I’m Writing A Book….Still

The irony is not lost on me that if this series continues for much longer I will have effectively written a book about writing a book. That aside, I made further steady process this week. Around 5000 words to be precise. This involved a series of dialogues between several of the main characters which sets the scene for the final chapters which will be primarily action based.

I enjoy writing dialogue and watching the characters bounce off one another and develop accordingly. I’ve blogged before that many of my narrative ideas come to me during the physical act of writing so my fingers often find it hard to keep up with the plot as it comes tumbling out of my mind. These are my best moments when the book feels as if it is writing itself and I’m just frantically fighting to cling on to this particular literary runaway train.

The main characters continue to come to life before my very eyes. They are broken underdogs struggling to come to terms with the frightening responsibility which has been heaped upon their shoulders. A week ago in the story arc they were just struggling to get by in their drab, dreary worlds. Now those struggles are the least of the worries as they interact with creatures and conflicts far beyond their craziest dreams.

They do so with a healthy dollop of cynicism, sarcasm and dark humour. So much so that I often forget that I have a story to drive forward when often I find the dialogue meandering off script into tributaries of obscure pop culture reference and ‘in jokes’. I also have to constantly remind myself that I’m writing for a universal audience so therefore have to cut back on the Northern Irish colloquialisms. Bout ye. Dead on. Stick it out. Etc. Ad nauseum.

I’ve been circling the final chapters for some weeks now but feel I have reached the point where I can finally swoop and feast upon them. I’m also at the stage where I’m ready to send a sample chapter out to some trusted people for review and feedback. This is one of the most nerve wracking parts of the process. I need honesty but have I a thick enough skin to deal with that. There is only one way to find out I suppose.

As ever time is an issue. In an ideal world I would lock myself away for a month and just blast it out. Unfortunately I live in the real world so I’ve been writing where I can and when I can. This has been a disjointed and largely unsatisfactory process but it’s all I’ve got at present until that first six figure advance drops into my bank account. Yeah right, Stephen. Meanwhile back in the real world.

As ever I want to thank my family for their support. Fionnuala is not a ‘book’ person (she’s far too busy with life for that) but patiently listens to my writing gripes and complaints while providing IT emergency response every time I forget to save three hours of writing and go into full blown meltdown. She really is the brains (and looks) behind the operation. She also administers well placed kicks in the backside every time I wallow in self pity.

I want to thank our WordPress readers as well for the constant stream of support and encouragement. Your advice and willingness to share your own writing experiences, good and bad, continue to comfort, inspire and motivate me. Without your support of the blog I would never have had the belief or confidence to step out on this journey in the first place. For that I will always be grateful irrespective of whether or not this book ever sees light of day.

Please add your comments and feedback below. My skin needs toughening!

45 thoughts on “I’m Writing A Book….Still

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  1. Best on your writing. You are a good writer, for sure. I think of writing a book or two as well. But not sure I’ll ever get it done. So I can identify with you. At least you’re working at it. 🙂

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  2. When I’ve given talks about Creative Writing & Self-Publishing at local schools and conventions, one of the things I keep back is writing dialog. Chalkboard, whiteboard, or piece of paper, I’ll draw two lines. Then one. Another, Three. Two… I’ll turn and demand, “what is this?!”

    It’s the physical structure of dialog; of how people (I didn’t say humans!) interact and how stories evolve with the audience engaged. You can be Tolkien and spend ten pages describing a leaf, but unless Mary doesn’t yell to Robert to pull the ripcord now! your story is ending abruptly.

    Descriptions must happen, but they make the reader passive. Put them in the show: talk!

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  3. Congrats on almost being there! It’s so exciting to get to those last few pages (or, I imagine it would be, I’m not there yet!) and it’s so good you have such a supportive team backing you up. Editing can be tricky, but press on! I can’t wait to hear how it goes!

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  4. The book sounds like it is coming along nicely. Well done Stephen. You should be proud of it, you have managed to juggle so many things around the book and be successful. I am still going to be number 1 in the queue for the official signing. Where you thinking. Waterstones? Foyles?

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  5. I volunteer as tribute to be a proofreader! I’m so excited for your story lol I really need to get to writing a book too…my characters are starting to haunt me! Keep up the great work Stephen 🙂

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