Monday, 17 November 2014

The Eldritch Device!!! (And thoughts about my Novel-ly away-time in Somerset)

What is it? Just what is it?!?!

My pal Matt Tope calls it the Eldritch Device. It's been in his family for nearly a century, brooding in various kitchen cupboards. It's just a piece of black metal. And yet...

And yet it sucks the very frost out of frozen food! In less than a couple of hours. Sometimes in under an hour!!!

How? I mean... doesn't that go against the first law of thermodynamics, one of the basic rules underpinning our universe? Or something?

Yes, you may scoff. But how come these devices aren't being made now in huge numbers and paraded on the QVC channel? How come there is only one, squatting darkly in the witch-haunted hills of olde Somerset?

Beats me. In fact I fear I may go mad...

(Later added note: I was half expecting me taking a photo of the E.D would go direly wrong, like, instead of a picture of this object, I'd get a vast panorama of an alien cosmos, or some time-warped image of intelligent sauroids worshipping it sixty-five million years ago. Not so, thankfully.

However... the photo HAS come out weird. For some reason it is upside down: note my sock in the top left corner. I shit you not: no picture I've ever taken on my phone has ever done that! *Shudders*)

Aside from the mind-melting... wrongness... of the Eldritch device, I've had a wonderful three weeks down in Somerset. I've been watching films, drinking bourbon, killing space-yokels in Borderlands II,  meeting new people and catching up with old, fighting World War III (Matt's brilliant homemade board game, that one: keep telling him we should do a kickstarter or some shit) and generally loafing about.

Aaand... hacking away at my novel. No, not as part of that NaNoWriMo thing (though if you have, good luck to you). The opportunity to get away and write merely occurred during the season of NaNo. No correlation.

And a bloody good thing too because no way did I do a thousand words a day. What I did achieve was surmounting a particularly thorny, uphill section of the book: a tightening corkscrew of tension built on character development (which is the heart of plot), paranoia, thematic shadows and some odd but hopefully accessible prose choices.

Basically the sort of stuff where I'd have come a cropper and very likely gone down a wrong alley had I been going at NaNoWriMo speeds. At least for me.

Which makes me wonder:  how many people, many of them first time writers, are screwing the manuscript-pooch because they've bought into the Nano philosophy? It's not meant for every writer and it's not meant for every book and my worry is, to a beginner breaking in, it may seem The Way. How You Do It. The Golden Path of rosy-reeking success. 

Have we lost potential great novels into its slavering, smiley, yes-you-can, Unleash-The-Giant-Within, Deepak Chopraish maw?

I suspect only the Eldritch Device knows the answer, though I pray it never deigns to communicate. About anything. Ever. And I wouldn't want to seem churlish. Though likely I am. So ignore me.

Anyhoo, here's what I can say about the WIP thus far:

*: It's working (and likely actual) title is Feral Space.

*: It's an action adventure, (possibly) romantic comedy, psychedelic space opera (Y'know, like that section you see in Waterstones. I'm forever late to the bandwagon)

*: I'm over the 100k mark by some way.

*: There's an outside chance it's the first part of a two parter (Though I bloody hope not).

*: It's a blast to write and I love all the characters.

*: If I left it on the Eldritch Device I dread to think what might happen...


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