Over the last couple of months, life has been somewhat surreal. With COVID-19 making half the world housebound and work all but drying up for a scary amount of people I’ve been running myself ragged promoting my novella Confession and finishing the first draft of my follow-up novella, In His Words.
Who are some of the most memorable characters you remember from books you’ve read? One character that always leaps to mind when I’m asked this question is Daemon Sadi from the Black Jewel novels. The way Anne Bishop describes him, the way he walks, talks and moves are amazingly detailed and evocative.
When I was putting together my debut novella Confession, I spent a lot of time experimenting. The whole purpose of the story was for me to play. I wrote for my enjoyment and, to paraphrase Marie Kondo, if a section or action didn’t spark joy for me as the creator I cut it. Or rewrote it. Confession was born from one need. The need to finish a story. To take a tale from beginning to end and see what there was to see on the journey. Confession isn’t the first story I’ve written. Far from it, but it is the first one I’ve taken through the drafting process to actually finish it. Confession, put simply, is here because I wanted to see if I could do it. And I think I have. Writing the book, I came across three key lessons that will stand me in good stead for future writing projects. I wanted to discuss them briefly here:
Late last year I finished doing the Masterclass.com course by best-selling writer, Neil Gaiman. In it, he discussed a variety of issues and concept for young writers. Fun Fact 1: He called everyone starting out a young writer regardless of age, which frankly made this 46-year-old feel positively 18 again.
After all the lovely comments on my previous piece, Knit one Purl One, I thought I’d put up the second part of the writing exercise from the other day. It’s called The Golden Moose Café and picks up the story later in the afternoon of the day the first story is set in. Hope you enjoy! Mike
Another writing exercise from the Neil Gaiman The Art of Storytelling Masterclass. The prompt I selected was ‘Two old women sitting together knitting on a park bench.” Beyond grammar checking and a light polish, this is what my brain came up with. Knit one, Purl One is after the break
It’s been many a long day since I last posted in here, I had no idea. Quick update: Still sober, still cigarette free, still working from home so not much has changed in the last 2 years. I have been working on my novel, and I’m currently undertaking the Art of Storytelling Masterclass led by Neil Gaiman on Masterclass.com. This little story was one of the writing exercises. With it, you had to take a favourite fairy/folk tale and re-write it from the perspective of a different character as a newspaper article. The story I chose was The Princess and the Pea and the article is written, from the perspective of the mattress salesman who gets an order for 20 luxury feather mattresses to be delivered to the palace. Hope you enjoy, Mike The short story, Local Mattress Salesman Hits the Big Time, is after the cut.
Well it has been a while. Not since I wrote a blog, I did that yesterday, but since I wrote a blog that focused on why Writing in Shadows was created in the first place. I started this blog several years ago to write about the process of writing. Back then, as a young whipper-snapper of 40, I had dreams of writing a novel. Maybe a movie. Perhaps a series. Definitely more than a shopping list.
I’m a bit of a Johnny-Come-Lately to the world of Doctor Who. I remember as a kid watching it with Grandfather but I never bothered with the reboot until I got Netflix last year. The Australian selection of TV options was limited, to put it politely, so Doctor Who it was. I rather liked it. I must have I’ve watched all the available seasons twice.
In a post the other day I mentioned how for some people taking a shower can be a major achievement. Add shaving their face and it becomes a cause for celebration. When you’re caught in loops inside your own brain, actually moving is a cause for a full on parade. It can be difficult to untangle yourself from your own thoughts.