day two

Well, I've managed another 752 words today. I'm not worrying about the quality too much just yet - the story is falling into place slowly and seems to be moving in the right direction so far. Plenty of time later for fleshing out descriptions, and tweaking the flow of combat scenes. I've got a reasonable view of the rest of this first chapter, so I'm confident that I'll be able to catch up some lost time / words this weekend..

Approaching NaNoWriMo

Well, not a good start, but is that the correct capitalisation?!

I have, in a somewhat foolhardy attempt to kickstart my creative energies (seriously - I have a lot on at work just now), decided to embark on my first nanowrimo (much better - all lowercase, less chance of looking like a newbie).

Following on from a very vivid dream the other day (minds out of gutters, not one of those dreams), which I wrote down, I have the core of an idea. A little mind mapping earlier and I have an idea about the first 8 chapters.. (One sentence summary of each - some work to be done yet...)

I've taken these sentences and entered them into my shiny new copy of Scrivener, courtesy of an amazingly generous Macheist Bundle..

So, one hour and 3 minutes to go and I'm pretty close to being as ready as I'm likely to be for this....

Wish me luck.

Manimal, and why you can never go back..

I'd been waiting for Manimal to come through from Lovefilm for a while. I'd pre-reserved it for rental even before it was available, remembering it fondly from watching it as a child. I can recall my excitement as he'd change into different animal forms to solve problems, and my first exercises in breathing control as I sought to emulate his metamorphoses...

In hindsight, however, I should have left those memories well alone - though I retain my fond childhood memories, I now know how thoroughly rose-tinted those glasses are.

It goes far beyond the now badly-dated special effects, and extends into the terrible writing; "JC's" back story has more holes than a sieve (an English college professor working for American Intelligence during the Vietnam War, of all things), the poor scripting & characterisation of all the protagonists (the attractive female police officer / detective - unclear which! - most of all), his clothes tearing as he transforms into a panther and magically reappearing, un-torn and freshly pressed, when he transforms back, and the lack of explanation for what happens to the additional mass as he transforms into a bird of prey, or a pussy cat are just some of the problems with the first episode.. Only a humorous scene (overlooked by childhood me) where a transformed pussy cat peeks down a female criminal mastermind's open top saved the episode from being a complete loss..

The moral of this story, for me, is to be careful with treasured childhood memories, and to leave those fond recollections safely on the shelf, gathering dust, lit by the warm glow of both innocence and distance in time.

Beware the opening of Pandora's Box, especially when it contains a DVD from a childhood TV series...

some initial thoughts on the discipline of writing...

I was listening to Back to Work the other day (a great show, which you can find at - and Merlin was speaking about the discipline of writing - both in finding the right time to write (which for me often seems to be far too late at night!), and in defining some set periods for regular writing to enable good creative work (he suggested 90 minute spells). I'm intending to give both of these a try in the coming weeks, but they've definitely resonated with me (in a way much of Merlin's advice does).

My current issues with writing fall into 3 broad categories - energy, creativity and focus. I'm hoping that a more disciplined approach to writing will initially help with the last one, and that this will over time support improvements with creativity.  I'm hoping that my energy levels will improve with renewed creative vigour, forming a virtuous circle.

I'll be reporting on my success with this as my blog progresses - but I'm hoping that increasing frequency and quality of posting will demonstrate tangibly how I'm progressing and improving..

The specific episode is at: