Friday, September 22, 2006

Napalming the candle at both ends

Gotta say, taking on three books, back to back, all with tight deadlines? Not so clever. TPO was a long, hard slog, turning some four-year-old articles into 120,000 word tome. Two weeks of solid research to refamiliarise myself with the material, followed by six weeks of writing. Now in the middle of my first Warhammer novel, another 95,000 words in four weeks. The good news is I'm enjoying writing a novel wehre I can make stuff up. Virtually every character in the book is my own invention, and there's little or no research involved. I'm rediscovering the joy of making stuff up, not knowing who's going to live and who's going to die.

Once I stagger across the finish line of my Warhammer novel [Thursday October 5th, to be precise], it's back to college for year two of my part-time screenwriting MA. Stuck my head round the door of the new facilities on Tuesday, when I was in Edinburgh for the day as part of my TV screenwriting project with mentor Adrian Mead. New place looks transformed, hard to recognise it as the draughty, crumbling shit-hole Napier had us in for the first trimester last year. It's induction day next Thursday and - novel permitting - I hope to wander along, meet the new intake and find out who's taking what modules this year.

No sooner does college resume than I start the three book on the trot, a fresh tome for Black Flame. Another 95,000 words and that's due by November 24. The first week will be pure research, as it's another tome set in a precise historical period that requires lots of accurate detail. That leaves me five weeks to write the manuscript, but ever Friday of those five weeks I'll be in at college. Plus thee'll be college work to do, and continuing development of the project on which I'm being mentored.

The good news is my extra-curricular activities [acting in Major Barbara, singing and acting in an opera performance workshop] conclude by the end of October. The bad new is that until then, I'm going to be shuffling round like a zombie, writing seven days a week and producing tens of thousands of words. If I feel this drained and tired now, how the hell am I'm going to feel by the end of November? Oh yeah, and I have a birthday next week that involves a big, fat milestone. Another year closer the grave, folks. Oblivion beckons like a trip to the dentist.

I think I'll listen to some Cure today, probably The Drowning Man off Faith. I could do with some cheering up.

1 comment:

Cybez said...

Looks like you'll be needing a few of those word counters on your blog.
Good Luck, as they say over here in N.I. :-)