Monday, August 13, 2007

Enjoy what you do

'To anyone who knows a writer, never underestimate the power of your encouragement.' - Matthew Reilly

The past few weeks have been pretty busy and I haven't been writing as much as I was when I last posted. That said, I must say that I found a bit of a groove with my writing in the past couple of weeks and in the absence of anything profound to say, I thought I'd comment on that.

Instead of jostling shoulder to shoulder with other commuters on a packed city-bound train, I have been leaving half an hour earlier and this has guaranteed me that Holy Grail of long-suffering Connex concubines - a seat! And instead of blankly staring out the window through a patina of gunk and grime, I manage to write two or three pages by the time to get to Parliament Station.

Now I know I could head into the office and start work early giving my employers a little more value for money, but I resist that urge and head into The Commune (pictured below) where I can write another page or so with the frothy goodness of a latte in my little hand. (My right hand that is - I write with my left).

The end of the working day swings around and instead of taking the train home I wander down through Fitzroy Gardens to the tram stop where I can climb aboard a half-empty tram and get another page or three nailed before a short walk home. This practice has enabled me to get six or so pages done each work day without breaking a sweat. Sure I have to type it up when I get home but I can do that whilst watching telly or some other cerebral cortex-lite activity.

Now if all this writing sounds like a chore, I've badly misrepresented it. I actually enjoy the process, and as I'm writing fantasy I can travel a lot further in my book in an hour than a tram can take me.

I'm in a really good place with the second book right now. Book One had a lot of exposition in it. Obviously lots of characters and places had to be introduced. Book Two affords me the opportunity of delving deeper into these characters and their relationships with one another and the strange world they inhabit. It means I can inject a lot more humour into the narrative, as well as deepening the sense of tragedy when things go awry.

Characters such as Sela Noye, a four foot tall, porcupine-type person with a penchant for turning every conversation into an argument are so much fun to write. Others, such as Sir Edgar Worseley, the fastidious knight who will stop mid-battle to wipe the mess off his sword, and Mulupo, the frequently drunk and painfully loquacious Spriggan, tend to write themselves and it is sometimes hard to scribble/type fast enough to keep up with their antics.

I've also derived a fair amount of pleasure from creating creatures of all descriptions. There's the ridiculous two-headed flummox that is so irascible that one of its heads will attack the other despite the pain it will cause to itself. And there's the dim-witted, thousand yard long mockworm that is so scared of all other creatures that it will disguise itself as a hill to avoid being seen. But my favourite of all is the petty, petulant quawk replete with an offensive bodily function that is best left out of the blog for now.

I can hear two naughty children jumping up and down on the beds upstairs. Their mum has left me in charge and it's all gone pear-shaped. I'll cut this short and post again some time soon.