Update – 11 October 2015

“It has been a good life.”

According to my new favourite Facebook feature, which allows me to go in and see what I posted on this date in the past, I wrote those words four years ago from a character who was settling themselves in to die.

This has me thinking about two things.

Firstly, it’s been four years since I wrote those words, and the novel is still not finished. To be fair to myself, I lost a massive amount of my motivation over this particular time period thanks to work, and just the way my life went. It’s only really been since leaving that particular job that I’ve found some of my heart for writing again, and been able to really get my passion and flow back for it.

It also makes me think, though, about letting go of characters. The things I was saying last week, about how characters really do tend to have a life of their own, also comes to play with their deaths as well.

This character, lying in their bed, aged and content, was almost easy to walk away from. Like in real life, it’s a lot easier to say goodbye to someone who has lived a long and happy life, than it is to say goodbye to someone taken well before his or her time.

This death contrasted with the first one I ever had to write. That one came upon me suddenly, honestly taking me by surprise. I still remember writing it, my fingers streaming across the keyboard, almost independently of the rest of my brain functions. I cried. I totally wept.

I think it’s one of the hardest things that we have to do, is kill off a character. Especially when it’s a major one. I don’t know how George R.R. Martin does it. I don’t think I could have written Game of Thrones. It would be torturous trying to write that stuff.

Speaking of, I’m finally getting into the book series of that. I’ve discovered that I prefer watching the TV show or movie before reading the book, if I can at all, because then I find that reading the book expands on what happened in the movie, rather than the movie being a disappointing shadow of what could have been.

That’s me for another week. Nothing major to report on the progress front – I managed a bit of work on Seven Peaks and a little on Prophecy Girl as well. Both are coming along pretty well now that I have started scheduling proper novel writing times.

Later.

Update: 27 September 2015

So in a great process of procrastination, I’ve actually finally gotten around to updating this website and putting together some strategies for it. That’s one box ticked off the list of things I can do instead of writing a novel.

To counter this, though, I have also made a decision. Every Sunday, my aim is to provide an update on the work I’ve done during the week on any novels that I’ve been working on.

This blog will have more than that, of course, but it’s one part.

This week has actually been a pretty good one. I’ve finished my first independently-sourced project as a freelance writer, which is hugely exciting, and at the same time, kind of scary because now I have to go out and find more work to pay other bills coming in. So just a reminder, if you have anything that needs to be written, particularly in the area of web content, blogs or other online marketing work, head over to Midnight Quills and send through a message.

Novel wise, there’s been a bit of a lull again lately as I’ve worked on getting some more freelance work. Sadly, novels don’t start paying bills until they’re written, and so it’s hard to balance writing what you love with writing what will pay the bills. Still, though, I’ve recently adopted Scrivener, and I must say that so far, I’m loving it.

Generally, I tend to be a Seat-of-the-Pants writer, rather than an Outliner. Which meant that I tended to avoid the idea of using Scrivener or yWriter or other software, because I just thought they would prove to be too restrictive. What I’ve found with Scrivener, though, is that it’s fairly well balanced between the two. I know where each of my stories are going, and have a pretty good idea of how I’m going to get there (most of the time – I’m still traumatised by the unexpected death of a character in… Spoilers!). What Scrivener allows me to do is set out that skeletal structure that I have in mind, which gives me a broad template to work to, and then the rest of my writing can still be pantsed.

Yes. Pantsed is a word. Usually reserved for the pool room, but it works here as well – I think most writers probably do at least some of their work sans-pants at some stage.

Back on track, though, since downloading Scrivener, I’ve loaded both Prophecy Girl, which is the first novel in The Darkness saga, and Seven Peaks, and have done probably equal amounts of work on both in the meantime. There’ll be a bit more of a reference point for these coming up as I create the actual pages to go with each project. One step at a time, friends.

On a totally unrelated note, I just watched The Help tonight. Great movie. I tend to love films like that, which have some depth and real meaning to them. Seen it? What did you think?