The Writer’s ADHD

I was a hyperactive child. My parents are very polite about it, but I suspect I was an absolute nightmare and the surviving video from that era bears out my suspicions. When I discovered reading, I calmed down and learned to channel my energy more creatively. However, I'm still easily influenced by orange juice or a sugar high, and I probably talk more than is strictly necessary or desirable. When it comes to writing, I often struggle to focus. Not on time = words = pages particularly, but more on chasing my next project instead of actually finishing the one I'm meant to be writing. (As evidenced by the fact I'm writing a blog post instead of adding pages to my latest screenplay...). But this even bleeds into those two writing basics: Format and Genre. It's the first words of your pitch - "a half-hour TV sitcom" or "a ninety-minute science fiction feature". More recently, perhaps: "a two-minute horror web series" or "bi-weekly fantasy...
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NaNoWriMo Owns Me

I originally started this blog at the end of 2009, when I wanted to write 100,000 words of my Apocalypse novel in two months, Nano-style. That novel's word count currently stands at 18,041. That's because someone pointed out to me that the concept was exactly like 'Good Omens'. Disheartened, I shelved that novel and moved on to screenplays. However, I'm still passionate about the novel, and when I got the idea for an agoraphobic, techno-whizz detective and a streetwise ex-con fighting crime, how could I say no? And, oh look, it's November. And hey, I've won Nano twice before - 2006 (Vivid Images - never edited) and 2007 (Deus Ex Machina - partially edited, one of my favourite stories). So, I think to myself, I can do this 50k thing. Why not make it challenging? 80,000 words. That'll be a walk in the park. Yeesh. I'm only 5k behind schedule, giving me, at this moment, 21,859 words. Which, for those of you who can't count, is...
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Sounds like carnage

Previously, I wrote on discovering my soundtrack with reference to the dust-gathering apocalypse novel. Today, John August's playlist post pops up on Reader. A few synapses fire and I think to myself "y'know, I haven't done that lately". Seeing as it was such a good idea the first time around, I thought I'd give it a go. If anyone has any tracks evocative of the British military, savage monsters tearing the place apart, or young women on journeys of self-discovery, drop me a line. So far, I have the angsty My Heart Is A Fist by Papa Roach, the wistful Airplanes by BoB feat. Hayley Williams, and my old favourite The Kill by 30 Seconds to Mars. And...just in case you wanted to be me for a day instead of Laurence... 1. Have a strange mash-up of Airplanes and Love The Way You Lie circulating the brain 2. Spend your afternoon hopelessly link-clinking on TV Tropes 3. Maybe go to work for a few hours, or something. 4....
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Excuses – and what’s next

So, what happened? It was simple, really. I lost time, I lost weekends, I lost interest in anything that wasn't work or wedding-related. And now I have yet another unfinished project. The other major hiccup in my planning was my friend's glowing review of Good Omens, a book about a bunch of supernaturals who are anti-Apocalypse. Ringing any bells? This put a sword through the heart of my planning, particularly as Famine's grandiose plans seems perfectly in line with my Famine, and now I need to seriously revise the text if I want to make it viable. Also, read Good Omens. I keep wondering if I should try something shorter, or re-edit some of the unfinished manuscripts on my hard drive. I have two "complete" novels that need to be overhauled, several plots without a home, and another couple of stories that are about a fifth in and hanging. There's also the lure of screeplays, of which two beg to be written - Victorian Assassins...
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All Hallows Eve

Tonight would see the perfect time to write about the Apocalypse. Alas, it is a better time to watch a scary movie and eat pumpkin pie. NaNoWriMo officially kicks off at midnight, and I still have another chapter of novel to write up before I can even start racing along apace. Somehow, I think that my dream of 100,000 words before January 1st may be a pipedream. However, if I refind the muse tomorrow morning, I may be in with a chance. Now, where did I put that scythe?...
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Discovering your soundtrack

It's easier to write if you know what your work sounds like. From character voices to the escalation of violin strings as the blonde girl rounds the corner in the dark creepy house, sound is vital for scene-setting. So I like to have a soundtrack for everything I write, whether it's a specific playlist that never fails to make me sad or a themed soundtrack for my novel's genre. Yesterday, I had one song on That Apocalypse Novel's soundtrack - O Death by Jen Titus. Known as "that song from the Supernatural Season 5 trailer", it's hauntingly beautiful and captures the atmosphere of shady immortals doing dark deeds. Today, while browsing TotalFilm's 6 of the Best Film Homages in Music Videos (TotalFilm is like Wikipedia in that you start off with Monty Python and end up with Jared Leto - in this case, it only took two steps), I remembered my love affair with 30 Seconds to Mars. The lyrics aren't entirely...
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The Trouble with NaNoWriMo and the Apocalypse

You can't take half a novel into Nano. I understand the reason, and it's a good one - Nano's about a wild race to the finish, about tossing aside editing and caution, and just putting some words down to have words. Which is great. However, unless you're amazingly productive, hitting even 50,000 in a month is a tough job. I've done it twice and it was incredibly difficult to fit a full-time life around this epic task. So, if you want to write 100,000 words, what do you do? Maybe you try doing Nano over two months instead. Which did sound like a good idea in theory, but doing it without the support of your fellow caffeine junkies just isn't quite the same. Instead, I'm going for a Nano-style pace and irreverence, with the aim to have the whole thing clock in at 100,000 words before Christmas. So far, I have 10,000 words in MS Word and about another 5,000 words in a...
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