Camp NaNoWriMo Planning

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Okay, first things first, I want to apologise for a lack of real activity on here. A mixture of different things, mostly revolving around job hunting, have prevented me from posting and writing as much as I would have liked. Please forgive me for that.

My July project for Camp NaNoWriMo is based on the successful musical Wicked, which in turn is based on the novel by Gregory Maguire. Image Source: GoodSearch

Hopefully, the writing side of things will improve as I have signed up (perhaps stupidly) for another Camp NaNoWriMo session. Most of the writing I have done since April has surrounded planning for this next session, inspired by the musical Wicked. I am sure people will know what it feels like when you get thinking about something. I got thinking about this next session not long after my rather dreadful April attempt, whether I was going to take part in the July session and about the fact that Wicked is currently touring around the UK.

Unable to afford to go and see the professional version, I started wondering about whether there was any amateur performances of Wicked in my area. A quick search online revealed that there were no licenses available for am-dram groups to perform it so it was not possible for groups to do the show. Naturally (maybe to a writer’s mind), I started thinking about writing a script based on Wicked that can be performed by local drama groups and so July’s  project was born.

Whilst working on the basic planning, I realised that I was in danger of replicating the back story to another character I have. I also realised that whilst playwriting books and Celtx do try to help you write plays, I don’t actually know how to format a play script. So until I figure that bit out, I will be writing it as a moving image/film script. Don’t be afraid to get in contact if you can give me any advice or help on the formatting of play scripts. I will appreciate any and all help anyone can give me!

This new project may or may not work but I figure it is something well worth a shot. Will it get performed? Will I even edit it after I have finished the script? I don’t know but I really want to try. I am also curious about who else is planning to do NaNo this month. Hopefully, for me at least, July will be better than April.

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Why They Write

This caught my eye a few days ago but I am only just getting round to reblogging it now because I’ve been thinking about my own reasons for writing.

I agree with those that say that the reason changes day-to-day. For me, I write because my mind keeps coming up with stories, even before I realised what I was doing when I was younger. I suppose when I was younger, it was just my imagination coming up with games to play but as I got older, it continued and I started writing down the stories (a lot of fan fiction) because one of my school teachers pointed out that I had a gift for it.

It is also partly because I had just found my genre, the type of books and stories I liked to read and write, around the same time. JK Rowling’s Harry Potter series inspired millions of children around the world and I am one of those. Even now, I go back to the premise of the Harry Potter series and Enid Blyton’s school stories, especially the Malory Towers series occasionally.

I love fantasy stories, I enjoy school stories and over the years, I have also come to enjoy romance, crime, drama and some comedy and sci-fi stories. As I have read them, I have incorporated that in my writing. My writing can become dark in places but it can also be light.

What is it about them? It’s the escapism. It’s the discovering a world different to our own, sometimes right on our doorsteps. It’s the common premise of school that most people will be able to relate to. It’s the rooting for the characters to be together, the solving of a puzzle, the everyday dilemmas that we experience in our lives and the fabulous funny moments that we think of later which makes you smile and laugh out loud.

Even in the stories set in a place different from our own, there is the baseline of common themes and occurrences in our lives. That’s what attracts me to those sorts of stories and probably attracts many, many others to them too.

Reading and writing are inextricably interlinked I feel. You can’t do one without the other.

I also write because it is a type of therapy and escapism. When the life is getting stressful and tough, it is a nice way to escape for a while and to get out all those feelings through characters on to the physical (or virtual!) page. If I didn’t have an outlet for those sorts of feelings, and others, I don’t know where I would be.

I would love to get paid to write and maybe that will happen in the future but for now, it’s therapy, escapism and an outlet for all the stories clamouring in my head.

Is my answer clichéd? Perhaps but that’s how I feel today. Who knows? Tomorrow, I might have a completely different answer.

Legends of Windemere

Kenshin Himura (How I feel) Kenshin Himura

Sorry!  I totally forgot that I was going to list people’s answers and reasons to Monday’s question.  Please check out the blogs and published works of everyone:

“I’m on board with most of that but I write poetry and know there is no money in that.” The Mirror Obscura

“I love writing because I’m totally addicted to it since the day when I started reading “anything” so seriously” Insight

“For me as a total readerholic and mental escape artist all my life, the writing came late, but now that particular joy of creating worlds, people, dragons, scenarios – whatever – can’t be matched by anything else that I’ve ever done.” Jo Robinson

“I think the reason evolves over time. I began writing as a way to express myself in a healing way. But then I began writing poetry. Poetry is a great self-expression for me and I…

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Book Review: Broken Homes by Ben Aaronovitch

Can I just say, I love the cover of this and the other books!

Yes, it has been a few weeks since I last did a review (not surprising since I have focused on Camp NaNoWriMo) but this is the “certain” book I have read. Yes, I know this book is not due out until next Thursday (25th July 2013) but I received my copy a couple of days ago due to having it on pre-order at Waterstones.

The Folly is working through its list of Little Crocodiles, on the trail of the Faceless Man when Peter Grant and his boss, Thomas Nightingale, is called to look into an RTC (Road Traffic Collision) turned Murder case in Crawley where a man by the name of Robert Weil is discovered to have a connection to a mutilated body in a forest. Without being able to step back for a breather, Peter is called to investigate a one-under on the Underground of a town planner and a stolen magic book.

Things get weird though when he hears of odd things happening in a housing estate block flats South of the River, which has been built by an eccentric and seems to have some sort of secret running through its core.

Peter’s got a full case load again and London just got weirder! (If that’s possible!)

This book follows on nicely from the previous book, with The Folly’s investigation into the Faceless Man and grabs attention from the start, featuring all the usual wit and laugh out loud writing readers have come to expect from Aaronovitch and his compelling character, Peter Grant. The opening does read like a summary and it did catch me off initially but it is easy to read and certainly, with hindsight, it is possibly how Peter would receive an update on the investigation.

A host of characters from previous books return, including the Gods and Goddesses of the River Thames, Peter’s dad and the Irregulars and The Quiet People discovered at the end of the last book. Admittedly, they do seem a little shoe horned in and I think Aaronovitch could have explained what language Peter’s mum speaks to him in and translated it. I struggled to understand what was being said, even after re-reading those bits.

I do like the way he combined all the seemingly unconnected threads together into one story line and certainly upped the tension with events at the end of the book, leading to a great (if slightly predictable) twist at the end.

As usual, you can tell Antonovich’s love for the city and how well he knows it. I know I have mentioned this before, but his ability to describe London and all the locations of the novel is fantastic and brilliantly done for a person, such as I, who has never been or has been down just once.

I have already stated a few negatives about this book but I feel it is also worth mentioning that the story seems to finish then restart again near the end. Whilst it is obvious as to why this happened and provides a good cliffhanger leading into the next book, I do feel as if the structure is slightly broken due to it but then again I don’t see really how it can be rejigged to prevent this issue. Maybe I should just put it down to the charm of Aaronovitch’s writing…

As well as the actual novel, if you get your copy from Waterstones, you will also get a short story exclusive to Waterstones, taking place in the Covent Garden branch of the chain, featuring a poltergeist activity and taking place possibly before this novel. It is amusing and I thoroughly enjoyed it. Certainly it ends with a message we should all take to heart in this day and age of internet, TV and films.

So my ultimate verdict on Broken Homes? An excellent addition to the series and I will definitely re-read this one, along with the others, whilst waiting feverishly for the next.