Word! Bit of writing tomfoolery to follow here. So strap yourselves in.
I got an tweet from Melissa Holden (a student and aspiring writer who attended a creative writing lecture I gave earlier this year). She wanted to know if I was interested in taking part in a Writing Process Blog Tour. Having no idea what the hell it was, I said yes (because as a writer you have to keep throwing yourself into new things y’know.) Turns out I have to answer a few questions on writing…so here goes.
What am I currently working on?
Lots. But also not a lot.
I’ve about twenty solid ideas I want to wrestle with, but as it takes me about two years to complete a project, that list might take 40 years to clear. I should probably drink some red-bull and hurry up.
The two main projects at the moment are: Gumbi vs The World and my Freddie Mercury comedy.
The Freddie Mercury comedy should be finished by summer 2015. It’s at about 35k words so far, which is approx half way. I’m on holiday in Germany at the mo and am using the time to fix a massive plot hole. I can’t really go forward until I’ve sorted it out. I’ve spent most of the winter thinking about the plot and making sure it makes sense. It’s a comedy crime novel, so it’s important all the motives are solid. I’ve read a few chapters at my writing group and they’ve well received, which is encouraging.
Gumbi vs The World is an comedic account of my travels (and fails) in Poland and America. It’s more or less finished. It just needs an iron. My proof reader should get her copy by August 15th. I’ve had a first meeting with Marcel Baker (the cover designer) It should be available before Christmas. He’s also working on a new cover for The Pirates of Maryland Point – which should be reissued before 2015.
How does my work differ from others of its genre?
Tricky. I write what I want to read, that way I never get bored. I’m not too bothered about genre, I’ll go where my mind takes me. However, I’d say my work is far-fetched fiction but not as far-fetched as Robert Rankin. His work is 100% batshit mad. My work is always grounded in a reality that gets weirder and weirder the more you uncover. Bizarrely realism is important to me, so maybe I’d say my far-fetched fiction is different from others in the genre because it’s more realistic.
I think that’s a tautology though, never mind.
Why do I write what I do?
Because I enjoy it. And because I’ll be cheesed off if a bus hit me tomorrow and I hadn’t got all these ideas out of my head. Because they drive me mad.
How does my writing process work?
It doesn’t. I used to be a night owl, writing after work between 10pm-1am. Now I just squeeze work in when and where I can. On the train. On the bus. Anywhere. I find I’m a lot more productive with pen and paper, but don’t use it as much as I should – preferring to type because it’s quicker.
Using a machine without the internet is a good idea. And putting yourself in a place like a library to work also helps focus. I’m in a flat on my own as I type this, and though I’ve the best intentions in the world, I know at some point this afternoon I’ll be on youtube checking out WIN videos.