It’s done…again…fifth time lucky?

January 15, 2012

OK, sorry for no posts for a while but now that I’m more settled here and the dreaded midwinter festival is but a memory, I’ve been able to get down to the rewrite of Flight Into Darkness….this is version 5!  This was necessary because of feedback from publishers and a film director, all of which was consistent and difficult to ignore: good plot, needs more pace.

The break from writing was actually very good for me because I was able to tackle it with a fresh mind, although the basic storyline is the same.  In addition, being retired, it’s easy to devote 5 or 6 hours a day to writing, something that I could only do at the weekends when I was working.    Consequently, it has taken far less time than I had expected; from beginning to end  took only two weeks.  I confess I had a writer’s block (or failure of enthuisiasm) before Christmas but with the new year came new inspiration and new ideas.

The main task was eliminating the hero’s girlfriend and replacing her with his female boss, a German Tornado pilot (yes, really), add some sexy sparks and away we go.  Of course, a book is never finished.  Every time I read it, I change something and will never be entirely happy with it.  Now it has to be left to simmer and be inwardly digested, then regurgitated to a couple of beta readers to test the recipe.  Then it’s off to Peter Buckman (Ampersand Agency)  for him to sell the cake.  Hope it doesn’t poison anyone.  My mum and dad (to whom the book is dedicated) will never read it, of course, because they don’t like the F word.  If one of my characters would use it, then I use it.  Basically, when you know your characters well, they write their dialogue themselves.  My fingers just do as they are told and I don’t have much say in the matter.  If you write, you’ll know what I mean.

I always know when I’m completely engaged in a book; it’s when I wake up at three in the morning with a new idea and have to get it down, like recording a dream.  Whilst that’s fine and dandy, I’m now looking forward to some decent nights sleep!  Something strange I have noticed is that I barely needed to touch the original writing for the bad guys.  Must say something about me, although everyone knows that the dragon is always more interesting than the white knight and damsel.  Yawn.

I’m still a little concerned that Peter wanted the hero to be more proactive.  The problem is that I did not intend him to be a proactive character, more Ewan McGregor than Daniel Craig.  As the story moves on, he develops and, by the end, is in control, and I rather like that personal growth.

Now, I can sit back and imagine the Hollywood blockbuster starring Ewan McGregor and Uma Thurman.  I want Jurgen Prochnow as the evil baddy but he’s too old now at 71.  Maybe there’s a younger version of him; someone ugly, tough and complex.  I’ll let you know how the premiere went…..


2012 – Another chance to get it right!

January 1, 2012

A very Happy New Year!  I guess it’s another chance for the world to adopt fresh new resolutions and retread a few old ones with the intention of getting it right this time.  Posterity will judge but the optimists will always see the opportunities, whether they meet with success or not.  For me, I need to stop smoking and get back to the gym….oh, and finish the rewrite of Flight Into Darkness, which I hope to have done by the end of January, then it’s off to Peter Buckman again.  Next stop, Hollywood?

OK, I said some rather immoderate things about Christmas and the whole midwinter festival thing but, now that it’s finally over, I have to confess that it has actually been rather enjoyable.  We went swimming at Pintadinho beach on Christmas day and this morning, New Year’s Day, which seems to be an Algarve ritual.  It was fresh, I have to say, but the sun was beaming from a cloudless sky; made me feel quite worthy and, as a bonus, it’s a great hangover cure.  We went out to too many restaurants with friends; some English, some Dutch, Romanian, American, Canadian….very cosmopolitan and great fun.  Amazingly, amongst this small group are two writers, both who have been published (one writes non-fiction), and that makes me the odd man out.  So far….. watch this space!

Have a great new year, one and all!

2011 in review

January 1, 2012

The stats helper monkeys prepared a 2011 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 2,300 times in 2011. If it were a cable car, it would take about 38 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.