Wednesday, 30 March 2011

Day 143

I attended a client presentation on Monday morning at Cleveland College of Art & Design for the design of my book jacket. All fifteen of the students explained their ideas and then presented me with their final designs - it was all very exciting. I then spent the rest of Monday and all of Tuesday deliberating over which design to choose. It was a tough decision – but I’ve finally made up my mind, and am confident I’ve made the right decision. So now I need to arrange to go back to the college to discuss tweaking the design slightly in order to finalise it.
The cover I’ve gone with has a very contemporary feel – stark white with an abstract image to the bottom right of the jacket in cool blue/turquoise. I love the cleanness of the white and how striking it looks against the daring explosion of colour. It should look very dynamic and eye-catching on a bookshelf J
As for the actual book, I have two chapters left to complete before operation Second Draft commences, so I’m really eager to get the first draft wrapped up! It’s usually common to have to do some serious culling during the second draft, slimming the word count down by as much as 10% - but I’m afraid I’m not part of the culling clan. I’ve never been one for adding lots of descriptive prose in the first instance, so I need to go back and add LOTS MORE description – having said that, I’m really looking forward to getting my teeth into the dressing it up version.
And on that note, I’m off to begin my penultimate chapter!

Sunday, 20 March 2011

Day 133

I think I am back on track now, and have worked out my ‘new’ ending – phew!
If all goes to plan this time, there will be 38 chapters in total. I’ve got 31 done – so not far to go now with the first draft! J
On Thursday afternoon I went down to The Studio in Hartlepool with the other Easington Writers Group members where we each recorded some of our short stories and poems with Rachel Cochrane for her website We will all be featuring on the site some time in May – so please keep an eye (ear) out for that. My recorded work includes a short story called Red Shoe Blues and a poem called The First Shift.
I have nothing else to report on the writing front, so I will go and make a start on chapter 32 – or unload the dishwasher, perhaps, or hoover the stairs, or wash my hair...I have a bad case of procrastination going on! Well, it is Sunday...

Monday, 14 March 2011

Day 127

Oh my God – I get as far as chapter 27 in its first draft form, everything is going swimmingly, and then suddenly my characters start to deviate from the story outline! So now I don’t even know the ending of my own book any more. I’m quite disturbed by this, because now it means I have no idea how many chapters I’ll finally end up with (probably about 50 at this rate!) and I don’t know where the story’s going to end up. But I’m going to let it take its own natural course and see where it ends up – surely my characters have strayed off the beaten track for a reason, so I’ll let them guide me.
I’m ashamed to say that I’ve got no coursework done since I last updated my blog, though I did a little bit of radio research, and I’ve written no more short stories either. I need some creative sparks to set me off again – mine have fizzled out at the moment.
Anyway I’ll keep this one short, Grim is calling to me – he’s waiting to direct me through the next chapter J

Monday, 7 March 2011

Day 120

It appears Spring has arrived early! Hooray! There’s nothing quite as motivating and energising as a bit of sunshine. Let’s hope it lasts (I won’t hold my breath though).
Slippery Souls is coming on well this week. I’ve got 20 chapters of the first draft done now – 14 more to go.
Last Friday went well at Cleveland College of Art & Design where I met the 17 graphic design students who are working on my book cover brief. I’m pretty open as to whether the cover is photographic, illustrative or type only – they have free reign to do whatever they like and to take it in whichever direction they see fit. It was great to see that they were all enthusiastic and keen on the project, and one student in particular was showing me sketches he’d been working on of Libby, Rufus and Grim. It was absolutely amazing to see my characters coming to life within his illustrations. I’ll be heading back to the college on the 28th March to the final presentation – I can’t wait!
The book jacket blurb I supplied the students with is as follows (though it may be subject to change by the time the book is ready to be published):

Libby Hood has hit a bad patch in life – and just when she thinks things can’t get any worse she is killed in a car accident alongside her dog Rufus. During their transition to the afterlife’s Sunray Bay, Rufus somehow manages to absorb her soul – which, in turn, gives him human-like qualities and renders her soulless.
 With a talking dog in tow Libby tries to unravel the mystery of her slippery soul, encountering many setbacks and dilemmas along the way – she has no idea why a group of monster slayers, headed by an ex-convict, are hunting her down; and when she teams up with rogue Peace & Order Maintenance Officer, Grim, she’s shocked to discover that there’s a mob of disgruntled vampires and a very angry mayor hot on their heels too.
Libby has never felt so unpopular and begins to wonder whether it’s possible to die twice in one day…

Nothing else significant happened on the writing front last week – although I hope everybody enjoyed World Book Day. Thanks to Chris Robinson, member of the Easington Writers Group, for inviting me to her book event on Saturday night where I acquired a free copy of Nigel Slater’s autobiography Toast – which I’m looking forward to reading and will then duly pass on to my brother who, in turn, will hopefully pass on to somebody else when he’s done reading it J