Monthly Archives: December 2013

Getting back on the writing horse: update

Two days ago I decided to have a go at writing a lot yesterday. It didn’t quite go to plan, but I did manage to finish the short story centred on one of the characters from my novel, and I did sort a few things in the middle section of the novel.

Back in November, when I was working on the novel, one of the problems that led me to stop writing was that I didn’t have a good enough grasp on the character Laik, a major character with a complex role in the story, whose interactions with the protagonist Fiarra was an important driver of the plot and of core importance to the theme of justice in the novel. But I just didn’t have a feel for her. I struggled with her motivations and her personality.

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Getting back on the writing horse

Since I gave up on NaNoWriMo half way through November, I’ve not done much. Regular readers will have spotted I’ve barely updated this blog at all this month; my fiction has been similarly lacking. My excuse, in part, has been the crochet projects I’ve been making for Christmas presents (and there are still two left to complete), but it’s time to bring balance to my hobbies and let writing get a look in once more.

I have managed a few hundred words of a short story in the last week, focusing on one of the characters from the novel, but that’s been slow going. I want to finish it before the end of the year.

Continue reading Getting back on the writing horse

Review: The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug

Following on from An Unexpected Journey, the Desolation of Smaug follows our hero Bilbo, the dwarves and Gandalf as they continue in their quest to defeat Smaug the dragon and reclaim Erebor. This 2 hour 41 minute instalment sees them meet Beorn, a man who turns into a bear, and travel through Mirkwood and Laketown before entering the mountain.

Desolation of Smaug

As always, the visuals were stunning. New Zealand’s landscape offers a gorgeous and varied backdrop for chase scenes, and it’s clear that no expense was spared on the built sets and CGI either. Each location felt right for what it was and who built it and lived there; the Laketown set in particular had a very lived-in feel, and the scale of the interior of Erebor was breathtaking. At Dol Guldur, unusual and unsettling camera angles add to the sinister atmosphere.

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The end of NaNoWriMo

November is over. My NaNoWriMo total ended up not much improved from my mid-month progress report – 23,295. I just stopped a little over a week ago and didn’t write another word. There are, I think, two major reasons for that – I got stuck on a scene that lacked conflict and wasn’t happy with a previously written scene that fed into the later scene, and I picked up a new hobby which consumed a lot of my time, crochet, by which I am crafting Christmas presents for my family.

The manner in which I was writing throughout November was to have word wars, ten or fifteen minute stints where I was in competition to produce words with other writers. It proved productive, but I’m not sure it was the right thing for me. Yes, I wrote a lot, but this approach produced the problems that ultimately caused me to stop.

Continue reading The end of NaNoWriMo