I am celebrating. Last workshop done and dusted, no more pressure for me now to have to deliver bits of the novel for close editing for a while. As usual I got some good pointers and a better idea of what I need to do to move things forward. The fact that I am writing for myself again feels like a new freedom to write whatever I want. So I’ve got a good flow on this week and it feels great.
I have managed to finish a novel plan which is a huge step forward, it will probably change, but this is all progress. I might even know where I’m heading now. I might even have some idea of the end??! Or possible endings. Hopefully this will not all change after I’ve slept on it. For now though, I’m celebrating.
We had a visit this week from Tim Glister, an agent from Janklow and Nesbit. The last agent that came to visit told us to use Twitter, but Tim said that he didn’t like it because they have the rights to use your words at a later date. He did like blogs however and was encouraging about starting one. It is to be expected that everyone will have differing opinions on these things. I have found Twitter to be good for steering you towards events and sites that you may not have known about, once you start following similar people I think it is a useful source. He told us to have a look at The View From Here magazine, Ambit and Myslexia and to try to get something published in places like these as this would increase your credibility.
We had more about the importance of deadlines and not letting people down, delivering things on schedule. To be honest about how long it takes you to write things. He mentioned that work that crosses over genres is something that interests them. All very interesting again, but you do need to have something finished to a really high standard first.
Reading the Quickening Maze this week by Adam Foulds for class. So far so good, I might even have time to ponder it after reading this week. In fact it is all going swimmingly well, so much so that I am going to write a piece of flash fiction today about a swimming pool in honour of it all.
This week we went to an event with David Peace. He was saying that the he felt that the novel as a form was dead and that society is too fast pace and fragmented for this kind of writing. His aim is to write a poem length novel. He was a really interesting guy and we celebrity stalked him afterwards to get our books signed and had a quick word with him.
He mentioned how he copies out writing that he admires and then changes the tenses and the point of view just to deconstruct it and see how it’s put together. He was talking to us about how the second person narration is underused and that he thinks it is a really great way of creating immediacy and engaging with the reader. He also said that you should make sure to find your own voice in what you’re writing and not to be constrained by the rules that you’ve been taught. To explore new experimental ways of writing and see where they take you.
I thought he was a thoroughly nice bloke and really encouraging and down to earth too. I have to say that I loved Red Riding when it was on t.v. so I’m going to have to read some of his stuff now.
Speaking of nice people I had a meeting with Jenn Ashworth as well this week. She is working for the University as a kind of mentor for us at the moment. I sent her the beginning of my novel and we had a chat where I’m up to and what I need. She’s going to help me look at plot and structuring so this is really brilliant as I’ve just started to realise that it is alright creating this world and these characters, but now they are actually going to have to do something and go somewhere. She’s on the culture show this weekend as one of their upcoming new novelists so that is really exciting for her and brilliant for me to able to have all these excellent people advising me. Lucky lucky me.
It’s me workshopping again on Monday so I haven’t been doing a lot of new writing this week, just trying to beat something into shape ready for Monday. I am trying to move things forward a bit and add a bit of back-story and flesh out the characters a bit more. It’s pretty hard when you’re not there yet. Just realised that I need a whole load of other threads to this story and I haven’t got them yet. If I know what’s wrong with it already maybe I could suggest we all just go to the pub and everyone can think up some plot lines for me instead of ripping this piece to shreds. Yep.
Here’s some blue sky for you. There’s not been much for a while has there? I got a brilliant mark for my workshop writing yesterday and an appalling one for my criticism. So I’m smiling with a tear running down my face today. Boo hoo, hurrah, boo hoo, hurrah!
We had a visit from a agent called Anthony Harwood last week, he was pretty interesting. He told us just to write what we want to write and not what we think is popular and might sell. So that’s nice to know. It’s what I’m doing anyway.
We were also advised that we should start tweeting and blogging and all that internet stuff to get ourselves an internet presence. No not presents, you don’t get anything back, it’s presence. I’m already forcing my ramblings on people so I thought I’d start tweeting as well. I’m tweeting under SJLuddem if you feel like having a gander. It’s pretty good, (twitter that is, not my ramblings), although I’ve forgotten why i was doing it and just been enjoying the insights from all the great people out there instead. Particularly enjoying the messages from the fake Queen telling me when it’s gin o’clock. Very good. I recommend it whether you want presents or presence or whatever, but don’t forget to write your novel too – no slacking now.
Filed under Events, General, MA
Help me, my eyes are bleeding. Too much editing of my workshop piece.
Last night we went to listen to Ian McKewan talking to Martin Amis. He read from Solar and I have to say that this did not make me feel any better when I came this morning and re-read my tripe. I’ve spent hours editing and I’m nowhere near to the beautifully polished prose that he read out. He left me with an image of a girl with long hands like salad spoons. It must be nice to have a connection with people and leave them with an image that you have created.
I’ll get back to writing about acne and puss and try to forget that there are brilliant writers out there doing things better.
Filed under Events, General, MA