Saturday, January 26, 2013

Writing Update

I’m now back on track writing 10,000 words a week and Penny Royal III has now passed 30,000 words but, better than that, I’ve written myself back out of a hole. It happens like this sometimes: you’re telling the story you have to tell but it seems to be dragging a bit. It needs some spice, some danger, some apparently random element introduced to knock expectations off kilter. Raymond Chandler’s method was to walk a man with a gun into the room and, with a science fictional slant, that’s exactly what I’ve done. Well, the man isn’t a man, the room extends across light years and the gun happens to be a modern Polity dreadnought. This is now leading to me writing a lot more back story, some of which, it seems highly likely, may end up being implanted in the previous book. It’s also likely that a portion of the stuff I wrote before introducing this character might end up being either hacked out or hacked down. No matter, I’m sure there’s stuff there I can use as the basis of a short story, as I did with an 8,000 word plot thread in the first of these three books.

Moving on… For those of you who want to get into this writing profession here’s a few writer’s tips provided by various Tor authors over on the Tor Books Blog. Whether or not this is going to become a regular feature I don’t know. Also, while buggering about on Twitter I came across The Editor’s Blog which I’m finding quite handy. I particularly like this Cut The Flab – Make EveryWord Count which reminded me somewhat of an excellent book on that subject: Write Tight by William Brohaugh.   


Jezcentral said...

Excellent news. Writing trilogies in advance send to suit you, with your lack of fear about retrospectively editing your previous books. The temptation to leave well enough alone would be overwhelming for most, I'm sure.

As there has been no recent open thread, I thought I'd throw out this question to the readers here: I was browsing for some scifi at my local bookshop and there were many books described as "Military Science Fiction". Is this a new fad? I'm aware if the history of the genre, but not why it was all I could find. It all seemed as if it would play well to those across The Pond. Is there a British contingent getting involved in this?

osh said...

Jez has hinted at a question I was thinking of in his post.

Are you enjoying having the time & space to go back and introduce info to PR1&2 as you write the 3rd installment.

As mentioned above it seems like it suits you and hopefully will results in a more rounded overall story.

Apart from that get your next book out please! ;-)

Neal Asher said...

Jez, if military SF is becoming a new fad then that's probably tied in with the games market somehow. Be interesting to see where it comes from since I know a lot is produced in the US from the likes of Baen Books.

Osh, yes, I am enjoying having the time and space to work on all three books. As well as being able to tighten up the plot with the result of a more rounded story I can also concentrate on other things. Because I never think I know it all and haven't any room for improvement I want to use the time to concentrate on all of my many weaknesses too.

ILTYT_Adventure said...

I would like to say thanks for those writers links, the one about characterisation in particular explained exactly where I have been going wrong and why I was running into a wall; inexperience end to end.

If I’ve learnt anything at all over the last year and a bit I’ve been tinkering with my tome(s), it’s that, that writing thing is a lot harder to do than one would imagine. I heard a quote once and I only remember the essence of it.

Writing is just putting words on a page, that’s as easy and as hard as it gets.

So true.