Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Taking the plunge

So tomorrow is February 1st, and more importantly to me, it's 'write your long-awaited novel in a month, month.'

I decided to set myself this challenge back at the tail end of November as Dinah was getting toward the final straight of her novel-writing contest; back then February seemed like a long, long, loooooong way off, but what d'ya know: it's tomorrow.


I'd be lying if I didn't admit to mixed feelings about the coming month. On one hand I'm looking forward to the challenge, to broadening my skills as a writer, and hopefully proving something to myself. On the other hand, what if I fail miserably? Wouldn't that be awful? I mean, seriously, if I can't do it, if I stumble early on, that's my dream of, ooo, many years over in an instant. I'd have to slap myself - several times.

I think you could sum up my current feelings in this way: have you ever meet your genuine honest-to-god hero? If your answer to that is yes, then you'll know what I mean - will they live up to your expectations and be every bit as amazing in real-life as you dreamt they'd be, or will they be a disappointment, will it be an encounter that shatters every fibre of your being? I met William Shatner very, very briefly at a signing last year, and I sort of feared then that he might be a disappointment. OK, it's not like I spoke to him for any length of time - I congratulated him on his Emmy win, and he quickly turned and said "thank you" in that distinctive … Shatner … way, but he oozed the Shatneriffic qualities I expected him to, and that made my day. Or life, even.

I'm hoping that writing this book will be equally Shatneriffic.


Whenever I write anything, be it comic book or short story, I always try to immerse myself in things that remind me of the general flavour I want to bring to the story; for example, The Nightlies story you can look at by clicking the 'Sparky and Grum's comics' link in the column to the right (yep, there!) had me listening to lots of dark, omnious movie soundtracks (Batman, Star Trek VI), David Bowie's Outside album, and Nine Inch Nails' latest CD.

The novel (or novella, to be more truthful to my intent) has had me doing the same thing, but because I've been thinking about it for the best part of a year, the spectrum of influences has been much wider.

I'm thinking Jaime and Gilbert Hernandez's Love and Rockets comic book for language and style; the gorgeous soundtrack and scenary from Brokeback Mountain for the aching feeling of utter bleakness; the rich colours and textures of Smallville and The OC; the music of Sufjan Stevens and Willy Mason; a hint of Mark Poirier's Modern Ranch Living for the honesty of its characters…

Mix them all up and you've got a taste of what I'm aiming for…

Oh, and one of these features quite prominently.

Nice, innit? Yeah, 'cept the one in my story is rusty and a bit buggered.

Right then, wish me luck … God 'elp me, I'll probably need it!


Inexplicable DeVice said...

Good luck!

Just remember your previous words (along the lines of): "It doesn't matter if it's not perfect - I can always go back and rewrite bits". Or something.

I think what I'm trying to say is: Writing a novel(la) in a month would be super-awesome, but the chances of it being word perfect are slim. You've got as long as it takes once February is at an end to polish it.

You can't do that with a genuine honest-to-god hero!

Oh, and WV is 'turrbo' = the speed of your writing in Feb!

Tim said...

Oh, IDV, bless you. Such wise words!

I shall refer back to them in my darkest hours of February!!

T-Bird said...

TIMMEH! May the force be with you...

Dude, this is going to be a lot of fun, and the world you are about to immerse yourself in sounds really fantastic!

Good luck, and Shatnerspeed! I hope you'll share some of your writing!

Tim said...

And bless you too, T-Bird!

I'm hoping to enjoy myself too... I've certainly enjoyed roughing out specific scenes during my lunchtimes, and it'll be rather nice to see them develop as I type 'em out like a maniac!

Dinah said...


But seriously. Just have fun with this. Write and write and like people are saying, go back and rewrite later. What's important is that you're actually doing this.

I know from reading your words here that it is going to be good. I know that. And that's not pressure, that's encouragement (or it's trying to be).

Good luck!

Tim said...

And Dinah - BLESS YOU AS WELL!!!

Thanks for the advice - I intend to have fun with it, and I hope it lives up to everyone's expectations!

skillz said...

Good luck! If you're worried about taking the plunge, why don't you try writing the last chapter of the book, and only that. That'd be pretty freaky.

Tim said...

Dude... I actually wrote the last scene earlier this week!

Great minds, Skillz, great minds...