Wednesday, 21 May 2014

Rooms Now Available At The Hotel Nomad

This is an HISTORIC post!

My novel, four years in the making, is now complete!

Hotel Nomad is FINISHED!


I feel like I've climbed a fucking mountain!

The novel finally came in at 71, 201 words (that's an exact count - before a professional edit).

I may be still too close to the story to reflect on it with any objectivity but I know one thing; it's the story I wanted to write.

I was careful all the way down the line.

I controlled this beast all the way through and at NO point did I feel it get away from me. I gave my characters the right amount of freedom and allowed myself to be surprised but ultimately, now that I'm sitting behind the finish line, hyperventilating and too tired to be proud, I can honestly say my original concept and intent shines through what I've laid down.

So what have I learned from my four year stay at the Hotel Nomad?

If your story is inherently violent, allow the violence to breathe.
Minor characters can influence your all important climax in ways you could never plot.
You can just set a scene and let your characters talk and amazing things will happen.
You have to let your characters take time outs, if only to feel what has gone before.
There's no such thing as just a name.
Location, location, location.
Try not to impose YOUR morality on your fictional alter egos.
Drown in the emotion of a set piece without 'flogging a dead horse.'
It doesn't matter if your main character is unsympathetic as long as he/she is interesting.

There's tons more but I'm not writing a book here.

I just did that!

It's been a wild ride and I am so proud to have FINALLY finished this gritty, urban, brutal cautionary tale.

As any artist will tell you, you put what you know and what you love upon the page but in terms of quality, you have no idea. You trust your instincts, you rely on what turns YOU on and hope that someone else gets off on it too.

Now, I am off to draft some highly official sounding letters to publishers.

I've been fortunate enough to have been recommended some top quality agents and publishers by some names in the business whom I truly admire. I think I'll try them first.

In closing, what's next?

Well, I want the Hotel Nomad up and running 'for business' as soon as possible.

I have at least five new ideas for novels that are all vying for my attention right now.

All I know for certain is my next work will NOT involve vampires. I think our beloved blood suckers have earned a (temporary?) rest at my hands.

Rest assured, any updates, any news, I will relay it here.

The Hotel Nomad is now open for business.

Thursday, 10 April 2014

The End Is In Sight!

Quick update!

(And I mean quick!)

44,000 words through Hotel Nomad.

After five years of conceptual dreaming and idiotic procrastinating, I'm finally starting to put the work in.

Not to intentionally make my previous post about scheduling creativity utterly redundant but it turns out I HAVE to actually schedule a working time table otherwise I don't get anything done!

But now, finally, the end is finally in sight!

I have the whole complete story fully plotted out and it's just a matter of nailing it all down onto the page.

I've been discussing with other writers recently the hardships of writing a full length novel (anything over 40,000 words, so Google informs me) and the consensus seems to lean towards bashing it out and editing the crap out of it later.

I can't work like that.

I'm too anal to continue a story that I feel could have serious foundation, stylistic and tonal flaws at the very beginning. I have to adapt, edit, smooth and re-write as I go; the whole process. It's painful and slow going but it works for me. In another 36,000 words (approx), I'll have a piece that, with a little final tinkering, will be ready to shop to potential publishers.

I'm not going the self publish route. I'd really rather not. I want an official house to take this on.

So that's my update.

It's a short and shallow post this time. I'm saving my big boy thoughts for my book.

Catch you on the flip side!

Friday, 21 February 2014

Scheduling Creativity

33,000 words into Hotel Nomad.

Getting serious now.

(...only four frigging years after my first officially published novella...)

Yes. I'm lazy.

Can we move on?

Some writers far more talented than me have often queried this; when to write?

I heard this great quote  (I can't recall who said it and I may be elaborating a tad) :

'Set yourself a limit. Say ten pages a day. If one day, it takes you ten to fifteen minutes to knock out your ten pages, congrats! Go screw off, you're done! Yet, if it takes you ten hours, you fucking stay there till your ten pages are done! Nine pages may be bullshit but sometimes you got to go through the shite to find the gold.'

It's about discipline.

As Hank Moody from Californication once said :

'Don't be a writer! It's like having homework for the rest of your life!'

The setting of schedules doesn't work for me. I have to write when I am inspired.

I may write a page in three months. I may write twenty pages in one night.

I can never tell.

When it comes to writing, I'm a BIG believer in quality, not quantity. What's the point of jotting down crap you just KNOW you will end up deleting?

I tend to have a high bullshit factor, so I try to not let the story get away from me, even if I'm having fun dialoguing with minor characters.

I don't plot too far ahead. I hate knowing EXACTLY where a story will go. If I know, I get bored very quickly.

I have learned one thing this year, that I didn't know last year.

If you are writing a NOVEL as opposed to a novella or a screenplay, you better be DAMN sure your idea has legs, a real concept that can justify that many words.

I can't fool myself.

I'm pretty damn sure I can't fool anyone who reads my work.

Now, sssh, I'm writing.......

Saturday, 18 January 2014

What Is Our Art Worth?

I'm writing.


No really, I'm actually writing!

I had to unplug the X Box 360.

(Go away, GTA 5, torment me no longer, you foul seductive temptress).

But I am writing!

I had a new idea!

28,300 words into my actual second book and I got a new idea! Books are like women. You have to marry them to forget them.

(Just kidding, Kira, kiss kiss kiss, hug hug hug)!

So I'm writing more and that's good. I started a new novel and on page five, a thought struck me.

'Am I saying anything of substance or just putting words on a page?'


'Is this any good?'

(No real writer can often tell gold dust from bull shit).

I actually thought about the worth of the story, the characters, ultimately; is this worth me putting out into the world?

At the risk of sounding pretentious, I want my art to MEAN something.

Vampire literature has taken a SERIOUS nosedive over the last few years and is no longer taken seriously (Rice and Stoker notwithstanding) so it may come as no shock that my new idea has NOTHING to do with vampires.

Don't get me wrong. I love vampires and I'll be damned (see what I did there?) if I'm going to let childish sparkly faerie stories push me away from them but I want to create something that's grounded, that's honest, that's REAL!

One of my favourite movies is David Cronenberg's 1996 controversial Crash.

Based on J.G Ballard's 1973 book of the same name, it's hypnotic, cautionary, grounded, elegant, DIFFERENT, original, daring, provocative and REAL. It says something and today, it still means something.

I want to write something with that kind of power that LASTS!

Not merely something that shocks, that's all too easy, but something with a VOICE. If it shocks through it's message, that's a good thing, but not if it's done in a cheap manner.......

I'm continuing on both novels simultaneously, Hotel Nomad and Raven (yes, that's the title of what will be my third book) and work is proceeding well.

But I want my fourth book to be the runt of the litter, so to speak. Something grounded and real and provocative.

I am confident and forthright in my quest.

P.S : This is a question to other writers, ever had an idea that was SO GOOD you were shocked no one has come up with it before?