Once You’re In, You’re In.

I’ve been taking the time recently to try and get this new podcast (which I spoke about here) in order before launching it into the world, ready to deliver you some aural pleasure.

In between these recording and editing sessions however, I’ve been making my way through a book, simply titled, ‘Getting Published’, in the vain, naive hope of finding a treasure trove of hitherto unknown information that would transform me from hopelessly lost, to an expert navigator, detailing all I needed to know in order to traverse the choppy waters of literary representation and publishing.

Purchased at the same time as I bought the Writers’ and Artists’ Yearbook 2016, another hopeful attempt at taking a semblance of control over my writing career ambitions, it’s somewhat fitting that the book was written by somebody who actually runs The Writer’s Workshop which, for long time readers of this blog, is the place I actually sent my manuscript in for some editing assistance.

Having read about a third of the book so far, I’ve been left with a pretty indelible feeling as Harry Bingham charts out the processes I can look forward to. From polishing the manuscript to seeking literary agents, compiling an attractive synopsis/cover letter to dealing with publishers, this book has already covered quite a bit of ground and, as much food for thought it genuinely provides as I read through and ponder upon it, it does leave me with one prevalent concern: just how in the hell am I, so insignificant and unconnected as I am, going to do this?!

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Receiving Feedback With Grace (Not The Person)

As I wait for Thea to get home, and for my friend, George, to come over later on in order for us to all experience the greatest party of the summer, WWE’s Summerslam (!!), I’ll take this opportunity on this beautiful day (which you can see below) to let you guys in on a little secret that people, usually myself included, often ponder upon: just how should you receive feedback.

A Summer Day in London

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Lost In Velen.

Oops.

Somehow an entire month+ has slipped by since my last blog, wherein I reviewed Andrzej Sapkowski’s The Last Wish, in preparation for playing The Witcher 3.

Why? What’s been going on with my life and, more importantly, what’s been going on with Temporary to explain the unexpected sabbatical?

Well, the answer is oh-so-discreetly alluded to above: I’ve been lost traversing Velen, Novigrad and Skellige in pursuit of Ciri, filling the boots of monster hunter extraordinaire, Geralt of Rivia.

As lost as I’ve been within The Witcher 3’s expansive, impressive, detailed, and immersive lands, losing myself amongst its lore, people, and cultures, things haven’t entirely stopped on the Temporary front. Far from it.

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When It Rains, It Pours

It’s the final day of my detox and, as usual, it featured a number of highs and lows. The lows consisting of a non stop pounding headache, and hiding under the duvets for a half hour in the vain hope that it would subside; the highs being how much lighter I feel (and weigh – which is 10 pounds lighter, incidentally) and that I finally, FINALLY, feel cleared of all the excess I was carrying around from the Christmas period.

Seven days is the shortest cleanse I’ve ever committed to, with my usual countdown consisting of ten. The longest I have ever attempted, and will never attempt again incidentally, is fourteen.

The fourteen was way too long, and I have fond memories of counting down the seconds of the last day, much in the way that I am now. I can’t lie, for all the good the cleanse does for me (coupled with my BJJ) I can’t wait for that first meal tomorrow. Time today seems to be slowing down purposefully in order to stretch the goal posts that bit further away, but it’s only a matter of time, and I’m dedicated to the cause. Plus I’m one stubborn S.O.B.

I’ve used the time during my juicing cleanse to look into what steps I can now take with my finished manuscript, Temporary. How, pray tell, can you take it from a shit load of words on a screen, to being pound, published, and available in all good book stores near you? The ‘what next’ of the situation has always been one that has confounded me. From my short film, First Date, to my first feature length script, Gamers, it’s always the next step. What next?

Well, I’m determined to make something happen with Temporary. I believe in Temporary, and I believe that there is a message within it that will resonate with an audience once it has the ability to do so. So…what next?

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Ten Days, and a trip to Middle-Earth, Later…

It’s been ten days since I finished writing the first (vomit) draft of my manuscript, Temporary, and in that time I have successfully managed to distant myself momentarily from the project, choosing instead to immerse myself once more into Middle-Earth, thanks to the amazingly entertaining, and engrossing, Shadows of Mordor – a surprise gift I received a few days prior to finishing my book, courtesy of my girlfriend.

I’ve found the distancing of the project important as, when I return to it later on this week in order to begin redrafting and restructuring it, I wanted to be able to look at it objectively, rather than putting myself in a position, so close to the story, where I could not see the woods for the trees.

Distance from a story, let alone one that means so much to its author, coupled with the time in which it took to turn into a firmer reality, isn’t just a practical idea – it’s an imperative one. Without the ability to step away, the risk of simply getting lost, spiralling into confusion and, ultimately, a hate and/or loathing of your own material becomes a genuine issue. So, instead, I decided to treat myself and take a holiday back to Middle-Earth, with everyday activities consisting of hunting Graugs, unravelling a mysterious story and, of course, killing some fucking orcs!

As with all good things though, holidays come to an end, and now that my journey carving up Sauron’s army has finished, it means that it’s time to once more return to the world I have crafted and begin the process of discovering just how terrible a writer I actually am. Writing is rewriting, after all, even if you have to do it thanks to a damaged, hyper extended, near broken, thumb. Thanks, BJJ.

In the interim though, I have given more thought into the short story I want to draft within its universe; exploring who it would follow, how it would cross, if at all, with Temporary, and what its main motifs are. I’m excited to start work on it as I redraft my manuscript, and look forward to releasing as soon as it’s ready to be let loose unto the world.

Until then, however, it’s a heady diet of caffeine (coffee or energy drinks, I’m not prejudiced), attempted video blogs for WriteSteveWrite, and long days and nights of rewriting and, importantly, rethinking, thanks to my own observations and, most importantly, the constructive, critical, thoughts and opinions of the chosen few I have sent it out to.

To them, I salute you – you are instrumental in the future of this novels story and, hopefully, successful future.

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If you’re interested in knowing more about Temporary and its Superhero concepts, don’t hesitate to get in contact or comment below. I’m going to be attempting a vlog for WriteSteveWrite shortly as well, in an effort to communicate on a visual level about the novel and perhaps any questions people may have for me.