Like so many other people, I harbour secret and unlikely dreams of writing deathless prose. Occasionally I am struck by inspiration, and scribble down snatches of verse on napkins and the edge of newspapers. On more frequent occasions, I discover scraps of newspaper and napkins that some idiot has scrawled drivel on and then left in my house.
This character flaw rarely impacts anyone else, but will shortly begin affecting anyone who reads this blog, so I felt fair warning was in order.
Last year, I took part in NaNoWriMo. My aim in doing so was to develop discipline, hopefully building a regular writing habit. Somewhat unexpectedly, I completed it – fifty thousand words in thirty days.
I didn’t develop a regular habit. I also didn’t, though I knew that this would not happen from the start, write a brilliant novel. Instead, I ended up with half a (truly, truly, embarrassingly terrible) book, and a slight increase in the speed at which I write.
I’m trying again this year, though I am highly unlikely to complete it this time – I’m even more busy now than I was last year, and am going for a more complicated concept. Still, I’ll make the attempt – it will be good for me.
Last time, I wrote a generic fantasy novel, using every trope that I could. This year, I’m being slightly more creative; I’m going to write about pirates. I’ve always liked swashbuckling stories – the clashing swords, the slightly-askew-but-incredibly-prominent morality, the witty quips and daring battles. Rafael Sabatini and Baroness Orczy are two authors I’d recommend to everyone – they’re exciting and affecting and just so readable. So I’m going to try and emulate them, and hopefully end up with something of a slightly higher quality this year.
Occasional updates will follow, but I’m not going to subject anyone to my fumbling attempts at long-form prose.
However, you are going to be subjected to something new. I wrote a while ago about wanting to vary the content of this blog a little. Immediately after declaring that intention, I slacked off on writing anything at all. Now though, I’m trying to be good again, and am going to start with the aforementioned variation.
Though I didn’t develop a regular habit, I have been writing more this year. I bought Scrivener, which is incredibly useful for organising snippets and keeping everything in the same place, and I’m slowly adding to the number of things that count as “completed”. I’d like to start posting flash fiction here – mine is not amazing, but it’s something that I enjoy writing, and I figure that the internet is so filled with terrible fiction that one more writer won’t stand out too much.
I also, in the company of everyone else who thinks they have hidden depths, occasionally write poems. Poetry has been described as “the best words in the best order”. This is not an accurate description of my poetry, which might charitably be described as “a selection of words, in an order”. I am not a great poet – great poets are sincere, and reveal great truths about the human condition. I write things that rhyme, and mostly scan, and rarely approach the profound. “Bathetic” would be a reasonable way to describe them.
So the range of posts appearing here will widen. This might, gentle reader, be an unwelcome change, but I hope you will forgive me. Feel more than free to skip those posts, or to leave excoriating comments if anything is particularly awful.