Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Ideas A Plenty.

I've had a good run of ideas for short stories recently. Some are merely snippets, some are almost fully fleshed. All have gone into my writing journal.

I have no idea how many will end up getting used. I never do. And some that do get used end up being more of an inspiration, or a launching point, rather than the original idea. A piece of conversation I overheard on a plane (and noted because it was so ludicrous) will get used, but even the original conversants would never recognise it. It was idea of the silliness of the conversation I loved, even though the participants were earnest and serious.

One of the ideas has already developed into a few paragraphs, and I'm enjoying writing this one. It's a comedy piece based on an idea I originally had about a year ago, but mashed it with another idea I had a week ago. And they fit so well together it is as if it was meant to be.

Writing comedy is difficult. Humour is so subjective that you can never be really sure how well it is working until a range of readers tell you. I've been fortunate in my attempts, and my biggest sale was a humorous piece which garnered good reviews, comments and even a mention in a recommended reading list.

But the main thing is the ideas have been flowing, and I'm working at whipping them into shape and pushing them out into the wild world.

Wish me luck.

Saturday, April 7, 2018

Andy Remic: Writer, Film-maker, Mentor and Friend.

I had the privilege and honour of spending an afternoon with Andy Remic. Not only is he a friend, but he's a fabulous author with more publishing credentials than I could ever achieve.

Yeah, we hang out from time to time. We meet up for drinks, to watch TV shows, to listen to music and just chat.

Among our many chats, we've talked about writing before - quite a few times. He's also done me the great honour of reading some of my work and offering fantastic advice and feedback. We've even talked about the industry. We've talked about the work involved, the contracts, the business, the hopes and dreams, the problems encountered. And all the while he's been patient, encouraging and supporting.

This time, however, was different, and I can't quite put my finger on how. Sure, we talked about the same range of writing topics, but there was a lot more about the mechanics of writing, of getting published. It seemed to me as though the discussion was more focused and structured. More than that, though, I think I was more active in my listening (not that I don't ever listen to advice from someone who know what they're doing) and I think I asked better questions.

I left feeling energised and inspired. Thanks Andy, for your time, your advice, your encouragement and your friendship.

And if you're not familiar with Andy's work, check out this review in last week's Grimdark

Remic is so good at creating a horrific vision of the front—of hopelessness and horror, of surrender and grit, of the randomness of death when a million people are trying to kill you in a million different ways.
A fun book, with a big mid-novella twist and a constant sense of foreboding, Return of Souls gives fans of this series more of what we loved about A Song for No Mans Land, and then turns up the fantasy dial.

 Surely that's enough to get you started.