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Blog: Writing Progress

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I reached something of a MILESTONE on Friday, as I completed the second draft of the OUTLINE for "The Utopians", the sequel to Storm House.

The idea of doing an OUTLINE is that you can work out the mechanics of the plot BEFORE you go and do all the exciting dialogue/character/funny bits, as it is a LOT easier to fix any errors that way than it would be when you have already written 10,000 words of HILARIOUS INTERACTIONS that you then have to entirely re-do. It is a methodology what was enforced upon me by Mr A Cartmel when he was my MENTOR on my MA course, and it is a GRATE way of going about it, not least because by the time you finally FINISH all the plotting you are FULL of ideas and GAGGING to get going on the fun bits!

With this story I was very grateful to him all over again, as the ending is QUITE COMPLICATED and thus required a LOT of working out. Hopefully it won't seem too complicated way when people eventually read it, but it has quite a lot of different characters doing different things in different places at the same time, and it's quite difficult to keep track of them all! ALSO I have three seperate Quite Interesting Backstories that all come to a SIMULTANEOUS CLIMAX, and I am very aware that, if I'm not careful, it could all become a lengthy exercise in Characters Explaining Things To Each Other.

I think I've got it all worked out now though - it was RATHER exciting when I was writing the last bit as various LOOSE PLOTS from earlier on in the story put their hands up and said "OOH! PLEASE! Can I be involved in THE FINALE please?" and also I got to DESTROY huge chunks of Peterborough City Centre. The plan is to LEAVE it all for a week or so, then go back and do a THIRD draft of the whole thing, checking for the above mentioned ERRORS and making sure it all makes some kind of vague sense. Then, hopefully sometime before Christmas, I can begin with the Actual Writing!

In the meantime, and as mentioned a couple of weeks ago, I've been working hard on the SHORT STORIES. I've now got THREE (3) pretty much finished, with ideas for another two underway, and it's really rather good fun. I must admit that the shadow of THARG THE MIGHTY does hang over a couple of them but I reckon that, like songs, the best bet is to write SEVERAL and then see which ones actually work. It's also nice to ALTERNATE between the PLANNING of THE NOVEL and the much easier KNOCKING UP of short stories!

I'm going to have a go at sending some of the good ones in for COMPETITIONS and the like, and then hopefully publishing them either on my writing pages or - WHO KNOWS - maybe even as a short story collection. Don't hold your breath though - if the ANALOGY of short stories as songs HOLDS then it will be approx THREE YEARS until the "album" is finished!

posted 26/9/2017 by MJ Hibbett

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"I got to DESTROY chunks of Peterborough City Centre" I thought Queensgate, the capital city of shopping, did THAT.
posted 28/9/2017 by TB Thunderbluss

The ammonites fossilised in the tiles of Queensgate had better get a mention.
posted 30/9/2017 by Thunderbluster

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