Friday, 22 June 2012

Degrees of failure

It has been nearly two weeks since my last blog post, a fact that does not sit well with me.  I enjoy posting and have plenty of ideas for things to write about, I just need to sit myself down at the computer and do it.  After all, it doesn’t really take that long to string the words together.  So in my mind this is something of a failure on my part to keep up with my blogging.

I have also fallen behind with my CampNaNoWriMo attempt.  My word count is just over 10000 at the moment, but still way short of the 50000 word target that is supposed to be reached by the end of the month.  As the end of the month is only nine days away now the chances of me finishing the challenge successfully is really quite small. 

Initially I was beginning to think of this shortfall as another massive failure, and I wish I’d never taken on the challenge in the first place.  After I’d thought about it awhile though, it’s not been a complete failure.  I have made some progress with my novel, however small it may seem to me at the moment, so that is definitely a positive. 
I’m still in the very early stages of novel writing and so still trying to find my feet with regards to my own methods of doing it.  I’ve read a lot of author interviews and it’s quite clear that there are as many methods for writing as there are authors.  Now and again I’ll come across a way that I think may suit me and I’ll give it a go.  More often than not though it’s either completely wrong for me or I adapt it to something else to suit myself.  With this CampNaNoWriMo challenge I’ve worked out that I cannot just sit at the computer and have the story flow out of me.  Although I have the characters in my head and the settings, rough plot and ending in there I think I need to get it out first before I can properly form how the novel is actually going to work.
So, although I’ve failed to meet the challenge (or will fail) I’ve succeeded in eliminating a method of working that is totally unsuitable to me.  This is what I’m going to take away from this challenge and I can now make some positive steps forward in getting my novel moving.
Has anyone else a particular way of working that they find suits them best?

Thursday, 14 June 2012

Film Challenge: #12 The Terminator

I didn't realise that this film is actually nearly as old as me; it is certainly looking fairly dated but I think that's part of its charm.
The only thing I knew about it was that it starred Arnold Schwarzenegger and Linda Hamilton, and that he was trying to kill her. As for the rest of the plot I was fairly in the dark.

The scene was set well with the machines in the future wanting to annihilate their adversary in the past before he can become a threat.  The twist of having his father actually come from the same time period, going back in time to not only save his life but to create him too, is one of those that could really bend your mind if thought about for too long.  Just what would have happened if the machines had realised who his father was?  Could they have simply killed him in their own time?  What if Sarah Connor gave her tapes to her son, would he/does he tell his father who he is?
Now these may well be questions that are addressed in one of the next films or even in the tv programme, The Sarah Connor Chronicles, but as I haven't seen any of those yet I'm going to ponder on them awhile until I find out for myself.

Rating: 4/5

Tuesday, 5 June 2012

Camp NaNoWriMo - Day 5 Update

Daily word count:  912

Total word count: 7,570

Words remaining: 42, 430

Well I'm making steady progress.  I'm pleased I nearly got to the 1000 word mark today, I just ran out of steam and couldn't quite make it.  I'm not worried though, I've done more on this in the last two days than I have done for months.
One things for sure, I'm definitely going to need to re-write the first 6000 words once I've completed the first draft!

Reading Challenge: #3 Susan Hill - The Woman in Black

I have been wanting to read this book for ages, especially since the film came out. I haven't seen the film yet, much preferring to read the book first if I can. Most of the time I can manage it too.
First though I had to get past imagining the main character as he appears in the film. In fact, I have a friend who has been unable to read it as his version has Daniel Radcliffe in it!

Unfortunately I've only ever seen him as Harry Potter and I really didn't want to see this character like that so I had to put it out of my mind. It wasn't too difficult as I got into the plot though.

To begin with it was slow going, I was only getting enough time to read a few pages at once, which makes for a very disjointed following of the story. When this happens I struggle to remember what happened previously and the story loses its magic. Does anyone else get that? Last night though I read most of the book in one sitting, I was so engrossed in what was happening. It's a short book really, only 200 pages, so it didn't take too long to finish.

I really loved it. It had plenty of scary, disturbing moments, rather than the disappointing odd one or two that you can sometimes get in a supposedly excellent ghost story. Each moment just added to the creepiness set by what had happened before. It really did make me shiver. I'd be interested to see the film now, partly to see how Mr Radcliffe fairs in a very different role but also to see if they capture the creepiness effectively.

I read this late into the night just before I went to sleep and found that I was listening for odd noises in the house before dropping off. The hamster downstairs gave me a fright until I realised what it was!

Rating: 5/5

Monday, 4 June 2012

Camp NaNoWriMo - Day 4 Update

Daily word count:  627
Total word count: 6,658

Words remaining: 43,324

Well today is the first day of new writing on my novel.  It's been a long while since I've done anything with it and I had to get my mind back into the zone, which is far easier said than done.
I've spent the last couple of days mulling it over again and I think it's going to have a few changes to my original plans.  I guess that's how these things go though.  I already think that most of what I've written will have to be changed, but I'm using this first draft to just get the ideas out of my head and written down.  When I've got it all down I can start going through it and filtering out all the dross.

My hope is that as I get more into the whole process my writing will improve, with any major changes only being required towards the earlier sections.

We'll just have to wait and see I guess ...



Saturday, 2 June 2012

Why, oh why, do I do this to myself?

I have been scouring the internet today looking for challenges and inspiration to help me along with my writing.  Just a little something to give me a focus and maybe some deadlines to keep me going.
In my search I've happened to stumble across Camp NaNoWriMo, which I've seen mentioned a couple of times recently as some bloggers I follow are taking part.  It's pretty much the same as NaNoWriMo (writing a novel, or 50000 words, in one month) but instead of doing it in November you do it in either June or August.  Or both if you're feeling ambitious!

I signed up for NaNoWriMo last year and I'm sorry to say that I failed miserably at my very first attempt.  I didn't even last the first week, falling behind so much it was quite impossible to catch up.  The word a day count to try and maintain is at least 1667 in order to make it to 50000 in 30 days.
Now, technically I should already be behind a little as I've only signed up on day 2 of the challenge.  I have a little secret though (sshh, don't tell anyone!) in that I have already written the first 6000 words of my novel.  By my calculations this gives me until day 4 to start writing properly again.  And as we have been blessed with an extra long bank holiday this weekend I should, theoretically, have a bit of time to get some planning done and refresh the story in my mind.

I've had this story floating around in my head for well over a year now, to finally get it out and written down in a rough first draft will be such a relief.

I've even got another novel idea for August, but let's not get too ahead of ourselves shall we ...

Wish me luck!

Friday, 1 June 2012

Film Challenge: #3 Troll Hunter

Troll Hunter is listed as number 3 on my Film Challenge list.  The list has been put together for me by friends who just couldn't believe the amount of films I've never seen.  For the complete list go to my Film Challenge tab.

I wasn't quite sure what to expect when I started watching this one.  I didn't know much about it other than the description on the cover.
The film is basically three people who are making a documentary about a guy that hunts trolls.  They think he's a bit of a crack pot until they get their first glimpse of what he's after.  The film is all from the point of view of their camera, so the cameraman himself is hardly seen. 
This aspect added a lot to the overall effect for me.  Following the movements of the camera as they were running and hiding heightened the sense of fear they were all feeling and put the viewer very much in their shoes.
It's filmed in Norwegian and it's definitely better to watch with subtitles rather than dubbing.  It doesn't detract from following the action at all.
There are a few moments of humour mixed in with the action, although I'm not sure just how intentional they are.  
Overall I was pleasantly surprised at just how much I enjoyed this film.  It only lasts for 1hr 40 too so it doesn't drag.  I would definitely recommend it as something to watch.

Rating - 4/5