A veritable heap of writing-related and like updates today. First, a note on this blog and blogging in general. I'm amazed by how much I enjoy doing it! It's really grown on me, and posting once a day (or more often) has been easy so far. Of course, there will be exceptionally busy days and days when I'm away, but it's been fantastic, and a big thank you to the small handful of people who have been reading my posts so far!
I've been meaning to write this post for the last two hours, but was repeatedly delayed by a number of extraordinary and bewildering factors: checking various accounts, reading other blogs, explaining to my mother how to comment on a blog (she worked it out eventually, as evidenced in my previous post), three different conversations on Facebook, a Twitter update, writing an article on a website... and, at last. I managed to work my way back here. My head reels. I kid you not, it spins and boggles and does peculiar things to my eyes. I glimpse worrying signs of crow's feet and forehead wrinkles, borne of the hours I spend frowning at the screen as a multitude of tasks continue to boggle my brain.
But let's steer away from my encroaching age and move on to the meat of the post, which I am rather excited about...
It's amazing how I can have dry spells for weeks, where I won't be able to write anything except what I have to (read: essays, dissertation chapters, portfolio self-reflections and other painful necessities), and then, out of the blue, I'll find myself with not one, or two, but three things to write.
1. This blog, of course, which readers will have known about already. While the elite may not count this as writing, I think it's very useful. It keeps me practicing, and it forces me to (try to) be interesting, scintillating, honest, witty, and more, all of which are key to writing novels. It also inspires me with ideas.
2. A website called HubPages.com, where people write up articles about just about any subject they can think of or find interesting. It's a little bit like blogging, only it involves being a lot more detailed, clear-cut and academic, in a sense. There's less freedom, obviously, than blogging, but it's a place where people go to find information about certain things and that's useful. I've just written my first article, which was, of course, about Sherlock Holmes and I hope anyone who likes the subject will go have a look.
I realize I haven't mentioned Sherlock Holmes on this blog yet, which is a travesty considering my love of it. I am obsessed, addicted and thoroughly enamoured of the stories, the characters and the Holmes/Watson dynamic. Occasionally, I'll re-watch episodes of House just because the House/Wilson dynamic is so deliberately intended to echo Holmes and Watson. My ultimate quest is to one day write a detailed guide to the stories and the world created by Arthur Conan Doyle. What fun. One day. When I'm not a student, when I don't have a dissertation scowling at me, when I have that imaginary thing known as Lots of Free Time.
Anyway, I've started up on HubPages, and will hopefully enjoy writing articles and reading them as and when I feel like it. Sometimes, I think I deliberately add things to my plate just to distract me from the fact that Steve isn't here much.
3. And the third and, to me, the most exciting thing I'm writing: a new project! I began writing it on Friday and although I've only written about a page and a half so far, I'm very excited about it. It's not technically a new project, because it's sort of been in the works and stewing in my head for months now. But with ECHOES pretty much done, dusted and its sequels temporarily shelved during my quest for its publication, this is the first time I've really started a new project with the intent of plunging into it full-tilt.
It's tentatively called HALF at the moment, the title inspired by the enormously significant fact that the two protagonists are half siblings. I'd classify the novel as fantasy or science fiction, but it really only deserves these tags because it takes place in a dystopian future where Britain is ruled by the Lifeblood, a Nazi-like government that believes all people of colour and disability have no place in Britain. The novel is narrated by Seira, a half-Indian girl who struggles to survive in this world, builds fragile relationships and, ultimately, fights back. Key characters will also include Kenneth, Seira's half-brother; Isabella, niece of the Lifeblood's Prime Minister; and Remy, a poet and secret revolutionary.
Of course, all of this is subject to change, because I'm still in the early, first draft stage, but it's exciting to jump in and see where this goes.
Finally, a few other small writing-related updates. First, most people will remember my post where I talked about putting some of ECHOES online on WEBook. A few hours after that post, I put a page of the novel up for WEBook's PageToFame contest, where readers rate the first page of a story and vote whether or not to send it through to the next round. Although I had to pay a few quid, I thought it was a useful way to find out whether or not ECHOES (first page or more) is popular with anonymous readers. My first ratings on that first page were posted for me today.
...It turns out that, so far, 60% of readers want my submission elevated to the next round! Of course, in the interest of being scrupulously honest, I ought to add that 20% think my first page was 'not great'. Still, first pages can be polished and reworked, and I think the first statistic is pretty exciting! Will let people know how this goes.
On a different note, an update re. queries to agents. Of the ten I have now written to, only two have replied as yet. One was, as I mentioned before, a request for a partial followed by a rejection. The other response, received this week, was a rejection of the query. It stings, but the great thing about writing and being excited about HALF is that it keeps me optimistic and stops me from letting every rejection depress me for days.
And wouldn't you know it? I had at least one other update to post, but it has been swept clean out of my head. I really and truly can't remember! Such is my absent-minded brain. Ah well. I'll post again when or if I remember. Until then, I'll sign off with an apology for how long this post has been and with the hope that everyone has had a lovely weekend!