepared to sign over to Senor del Toro. (In fact he’s probably grand enough to refer to as Don Guillermo.)
It had nothing to do with fantasies that, as Gordon puts it on his blog, Don Guillermo might “read it on the plane home and think ‘I’m going to make Furnace into a film”. (or indeed Joshua Files). Of course not!
Anyway, we had such a good time chatting in the queue, manfully manned by Liz and Mark from My Favourite Books, that we couldn’t bear to part, so we reconvened at a West End Mexican restaurant, Wahaca for burritos, tacos and enchiladas.
I had a wonderful time meeting everyone and we really must do it again.
Finally, here’s a photo of the dude himself.
You can read other accounts of this fun day out at the other bloggers sites.
Sharon from Dark Fiction Review on meeting Guillermo del Toro (which includes a nicely grabbed shot of me shaking hands with my fellow and most distinguished paisano, Don Guillermo).