Hello. Just another quick entry into this blog that no one really reads. Maybe it’ll become popular in the future when/if I become successful/a serial killer, but for now it’s just more like a journal for me. It’s nice to look back and remember where I was, it gives me impetus for where I want to go.
First up, novel is going really well. I’m writing consistently every week day and now even adding some work at the weekends. I reached the 100k mark the other month, but there was a good 30k of that which was old stuff I needed to remove/edit. So I got rid of most of it and I ended up with around 90k again, but now I’m back to 100k with only 8k of bumf to alter/remove. I’m also getting quite near the end of the story. I know EXACTLY how to end this thing, but at the moment my characters are in situations that I’m finding difficult to coerce them out of, to arrive at the ending I want. It’s a nice problem to have though, because it’s realistic, and so I want their journey to the end to be as least contrived as I can make it.
I’m also back to reading some good fiction, which at the moment is Stephen King’s collection of novellas called Different Seasons, which contains the following stories that were turned into films – The Shawshank Redemption, the Body (Stand By Me) and Apt Pupil. I’ve only read Shawshank so far, which I loved of course, and near the end of Apt Pupil, which is dragging out a bit but still pretty good, but I’m constantly reminded of the words of King in his book ‘On Writing’. “If you don’t have time to read, you don’t have the time (or the tools) to write.”
I’ve found that I’m a better writer and more consistent when I’m reading fiction, than when I’m reading non-fiction. So I’ve told myself that even if I am reading a non-fiction book, I’ll have to swap it out for a fiction during the day at some point, most likely before bed when I always read. This way I can keep my ‘storytelling muscles’ pumped up and keep the pace up on my work. It certainly helps.
With the novel’s ending on the horizon, I’ve been thinking about what to tackle next while I let the first draft fester in a drawer for a month or two (to help me get some fresh perspective). I’ve decided I’m going to write a play. After performing in Noises Off I realised that I really do love theatre. I love acting, I love directing, and I love writing. When I was in school, all I ever seem to do was write small plays or sketches and would perform them in class, to the annoyance of most of the other students. I actually think ‘plays’ are more me than novels or films. It’s a platform that not only lets me explore my ideas and writing, but my ability to create characters and act.
It’s difficult to get ideas seen/read/heart. My desire for making another short film has plumetted recently, because the thought of not only hiring the cast, but the crew, is daunting. You’re really relying on a LOT of people. A novel, I’ve loved writing because it’s just me, my fingers and my brain. That’s it. If it’s shit, I’m to blame. If it’s good, I get credit. The thing about theatre, and what Noises Off reemphasised… theatre is FUN. Not only is it fun, but it seems extremely achievable. You watch a show start with 9 strangers in a pub reading fresh copies of a script, to a sold out theatre of hysterical patrons really ENJOYING a night out. And we are the entertainers. With theatre you don’t need much money, you don’t need much help. A two person play (two-hander) could be performed with just the two of you. So that’s why I’m really into the idea of not only writing a play, but funding it myself, directing it myself, AND starring in it. Egomaniac or what? The thought alone is extremely inspiring to me. It’s yet another challenge and one I’m excited for.
There’s a competition being run by Liverpool Hope University which is looking for a new comedy play to be performed at the Empire. £10,000 first prize with a deadline at the end of May. I’ve already got an idea for a play, so that’s one obstacle out the way, I just need to write it. The way I see it, the competition is more of a deadline. I’ll get it done, send it in, and if I don’t get anywhere then I’ll put it on myself. It’s win-win really. In fact, a part of me doesn’t even want to win the competition; I’d have to give up my rights and watch someone else direct it, cast it, perform it. That’s the fun part of theatre that I don’t want to miss out on.
Just got to write it first.