Sunday, 4 August 2013

Aaand...summer reading plans derailed already!

I was doing pretty well...

I finished Winter in Madrid - which made me think a bit (mostly about Madrileños and the war). I finished Revolution! - which was strange and mostly just made me want to re-read Baroness Orczy. I finished Miss Pettigrew - which I loved wholeheartedly. And I got halfway through Jam - which was quirkily engaging with lots of witty dialogue...

Then husband upset all my plans by bringing a borrowed Game of Thrones box-set home from work...

Five discs of costume drama - horrifying violence - sex and gore - sword fights - dire wolves - treachery and incest - dragons and white-walkers. It's been ace!

But I'm not sure it constitutes research (everything's research in a way - says the whiney voice in my head, who wants to see how horribly all the remaining cast members die.)

So now I have to decide whether to resume my reading list while there's still a chance of working my way through it...or try to get hold of a GoT season two box-set.

Since Drogo has died, I think I'll probably be dutiful and pick up the books again. After all, watching bloody Jon Snow mooning about on the wall is never going to be as gripping as seeing the Great Khal ripping out someone's internal organs through a totally unexpected part of their body, is it?

(I love you!)

Khal Drogo aside, I also loved all the fantasy elements, the strong female characters and the general life-or-death grippingness of Game of Thrones.
So those are the things I'd most like to add to my own writing, if I can.

Although - right now - I've reached a tricky bit and my second book seems to have stalled as much as my reading list has.
I started writing contemporary chapters (about fifteen, I think) then I reached this particular bit...slowed down...struggled on...slowed more...and finally juddered to a halt. That was when I decided I wasn't approaching it from the right angle, and began writing my historical chapters (only four or five so far) then of course, I ended up at the same stubborn part of my plot and stopped again. It's a chapter in which the contemporary and historical stories collide's as far as I've got because every time I tackle it, I feel as if I've bitten off more than I can chew.
How can I spend a week watching the Starks, the Lannisters and the Dothraki maim and murder each other...and still be such a writing-fraidy-cat?

No, the cat can't spell. Still mildly amusing, though.

At least there's tons of writing comfort to be found all over the internet.

A few hours ago on Twitter, Julie Cohen tweeted, "Argh - this book sucks! My writing SUCKS! My characters SUCK! I'm going to get a job in Dunkin Donuts instead."
Kate Johnson replied, "Every book, Julie."
And Liz Fielding added, "Welcome to my world."

A fortnight ago, Erin Morgenstern tweeted this, "I might be at the point in my new novel where I need to cry for a while and then re-read Stephen King's On Writing. Again."
Because even the writer of The Night Circus feels this way sometimes -  worth underlining and italicising!

And somewhere - although I now can't find where - I read that Neil Gaiman had reached a part of the latest book he was writing which was too hard and sucky for him to go on any further from. Whereupon, he phoned his agent and told her he was giving up. "Ah," she said unconcernedly, "you're at that stage, are you?"  She then broke it to him that he had reached that stage in every single one of his (prize-winning) books. So he carried on with it (and probably won another prize or a medal or something.)

(Yesterday I picked up a bright, shiny copy of  Anansi Boys in the second hand bookshop - so I'd better go and crack on with my reading list before it gets bigger rather than smaller...)


  1. Do you know I've never seen GoT! I'm struggling to write seriously at the moment too. Too much procrastination and lack of motivation I think. I've spent time organising notes in files and stacking them by the laptop but that's about as far as I've got so far! The rain sheeting down outside the window isn't terribly inspiring either!

    Hope you get back to your reading list and find your way through the writing stop sign. x

  2. Ah - the classic 'organising notes in files' strategy. I also have lots of coloured folders, shiny notebooks, gel pens and pretty post-it-notes to shuffle around my desk - because that's so much more productive than getting on with the writing. (Except it TOTALLY isn't!)

    And who says rain can't be inspiring? There's a lovely storm in this month's Peridot story!


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