ness rambles, ness writes about writing

Projects, projects everywhere – and not a single one complete.

For two years or so, I have had one ‘big’ project which I’ve been steadily working on. But then, every so often, just as I’m knuckling down to write it … an idea pops up in my head.

Listen to this, it says with glee, this will be amazing – write me.

You horrible idea you.

If I could write a letter to the ‘idea’ lightbulb which sputters on and off periodically it would go something like this …

– – –

Dear Ideas,

Thanks for switching on just when I was getting to grips with my precious The Many Trials. Thanks to your bright light blinding me I am now dazzled with a new tale to spin.

But my dear Ideas, I know you.

I. Know. You.

For the minute I laugh excitedly, rub my hands and declare how cool this new idea is … you’ll turn the light off. And I’ll be left staring at a word document, wondering what on earth I’m doing. Wandering in the Pitch Black of Why Am I Doing This? and This Idea is Stupid and Childish.

I’ll probably be a couple thousand words in when you plunge me into darkness – and the realization that I’ve just wasted time and words when I could have been writing The Many Trials.

Would you mind – awfully – stopping it? Please?

Keep the light on with The Many Trials – don’t die on me there. I’m so close to victory. So close to writing ‘The End’.

Maybe you could save energy and show me the light on new ideas and new projects … once I’m done with this one.

Because putting another document in the Abandoned folder is downright depressing. And seeing a file I haven’t touched for weeks (or months!) is equally distracting.

I’m glad I have you – truly I am. But you’re malfunctioning and I’ll never finish anything if you keep this up.

Thanks for listening to me.



– – –

For a few, beautiful moments I’m free. Free to tap happily away at The Many Trials.

But then …

*head desk*

ness writes about writing

Snapshots of a Future Novel

Often I do little planning for a writing project; I set out what needs to happen and then simply plop myself down and write. I’ve never really gotten very far with giving detailed background to characters – the background comes as they are written; as they take a personality.

But, with the help of OneNote, I’ve been experimenting. Planning and plotting. I’ve found simply writing snippets of dialogue helpful.

For instance:

“I’m going to kill him,” announced the woman.

 She was met with disbelieving stares.

 “I am.” she insisted, voice trembling.

 “You couldn’t harm a worm,” said Robyn.

 “I stabbed you didn’t I?”

 It gives more flavour than the dry lines of “character A wants to kill character Z” … but it also gives me questions – why has she stabbed Robyn? Does she consider him a threat? Why does Robyn think her weak? Who are the people giving her ‘disbelieving stares’?

Robyn glared at him.

 “You know,” said Will, “the ballads are wrong about you – they say you are merry.”

 “Nay,” countered Robyn, “they say that my men are merry.”

 “To make up for their leader’s failings, no doubt.”

So I’m writing potential pieces of dialogue which may or may not be included in the actual novel. Yes, it may change – these things often do – but it gives me an idea, a tone. A snippet of a character, a setting, a plot. It tells me that maybe this character needs to be like this or avoid that; that this is an exciting twist or that is simply bonkers.

And as these little snapshots come – erratically, from the beginning, the middle and the end – the ideas flow. And the story grows.

from the Merry Adventures of Robin Hood

Happy Christmas!