Todays Plan: 1st December 2008

Great a Monday! I’m up early to do some writing. In the shower I remembered that I actually have a short story that is not working a market – i.e. I have had a rejection for it, but I haven’t sent it out anywhere yet. I had some very good and detailed feedback on it from Stephen Theaker at Dark Horizons, so I really should act on the feedback, see if I can make some edits and send it out. That will by my first priority today.

I also need to work on the development of the characters for my “War Veteran” story (this is the working title at the moment). I now have the historical background traced out enough for me to get into the meat of the story. I am sure I’ll need to go back and work out some elements further, but I have enough to be going on for now. First up I think I need to give names to all the main characters. I find that if I don’t do this I will end up writing some notes on the main character and have to refer to other characters he interacts with as person X, or The Wife, which although this is perfectly helpful, does dispel the aura of the story somewhat. As the writer, even I need to suspend disbelief, so filling in some of these details early really helps.

I have also synchronised files across my home PC and laptop.

I’m hoping to do a bit more now before work and then continue at lunchtime and then maybe this evening. Time is always a problem!

The Purpose of this Blog

I want to keep a record of what writing I’m doing each day and also plan out what I need to do next, so this blog will act as a journal of this activity. This will also allow me to comment on how I feel my work is going.

Often I’m not actually going to be writing each day. Even with short stories there’s a fair amount of preparation required, such as the background setting and working on the characters, as well as planning the structure of the narrative and editing. So, a daily blog, I think might help keep up the writing skills on a daily basis. In a book by Michael Legat, which I was skimming through recently, the author recommended keeping a daily dairy as a way of getting into the habit of writing. This is what I intend to use this blog for.

Primarily the blog is intended as a blog, a log of activity, not as a way of getting an opinion across to a larger audience or for generating income through referrals or advertising connected to reviews. At some stage I may link the blog to my personal website. But first I need to sort out the content of that website. I have a domain name ready to go, but nothing else!

Evil Guest First Chapter Available at Macmillan Website

The first chapter of Gene Wolfe’s new book An Evil Guest is available at the Macmillan  Website
Right away we are introduced to what I assume will be the main character of the book, Gideon Chase:
They sat at ease in the Oval Office. Had the president looked at his guest, he would have seen a handsome, ageless man, dark-haired, with a smooth oval face and a flawless olive complexion. Had he looked into this man’s eyes, he would have seen the night looking out through a mask; it was because he had looked there once-and had not liked what he had seen-that he did not look again.”
The description is at once compelling and intriguing and the rest of the chapter continues in a similar vein. Gideon is being hired by the President for a special assignment, but on the way there is a discussion about the nature of Evil and we get some insight into a place called Woldercon, an alien place of some sort, and hints at Gideon’s remarkable skills. 
I’d certainly be interested in reading more of this!
My only gripe, however, is the formatting of the dialogue. Quite often there are two characters speaking in the same paragraph. This makes getting the sense of the dialogue very difficult in places. Hopefully this is just how it is formatted online and won’t be replicated in the book.