1. The Darkness Beneath - Free Copy
2. It's All About You
3. It's All About Writing
The Darkness Beneath: Sex, Death and Trains, all Yours For Nothing (still!)*
You can get a free copy of my first novel, The Darkness Beneath, by following this link - but hurry! Only (yes, only...) the first 100 people to sign up can claim a free copy. *Terms and Conditions apply.
It Is All About You!
We had a cracking IAAY from guitarist/Composer Simon Imagin who talked about how JS Bach has influenced his work. I'm also fortunate enough to have been introduced to Bach at an early age, not sure how early but probably before reaching double figures. Next week's IAAY is all about writer Stephan J Myers.
It's All About Writing
Constructing and De-constructing: Digging Into Your Writing
One of the things that I learnt from hearing Bach was to listen to the elements that made up a piece. Not every single note, my brain was far the scatter-gun for that, but a few bars here and there.
After mastering the art of only listening to one instrument or phrase at a time (on a record player!), I was able to see how Bach twisted and twined and bounced melodies off each other. This showed me how they were related (two sides of one coin), and how combining different melodies etc produced something that was more beautiful and often very different to how they sounded and felt on their own.
Another thing I used to do as a child was, when on a train, stare out the window (and don't tell me you're a writer and then say you never do that!) and imagine I was watching a motorcyle (ridden by myself of course) bouncing along out there as we hurtled through the English countryside.
Of course, at speed and with a limited viewpoint, I couldn't always see what was coming, so I'd frequently find my ghost rider ploughing into trees and bushes, disappearing down holes and crashing into bridges.
What I'd then do, to keep the continuity of the ride going, was to dial the story back a little and build the new elements into it, along with how I would have dealt with them had I seen them coming. In other words, I was editing the story.
Write, Edit; Re-write, Re-edit
Which brings me to editing and re-writing. As you already know, writing is really all about re-writing - which is something that not everyone likes or wants to do. I can't say I want to do too much of it, but I know that I have to, especially as I'm a self-publisher: no one else is going to do it for me.
That said, I do have a number of readers (and my thanks to you all for your invaluable and free help) who pick up on all sorts of errors (grammar, spelling, plot...) but they only usually get to see what I intend to be the last or 2nd to last draft. Which means I have to scratch my way through all the mess I leave behind as I plough through the story the first four or five times.
Although I'd rather do less of this, I think my musical and motorbike experiences taught me the value of picking things apart and putting them back together again. A lesson that's been very valuable and certainly makes the task of re-writing and editing something I've actually come to enjoy.
Like many writers I see writing as sculpting: you produce a thicket of words and ideas that you have to cut and trim until all that is left is all that is needed to tell the story.