Basically my motivation is to write the longest story I have ever written as a stepping stone to a novel. I am also intrigued by the challenge of writing without a fully formed outline of the story. Usually I plan the structure and have a finale to aim for, but here my aim is simply to keep writing. I am also a stringent editor of my stories so instead I am only going to edit only once directly before posting. This will result in a messier tone but will allow for something I find interesting...
I want this to be an interactive experience for the reader. You will be able to gauge the volatile state of my mind from one entry to the next and notice the influence in style relative to what books I may be reading at the time.
The second side of the interaction is hopefully more direct. I will read the comments section of each blog very subjectively. I am open to praise and criticism (which should inspire adventurous and conservative writing respectfully). Suggestions for where the story could go are also welcome, e.g if you think a neutral character should be a bad guy or I should take an entry from a different characters point of view or want to dictate what should happen next, you never know, I may just take your advice. I am about 5000 words in front of you at the moment so it may take some time to filter through any direct interactions but I still encourage you to comment.
Finally I will write a short 'Notes to the text' on this page after posting each entry to give more insight. These should be read after reading the entry.
OK let's get into it.
Notes to the Text: This was truly an ad lib process. It became an introduction to a character who I knew would be the Happiest Man in the World. I wanted it to be a surprise but I found it pointless to try disguise this idea while trying t set up a guy who has a seemingly boring existence. Instead I set him up knowing the title to the story would give it away. It was slow going for these fist 500 words but the opening sentence really motivated me to keep going after I stalled a few paragraphs in. J.K. Rowling, like I said, is a heavy influence. I was reading the fourth Harry Potter at the time.
Notes To the Text: After the initial 500 words in a writing session I am warmed up and start to produce the good shit. I feel like I got there with this part as I wrote it in the same time as the first chapter. It actually became a lot of fun and the scene ‘wrote itself’ I guess. I just sat back and let it flow. I think I even managed to avoid ripping my fingernails to pieces while thinking up the perfect word for the perfect analogy. I enjoyed this and felt it had my voice a little more so than the first chapter.
Notes to the Text: Came into this one with good momentum from the first writing session. I wanted to carry it forth and I had a few different scenarios going through my head about what would happen. I still didn’t want to commit to any specific story so I stuck with Walter for a while and thought I could end it with the introduction of a mysterious new character. As for the name of Mister Whisker, you could argue it is a poor man’s Lucy Blues but I think I should stop with the assonating names before it becomes apparent that all names will be like this, although I do love making up names, I think it comes from my Beatles love – Father Mckenzie, Lady Madonna, Polythene Pam.
Notes to the text: This gameshow/variety show set up was alot of fun to write with. I was inspired by the shows like Idol and the audience that shows like that inspire. It is also fun to be writing and then consider the way people perceive their own happiness. People seem to wait and wait for happiness to come and the last paragraph was not planned but seemed to almost lay the foundations of the message or undertones that will define this story. It's easy to have this driving concept but still tough build on it; to wrap a story around it without forcing it. That is the real challenge because, at this point especially, there was little direction or planning for actual face value or scene to scene story. Side note: This notes section is heavily inspired by a Marc Maron podcast where politics were discussed with incredible vocabulary.
Notes to the text: The first stumble in the writing process. I wrote the first half of this and then had to leave it, and was kind of glad to leave it because I was struggling. The lack of knowledge in where the story was going, what sort of character Whisker was meant to be made it hard. But the second half I had more time to think about it and decided to go with the arrest angle and managed to introduce two new characters with it in the police. Pretty obvious odd couple combination but it could be a lot of fun and lets me make more gay jokes. I don’t seem to change too much when I am editing which is a positive sign that I am getting closer to 90-100% quality first go. I think it was around this point that I got to before posting the first chapter on the Moon.
Notes to the text: Yay, more new characters! Mark came about at a time of solid confidence. I had posted the story and had read Russ and Hamish's positive feedback. It is still tough for me to start from scratch with a character like this. The idea is just floating aimlessly in my head and I have to tie it to some solid foundation of writing to give it any value. Then I fine tune it on editing and seems like it always belonged there. The first paragraph was so tough to word correctly. Took a good 20 minutes to write and the I edited it heavily to pace it properly. As for the character, I had to decide if he would be happy or sad, vaguely thinking how he might interact with Walter in the future, but everyone else is generally sad so I made Mark fairly happy. He accepts his idiocy and is kind at heart. Potential Hero? Kindred spirit for Walter?
Notes to the text: I debated posting this as a double feature with Chapter 6 - considering the vague duality and brothers, etc - but decided to keep a little more slack on my deadlines. I'm still a few chapters ahead but I'm not quite that confident...yet! I like the idea of Boss's character and what he can become. He is also a major plot point in the overall storyline. Maybe I am revealing too much here but I almost want you the reader - yes you, the one individual reader of this story Russell -to start forming your own ideas. I'm better at writing with a purpose and creating the story is the tedious part. I prefer fleshing out the scene. SO I still say I am open to suggestions for where the story could go. Also I'm still reading Harry Potter through all this. I may even write the whole thing under J.K Rowling's influence.
Notes to the Text: So first off props to Hamish for being first in on the interactive side of this project. Whisky's character, as Hamish correctly guessed after one linen of dialogue, was being done a severe injustice by being called Mister Whisker. Whisky seems perfect and I used Walter as a means of working it out for Whisky who, like Hamish, never liked his name. As for this chapter, probably one that could do with a few more edits considering that I went for a bit more flavour in the writing stakes. Some of the sentences would take three or four re reads before I found out how to get the timing right, but I had to stick to my guns and only do one edit. But overall I surprised myself with some of the humour I put in and found a handy character in the melodramatic hippy. I will admit that the tone of the story from chapter to chapter isn't quite fleshed out into one umbrella-ed direction, but that was half the point.
Notes on the text: For anyone following at home you will have noticed that I didn't write Notes for this Chapter. Really highlights the time issues I'm having, but these issues are forcing me to write whenever I find time which is challenging my ability to make good on the quality. Check the comments to the chapter and I say what I would have said here.
Notes to the Text: This was a tricky one. Kind of represents the moment where this story goes from light-hearted writing to a more serious angle (same as the last chapter in a sense). I have been sugar coating alot of it with humour but in the end some of the scenes will become real and need some heavier writing. I'm not as confident here as humour always lets me self reference and be taken half serious but I have practiced it before so I like the idea. I also resisted the temptation to make a reference to real life pop culture, taking out a line about Keanu Reeves in comparison to the hippy. I did this because I like how Harry Potter (still my reading influence) seems like a completely fictional world that doesn't pander with current sentiment. Gives a more timeless feel. Also I took the first step to a pretty ambitious idea I came up with yesterday. Stay tuned for that.
Notes to the Text: Still trying to get two of these out per week but they are starting to catch up with what I have written. Boss is a fun character though at this point was still undefined. I got a fair idea of what to do with him now and how to relate him to other characters. I was thinking as I edited that this could use more editing because as I get wrapped up in the world I am creating I am slowly losing touch with how well the reader can follow what is happening. A lot of characters and a lot of time in between chapters as well as a vague outline and no more as the foundation. Not much I can do except hope that it makes enough sense. Still plenty of fun.
Notes to the text: I'm glad I just posted this as I am about to write a new chapter with Stevie as the main. I have an irresistible urge sometimes to have a voice for every individual strain of thought and that's probably why I have so many characters for this. Anyway I thought I would try emulate what I did in the Sansky chapter of the Wakefield Flats Series and run an inner monologue that catalogs the history of the character up to this point interspersed with the actual current events. I feel it works well, though not as well as the Sansky effort. Good to try and build on the paralleling skill. Ever since reading The Watchmen I have wanted to do it.
Also...Too dramatic? I'm really losing touch right now but I guess I just have to keep going forth with gusto.
Notes to the Text: Purposely the longest of the lot. I began with the idea that I would make this an epicly long chapter to try and improve my longform writing, but it seemed halfway that it wouldn't be right. Also I got lazy. I did this one in two goes I think and it tells in some of the disjointed descriptive work. A lot of good ideas I think that don't quite hit like I wanted them to.Chapters like this where there is real anticipated events happening (i.e. Walter's first TV appearance) are a little daunting for me. I prefer the short 800-1000 word characters in a moment parts because there is less pressure to make it special. I think in the end I did OK. Maybe a little obvious on how quickly Walter turned Manny into a nice guy...I don't know. Let's wait and see.
Notes to the Text: Again I didn't find time to do the notes for chapter 14. It felt like my best at the time of writing but when I edited I felt it was in desperate need of 4 more edits spaced over a two more weeks. Alot of ideas half fleshed and worded poorly. Either way I enjoyed the inventiveness of the scenario and the way it depicts Tank.
Notes to the Text: I seem to have carried that perceived momentum from 14 that I thought I had and it turned out great. Again the inventiveness of one chapter characters and the humour. I made a conscious decision at the start to write it in an English accent. Don;t know how obvious that came out or whether it clashes too much with previous tone of the story as a whole but I felt I found a truer voice writing as if I were British. Don't know what that means in the end. It feels good to post this chapter because I just wrote one that I enjoyed and this one gives me more pride. Hopefully I can maintain the momentum. Also I had a wave of storyline inspiration recently and there is a future plan taking formation. Be excited!
Notes to the Text: Tough one to work with here because I am now juggling the potential futures of the characters and therefore I need to make sure the facts now make sense for later. I like the simple humour here, hope it translates. Plus I hope readers pick up that Stevie is Stevie. Perhaps the gap between reading time is too much but yeah it's Stevie. Will make more sense next chapter.
Notes On the Text: This chapter pairs up with the previous. There is not too much to celebrate except that I am linking a few of the characters to allow for a more intertwined plot. I would have liked to have more comedy, but then again it is Stevie and it is therefore a rather gloomy existence. I have to say that gloomy is a lot easier to write. Does that say something? I know Elliot Smith once said writing sad songs is easy, it is the happy songs that are difficult. Well I can write happy though it doesn't spawn as naturally as a nice negative venting session. At he moment I am posting 2 chapters a week. I want that to move to three because the story has a long way to go. The dream would be for it to reach the point where I stop saying it is a short story. Though Steven King wrote 200 page short stories and I'm only a quarter of that with generous spacing. I won't lie, encouragement at this point would be helpful.
Notes to the Text: Not my best work. More interesting as a chance to get to know Walter's background then for any writing finesse. I've been off all day, failing at a league article I was writing and edited this in that mind state of failure. Also the original was going to have Walter sign the contract but then I changed my mind and feel that this doesn't flow very well as a chapter because of it, even if it bookends the chapter neatly. Still not the worst ever and the questions were interesting because I had to think about he answers and the implications with the story and my idea of what a happy person would have and what Walter has. I does set up for a cool chapter 20 though so stay tuned.
Notes to the Text: Ooh Whisky gets his own chapter. I realised at this point that if I was so hell bent on creating so many characters I might as well expand on them. Especially if I have some vague plans to include them later in the story, plus it will give them more weight whenever they do reappear, plus it is a handy way of separating a scene that would naturally be around 4000 words which is too much for a blog or for my patience as a writer. Anyways this worked well as it gives more on Brian Smithwaite who becomes quite the regular plus it has a shade of side plot or at least interesting concept behind it.
Notes to the Text: This is where the story turned into a man. that is to say it was born clueless and unassuming and now it has picked a career and has a long term plan. William Unston gave the story, not quite an antagonist (because we all read the gunshot) but some antagonisation. Walter hits his first true hurdle. Beyond just getting antsy over annoying press, he faced some real shit here and my brain latced onto this and I began scribbling down ideas for where the story will be in 20 chapters time (that's right, this ain't even close to over). It has been left in my brain now like a slow cooked stew as I add variables and decide fates but I need to keep writing for it to truly develop or otherwise it will turn into the mess that other long term projects become without a word even being written. I was super excited after writing this chapter!! Emotions since then have fluctuated heavily.
Notes On the Text: Wow, Walter has his first negative reaction. Not as powerful as I would have liked but effective. I tried to translate those shitty every day feelings that we all get at work when a shitty mood just gets worse and worse. It is tough to make it believable that the happiest man was corrupted so easily but he has had a really shit time of it. And it finishes with him almost giving in, not because it was a good idea or a bad idea but because he has no idea. He is increasingly lost and the ever useful character of Smithwaite is there whenever someone is suffering. There is one part here where the flow of the narrative falls flat on its face but apart from that I am quite pleased with how it turned out.
Notes to the Text: I like this chapter. It had that perfvect rhythm and timing that I managed in the first few chapters. If I wrote like this every time I would be confident enough to write a full book, but sometimes my attitude slips. Editing can always touch up weak efforts but they are rarely laced with the grace of momentary spurs. Hippy Flip is an important character so I thought it fitting that he gets a good dose of authorship. Read between the lines for some Arrested Development inspired extra curricular activity as well. All will be revealed. This chapter speaks for itself.
Notes to the Text: A fun one, that was a little tough to write but came out good. Hard to maintain an angle such as this where the narrative voice is from a complete different perspective. Ricky is an idiot so therefore the writing is dumbed down and full of simple and frequent punctuation. Humour needs to be spliced in and I think I got that well enough...cutesy humour but humour none the less. This chapter doesn't reveal too much story, being more a link between the underlying plot. If Sam were to explain this scene it would be a memory that is already being dismissed in less than a paragraph before he moves on to do real things. That's what I learnt from reading Steven King. The style of writing will define a character as much as what you write about them. I should start teaching at uni (see, Blogging Eden is a self loving, self loathing, self referencing narcissist who uses brackets to cover his tracks and ultimately comes out honest and open...and writes as such).
Notes to the Text: It's tough sometimes to remain coherent and linear when the story you're writing has way too many characters and a vague if completely unclear direction. I started this as an attempt to ground the character of Smithwaite who appears in so many other characters chapters. I wasn't sure how to present him and he basically turned out like this. Some dark humour, some pride and then the insecurities which arrive right before he has to face up to Sam Tank who proves and adversary beyond Smithwaite's capacity. The dialogue was fun. The kind of stuff that only can be created in the moment. I can't plan out that conversation on the train before heading in to the writing. Then the chapter concludes with some narrative urges, trying to keep the story moving forward.
Notes to the Text: This was a quick one. It connects the two on either side of it and it is part of a rare chain of completely linked stories - Or it was meant to be but then I got carried away (next chapter). Nothing special here really, except that I was trying to highlight the effect that Sam Tank has on people. He categorically destroyed Brian Smithwaite in a duel and then charmed the pants off Angela, who is no longer "rushed girl" at least to some characters.
Notes to the Text: Heavy right? I liked this one in retrospect while doubting it in writing. I had no real plan to do this and was more procrastinating ahead of the much tougher task I had set out for the chapter ahead. I'm not 100% sure how well it works with the back and forth between past and present. Maybe I should have used italics but I tried to accommodate the reader. Would enjoy feedback...lol. This also threw a spanner into the works with a problem I have been detecting lately. Basically this chpater would make more sense if I had introduced the relationship between the Holdsworth boys better. this has happened in another few chapters further along where I am tempted to put a chapter in between. I eventually decided not to as it would interupt the chronological flow and make it up as you go philosophy that I started with. Plus it's less work.
Notes to the text: I wrote an outline for this in my notebook. "Sam makes Walter sign contract" that turned into nearly 2000 words. anyway the contract was a little problematic as I accidently turned it into a plot point of sorts when really it is simply meant to appease the storyline. I amended that somewhat here and in the process invented the tour which I had not thought of before but fits perfectly into the plans. Also Sam makes contact with Walter for the first time. Hard to juggle this Sam character and if you're devoted enough to read these notes then you might find it interesting how often Sam pops up in other people's stories. I'm not sure how to handle one from his POV at the moment.
Notes: Mmmm, taste that. That's the taste of good writing marinated in the author's pride. What I would love more than any present in the world right now (unless that present was free time - no strings) would be for someone to say "Hey Eden I read your Walter story every week...it's pretty good." Or even better "It's good but this this and this need work." Anyways back to the chapter. This one flowed out in a staggered but purposeful manner. It turned out better than I remembered but if I were to critique myself I feel I am yet to cross that barrier between solid writing with good ideas to actually cementing and presenting those ideas clearly. What I do in my old blog posts is very structured and planned out and I can achieve this but I think the unknown nature of this writing experiment leaves me mapping out new territory with plenty of long way round problem solving,
What?! another new character? Don't worry, he is dead. Sweet. I liked the way the humour came out in this one. Fairly unexpected and a lot of drawing inspiration from close to home. I also like how the humour held up even when the chapter turned dark. Also this helped kick start the plot again which was lacking in tangible propulsion. This event with the train has also opened up a nice big can of worm-lions which I am currently 15 pages ahead of you trying to tame. Fun but hard to keep the inspiration.
Sorry for the hiatus. I am a temperamental ego and the complete lack of attention to this story from anyone sucked the fun and drive out of it. But the editing sessions are a good boost in confidence because I surprise myself with them this one flowed better than I thought. The flahsback thing is getting a little old but it is effective and the parallels it offers make writing easier. I hop Walter's justification for wanting to help is valid. If I had my time again I would have squeezed in a lesser disaster first and used this as motivation but such is the methodology of not stepping back. Big thanks to Hamish who has relit my fire with his encouragement.
Lucy Blues! She's back. Yes, that was the reaction I wanted. As per the idea generated some 20 chapters ago about Lucy running off into obscurity to mirror Walter being dragged out of it after responding to a comment from Russell I brought her back just in time to see Walter tour the counties. I tried to make this one a little more poetic to show her mindset and the peace she has found. I like this meta-ish trick which was learned after reading Stephen King where the chapter is written in the voice of the subject. It has made for interesting confrontations between main characters to be in one's head trying to understand the other. Again I use the flashback concept but it works so lay off
Another fun one to write. Obviously I was a little dubious of the validity of Walter's heroics. It would be better served with a better build up to such a reaction. But this is what happened when I wrote it so deal with it. Walter meets Stevie again and then meets Lucy. This idea of coincidental meetings seemed to spark an idea in my mind which latched to it pretty quickly as you will soon see. The action was pretty cool to invent as I go while trying to keep the unique vantage of a book in perspective. I imagine it is inspired heavily by Harry Potter which has plenty of highly detailed but sometimes hard to follow action and I hope I am able to keep up the pace required for action while still explaining the situation in full. Also I am writing this story way too slow. I started in August last year and it is fast approaching a year and I am not past halfway. More time please, somebody...
Now this is a blog novel post. If every post was like this then maybe the story would generate a following, But sadly some chapters hit 2000 words and require time and patience of a book. Not sadly is that this is all practice anyway and I'd rather the skills to write a book over a blog any day. I'm maybe halfway there and the story is halfway as well and the chapters are getting longer on average but this chapter is perfect length for the vision nof 800 words a day to generate a constant readership. I don't have that time/productivity/consistency/organisation but I know I could do it if I had to. As for the story I like writing for Stevie in this one. He is more defined than he used to be and is a character with a more lineal arc.
Another short one. I think it may have been here that I realised I had a chance to do something special with this train scene. All the characters had been introduced and now they had a chance to interact and grow. Whisky comes to the fore as a big player in the story and this is where it starts. As a chapter I think it might be too vavgue and assuming. Will readers be able to follow all of Whisky's thoughts? It is hard to gauge how much I should reveal. How invested in the story are the readers and how well do they know all the characters to remember Whisky was in the cell with Hippy Flip and Stevie was the police officer. Oh well. I'll save it for the print version.
So it’s back. After a good 4 months or so I have decided to bring back the Walter Wallace saga. Luckily for me nobody actually reads it so nobody has missed out on anything. In this time I have actually been working on the blog based novella and what I realised in my determination to finish this project was that it was specifically designed to be read as a blog. The chapters are naturally short and usually have their own arc of character growth that probably won’t work in a book anyway. I plan on printing my final product into a self published hard copy just for the hell of it by the way. Anyways, sadly, this first chapter back has not filled me with confidence. It reads very poorly, too rigid. I tried to do it up a little in editing but it has my fickle ego a little down. Hopefully the rest isn’t this bad...
Chapter 35 (The Real 35)
Well in all the glory of last week’s WW comeback I realised all too late that I had already posted that chapter earlier this year. So I guess this is the real comeback and it is a better chapter anyway. I feel the words flow nicer and make for more interesting reading. The subject matter is a little inactive but there are many motivations that I have to justify within the characters and Lucy’s isn’t easy because she was out of the picture for so long. It was so long ago that I wrote this stuff that I can’t really remember the specifics of my mood or the output of my writings but it wasn’t long after this that I started to really slow down production. I really want to finish this story soon but without rushing it.
I always like writing for Phil. A combination of a few people I know, not least of all my brother. His conspiracy theorist background and hippy leanings combined with a complete disregard for authority and a quick tongue make it fun to write. Chapters like this make me enjoy the story even though I really feel this one needed more editing. I’ll admit to being slightly lazy and not really following my instinct on a few things here in editing. I saw some weakness but decided to overlook it because the work around would be too much, take too long. But then again who gives a shit? No I don’t mean that, I shouldn’t discount my work for sympathy, too much like my mum.
This is the good stuff. This is what I want. Characters coming together, tense dialogue, a couple of nice similes, it’s great. Very hard to try and convey the motivations of the characters at times, especially when I have such bold plans set in place. I have to consider potential plot holes from revelations that are still 100 pages away. But it seemed to work out well. I would like to have a little more time to work out the dialogue between Sam and Whisky, as it is lacking nuance in Whisky’s retorts but I really don’t have time on this 20 minute train ride so deal with it.
A long one and a good one. Again rationing out little bits of plot info but maintaining a curtain of secrecy. It is definitely tricky and I feel a little paranoid that to an outsider this will all be too much to interpret. Too many characters, too subtle a hinting. But how do I say it? Citadel-Walter Wallace-Secrets. Anywaysi think I summed up those 4 words in 1400 pretty well. I really enjoyed this part of the story because there was a natural meeting of so many different characters. Continuing from the last few chapters and carrying over in the next. I think it really gives structure to the story.
Hey not too bad right? I wrote this months and months ago and it was a struggle that I still remember. It was the first time I realised the major flaw in this story- Walter Wallace. I can’t find his voice in my head. I can’t pin point his motives or his disposition. He needs to be obliviously happy, naive, shy but not anxious, innocent but being influenced and corrupted and I find it near impossible to write for him. Everytime I have to write a Walter chapter it lags for days while other chapters are generally more free flowing. Phil! I wish I could write a Phil chapter every time. But to my surprise we have wound up with a solid effort here. The part where Walter over flirts is a bit hazy, a bit forced but in general it works. Sweet.
Man it ain’t easy to write up an action piece. You need to be quick and detailed. Watch for boring stretches of explanations though, and always doubt whether the tone in your head is being captured by the words. I was proud of this after I finished it because it took a few sessions considering the length and the fact I had no idea that they would run into the terminal and do all that crazy shit. But it worked. I could probably re edit it ten more times before I would be happy but for now it is what it is and it’s the first of a couple of action scenes that I’m quite fond of.
Gotta love a good Stevie head trip. I think this worked well as a thoughtful and consistent chapter while also helping to shape the chaos in the minds of the readers. I like these ones where I read it months after writing it and think “Good job, Eden. Good job.” Can’t remember if this was tough to write. I think it took longer than usual due to the structure I gave it, with long thick paragraphs of inner monologue and one curse out loud. Yet again I finish with an allusion to Walter Wallace which is probably getting old but don’t expect it to stop – I use this technique still to this day when I want to close out a chapter. I guess I can’t help it: I’m just inspired by WALTER WALLACE.
Not the best. The inner struggle of Whisky continues but it got a little tricky here to represent this struggle without coming off cheesy or obvious. I also find it hard to structure a chapter that is primarily inner thoughts. I usually use it all up after two paragraphs, but luckily this one had plenty to mention and some action at the end which is always fun. Never going to be anyone’s favourite chapter though.
A very nice summary chapter. I think this, unlike the previous Whisky chapters, effectively rounds out a lot of the confusion and distortion that was created in transmission from my head to yours. Not perfectly written but with a clear purpose and well rounded progression. It also ties in at the end to my little three parter for people calling Boss. The problem arises a little later whereby I turn Smithwaite’s character into a rather useless reflection of the narrative but hopefully it’s not too bad when editing. It was also around this time that I had finished Harry Potter and started reading a Sam Lipsyte book. The style contrast was massive and you might notice I start using some commas in less common places, phrases.
Mmmm me likey likey. That was a fun one to re-read. A little word play (slightly underworked) some clever recurring jokes and a well paced and engagaing scene. This is where I want every chapter to be, at this level and holding to this theme. Mark is the comic relief in some ways (along with Phil) so obviously his chapters need to be brighter and funnier, but I would like a few more laughs in my other chapters. This was also a mini three parter of people calling Boss at the end of the chapter. Not sure if that translates to one chapter a week reading, but then nobody has read a chapter for 6 months so who gives a shit.
OK so I’m back after some long hiatus. Guess what? The whole story has been finished. Now I just have to come back and iron out each subsequent chapter and I’m done. I think it should be noted that this chapter was on page 112 of – wait for it – 299. That’s right. A long way to go yet children. I guess another 50 plus chapters so one a day means I still got months of this...goddamn it. Whoever invented the idea of writing a book is a right dickhead. I enjoyed this chapter. One of those ones that works itself together quite neatly. I imagine at this stage I was reading Sam Lypsite cos it is still light hearted and fairly witty (if I do say so myself). So anyway start telling your friends to read this blog. I heard some girl got a writing deal after her blog book (or blogella as I like to call it) received 16million hits. I’m only 15,999,900 away...
I feel good about the last couple chapters. Some solid structure to the mini story within the chapter. Sometimes needed as these chapters don’t have too much action. Stevie really begins to come into his own within the story here. Definitely grows into a favourite character for me.
Action writing. That’s some tough stuff to try and convey a clear scene in my mind onto paper. The setting, the movements, the story all has to be told and in just the right pacing. Too much detail then the tension is lost. Too little and the reader is lost. I think I did OK but maybe swayed too far to the latter. Only after somebody else reads it could I be sure I nailed it. I hope you liked it cos this was fun to write and fun to read as well.
Some pretty poetic ambitious writing there. It really is amazing to come to this point where the tone is so light. I shouldn’t allude too much to the future but it is a fitting evolution that happened so naturally. Notice the thing I do with the commas? That’s direct influence from Sam Lypsite who genuinely uses the word “and” once a chapter. I played around with the influence but in this re-edit I find myself cutting back and replacing commas with “and” and in the end it’s balancing out...
Mark Tanenworth you dirty old dog. As a writer it is risky to create a charcter and assign him some dirty thoughts. Will people who know me make the connection? Probably. But there is always dramatic exaggeration to accommodate so don’t think of me as that much of a creep. I’ve never wacked off in an elevator. I liked the attempted lyrical flow of this one. Requires you to keep up a bit. I’ll admit I rushed the edit job and left a few holes but the basis is there for an entertaining chapter. Another story within the story that serves itself as much as the Walter Wallace legacy.
A quick one there. Sam Tank is a tough character to represent considering he is assumedly a genius and I – the creator of this character – am not. Still it is fun to take an analogy to some pointless extreme and hope that it works. Story wise this actually tried to tie up a fairly loose end in less than 800 words so kudos non-genius creator of Walter Wallace.
Smithwaite this time, only not so much as a story for him but simply using him as a vehicle to summarise most the story to this point. I’ll admit it felt lazy to write but easy to read – reminded me of what is going on so it worked. I read Stephen King’s The Dome a year or two earlier a
nd he has chapters which are not seen through anybody’s eyes, instead just a town narrator of sorts mentioning what everyone is up to. This is essentially what I'm doing the only difference being that I’m not Stephen King. Damn.
This one I remember writing. It flowed right out of me one day and I sat on the platform at the station when I got home to finish it. Another edit is required but I essentially didn’t touch it just now. Is it too vague? “Hippy Flip takes too many drugs and fucks out” If they had title chapters this would be it. I channelled my once dominant weed smoking days and combined them with my never dominant meditation days. I like it, let’s call it a favourite.
At this point I was really trying to get some traction with the story. The train crash had taken a long time to deal with and the rest of the story was dragging out, so it was hard to know who or what I was going to approach here. I like trying to write for Ricky but it’s not easy. Do people even remember who he is? I started reading again after a year+ hiatus cos of this damn novel. I notice the effectiveness of detailed description in that book – The Night Gardener by George Pelicanos. He let’s you into the scene by describing everything. I leave a lot of vague areas for interpretation but sometimes that would allow the reader to get lost. Maybe the detail would help let them catch up to the story at hand? Either way if I did add that level of detail the book would be 100 pages+ extra. We’ll see if someone offers me a writing deal on that condition.
I remember this part. I genuinely hated having to write Walter. I have probably said this before but I didn’t know what to do. It is kind of all over the place as well. I go for the funny here and also show some Walter shortcomings and Walter/Lucy bonding. All mildly effective but overall I didn’t like this one. There is more to come so hopefully it gets better.
I’m getting lazy with this editing thing. I hardly touched this one but for typos. Contrary to Walter I enjoy writing for Phil. I consciously take bits from people I know and it makes it fun. His liberal cursing I find quite hilarious personally. This one was tough only to justify. The logic comes through OK but it is holey. For now it will do.
This chapter was almost metta in the way it was written. I went in having dug myself an odd little hole with the first part and then I was dreading the subsequent attempt to turn it into something. It’s OK but the error is in the motivations and the unclear preparation for Walter’s short comings as a presenter. The unexplained friction in their relationship. Probably needs a few chapters injected in between all this and I thought that at the time of writing it but it is what it is.
Oh shit now I remember where this is going. This was the first of a few short stories I did. Lazy? At this point one chapter per week was grating on me so this helped me fight back against my ambition. Basically just setting up the next phase of the story. All this set up surrounding Walter was this odd mix of vague planning from months earlier and frantic ad-libbing as I wrote. I’m interested to see how well this section plays out.
I rushed this one. In the editing I mean. There are two or three lines of dialogue between Angela and Smithwaite to justify his confidence in her. I also have a bad feeling this plays out badly on a future plot point but I’m hoping I covered that. Probably the charm and weakness of this whole story comes from the complete liberal approach to storyline. I knew vaguely where to go, but the path itself was very much a hit and miss exploration.
Tori Thompson is a loathsome human being. Young, stupid and loud. Vented a little here on the internet generation, who have too much time, too much money and too little clue. Funny coming from a serial blogger but still...This is more lazy writing and a little concerning. No point editing it in the format I currently have, except to tweak some circumstance. This would need a full rewrite. Exactly the kind of thing I hate.
Yes! After a fairly disappointing string of chapters there is some saving grace from Smithwaite of all people. Smithwaite v Tank has always brought some juicy dialogue. I like to delve into the mind of someone who plays hardball. Smithwaite is untouchable when dismissing people – including Boss – but he can never quite outwit Tank. I liked how the phone rang almost to hanging up, disarming Smithwaite just in time for Tank to answer. Also getting back on track for some action y’all!
Hmmm...I remember thinking this was asking alot from the reader. Unston still another name possibly not quite placed. Not necessarily supposed to be either. The chapter itself is a little risky. In one paragraph this girl is taken from a chat room to her bedroom and loses her innocence. It follows the short and sweet chapters of Tori Thompson which I claim as justification. Is that enough? Don’t know, but for the first time I can sense some intrigue that makes me want to read on. Beyond the bounds of self satisfying chapters.
Now this is a good chapter. That’s one that I am proud of. A bit of self revealing over a bit I thought would be good for a comedy routine. At the time a friend and I were playing with the idea of writing comedy together. I was surprised I got so many beats out of it by writing. Very much influenced by the WTF podcast which had lots about comedians bombing and how to develop a joke. My only concern is this is a pretty underdone side story with Mark. Not so much now but in a few more chapters. I’ll have to see how it goes but I remember thinking it needed another chapter to consolidate it. Halfway by the way! 62 more chapters? 2 a day, 10 a week. A month and a half and I’ll have this to a publisher by Christmas!
A little rushed? I feel it too. I wasn’t feeling great at this point of the story. This was supposed to be the third big pillar of William Unston and I wondered if it had the impact. It closes out the mini series of Tori Thompson. I’d like to think it worked well but it’s hard to say. By well I mean did it make sense to the reader, did it come across believable. As with most the story I feel it is about 75% filled out. More time reading gives more time for the scene to sink in. Maybe a full detailed rewrite is needed...
I like ending and starting chapters ith a nice solid “Fuck”. Anyway this was a simple chapter that provides the immediate conclusion to the cliff hanger of the previous one. We see more of Whisky’s precision *coughrobotcough* and also his increasingly identifiable internal monologue. Also Walter’s defences starting to crack with an unfamiliar streak of anger.
I really like writing for Phil. How many times will I say it? How many more Phil chapters are there? The beats and the attitude just fit. To the point where I like reading and imagine other people like reading it. Anyways this was an important chapter in the story. Again I hope people follow the ‘in-between’ moments. As in last time we saw Phil he posted an inflammatory blog and fled from his Citadel job – afraid to get killed.
New favourite simply because I love action. Like the days as a kid choreographing an epic fight between plastic dinosaurs and G.I. Joes was not in vain. Again the description is hard and the flow and detail is a fine balance. One thing I remember from Harry Potter was despite the awesomeness, I was always quite lost in the action scenes. I wonder if readers will have the same issue. Another noteworthy bit is the ending. I’m digging myself a hole here as keeping Chips alive was necessary for later chapters, but if thereis one thing I hate it is films where the bad guy doesn’t get finished when he should. I’ll figure something out.
Like a two-parter this one. Boss is fun and is kind of like a sitcom that runs the same formula over a different topic each episode. I don’t think this worked too well, or not perfect anyway but it did feature some mild maturity from Boss’s end. I think at this stage the story may enter into an odd phase. From here to the end I’m fearful that it isn’t too engaging or that it is confusing as hell. Mainly the jumps from scene to scene. We’ll see how it goes.
Impulsive writing this one. I threw this spanner in the works and immediately doubted its legitimacy. I think the suspense of the first paragraph is a saving grace. Lucy naked on the edge of the bed. The whole story she has been the beauty, the girl, and now someone got her. Was it Walter? Perhaps the delay on this came late as it only struck me on a whim that this was needed. As for the chapter I rate a good sex scene by whether or not I get a boner while reading it. This one triggered some interest but did not quite peak it if you catch my drift. You?
This story is called Walter Wallace but there was a natural emergence of two other heroes. Phil and Stevie form the ultimate odd couple – the cop and the hippy! I like these two. This chapter was a bit of a struggle to get the logistics right. As I wrote it I edited out multiple time issues to try and calculate some hospital time for Stevie and also account for the car and the agents. Probably too coincidental that Stevie wakes up just in time for them to dodge the Citadel agents but give me a break...Also if Phil’s manual car troubles were lifted from my own shortcomings as a driver that means he will eventually come to embrace the stick!
Hmmm this is coming together better than I remember. This all happened so long ago that I completely forgot how it panned out. IF someone deleted this file or the computer and back ups were wiped I would be helpless. I would not write it again. I wouldn’t even entertain the thought. Too many commas in this one. It flowed (flew?) OK but too pompous and something else. All in all a good plot vehicle though.
Not the best. A proper edit is needed as some of the sentences seem to interrupt the flow. The story is there and it brings a reinforced focus on Manny after recent events. I guess the point of this story is to explore different people from the inside out and try to represent the way emotions take a hold of us. In Manny’s case he is neither a good guy or a bad guy and I think that makes him compelling.
Just after saying I love writing for these two I put out a fairly weak chapter on them. Could do with some more laughs. I remember getting somewhat stuck as to how to promote their story arc. Anyway this seems to push the fugitive angle and we can see they are working at the mystery. Funny thing about writing this whole story is how much my personal feelings were involved. If I had a shit day I might write a sad story, or I might write well and put myself in a good mood. Or vice versa vice. Same with when I read these. Yesterday I read three great ones and today two weak ones. I had another job rejection today so I need this book to work. ...
Oooh this was a surprise to me too. Boss getting affected by Walter. The motivations of Sam Tank questioned. Personally as the creator I had to try flesh out Sam’s motivations as well. Why is he what he is? What is he? I hope that is the question on reader’s minds as Sam has been the constant in many stories. I hope the answer I provide is sufficient in the end. I think the story is dependant on that.
Death is such a definitive act and I wonder if it is risky to do too much of it. Or is it too early? I hope this is as powerful as it intended to be. I wouldn’t have started this story about the happiest man alive if I didn’t have an opinion on what drives happiness and depression. As for Mark I had about seven different heart changes on where to take his character. At this point a suicide that pushed the anti Walter sentiment and killed off a cast member from a very tough list to manage was appropriate enough
This transition happened faster than I thought. I saw this space between the failed bombing and backlash as a bit of dead air. There are still over 100 pages so a lot happens but I always felt really close to the end by this point. Perhaps a good sign that maybe the last 100+ pages holds a great tension over the audience. Good if you ask me! This chapter itself was a slog of cut and paste when written and it shows with the slightly disjointed paragraphs and repetition. Trying to say something but save something else and have a filler paragraph...stuff like that went on
TV is evil. That is the message here and I thought it was intriguing to try watch TV from the view of a producer who knew all the ins and outs. The struggle here was not telling the whole story of Dr Sam Tank at once. I get relieved when I can just summarise without actual dialogue...
Probably the first Walter chapterI enjoyed writing (and reading) in a while. Possibly because Walter is starting to show weakness and you can’t have a story without that. I spent a good 2 minutes trying to find the name of the station manager who used to be Walter’s Boss but failed and left it as “Walter’s boss” even though I know the extra attention to detail counts. But I did try!
I like this running theme with the TV show in the foreground of many individuals perspective. They are all drawn to the box and struggling to look away. I imagine I dreaded writing this chapter to some extent. It turned out OK and conveyed its point well enough. Lucy isn’t the easiest character to write for (not least of all because she is female – a glaring rarity in my work). She is also tough because I was at a loss as to how to develop her story and the female aspect came into it. Am I a misogynist for giving her so much weakness? Oh well who cares? It will only end up pissing off a couple broads anyway
Another watching the show and now Boss is fuming. I’m a little tired of writing these things right now. The imagining events differently thing is good. I always do that. Imagining I am some awesome force that rightfully crushes everybody and bones their girls...silly but unbearably addictive when you are angry or sad.
Too short on the grief for Mark? Probably. But I was pretty desperate to get some momentum into Stevie and Phil. IT’s funny that you can make broad generalisations when planning a story but the detail in the execution leads to so many roadblocks. Timings, poor planning, spur of the moment changes of heart. All this adds up to a rounded out story that is at risk of going in circles...
Pretty good chapter this one. Walter as he begins to “become human” in a sense is easier to write for. He is feeling all the emotions that drive us to the up and down mindsets we maintain. The bit with Lucy was good too. This took a long time to write as it was long and pivotal but I think I pulled it off. For all the raving on how good these Cit Soldiers are they sure do bugger up their assignments a lot. I also liked bringing in Angela as the “common person” who feel betrayed by Walter.
A chapter with Sam Tank. First in a while I believe. I don’t know if I am channelling the arrogance and confidence and genius that Sam possesses but I always feel I write exceptionally well for Sammy. Correct me if I am wrong. Sometimes I surprise myself, and I get an odd sensation that if I were reading this from another author I would simply assume I could not write that well. I guess it is the determination of sitting down and doing it that builds up the momentum to actually write something good. 200 pages down. Officially 2/3 complete write here.
This was not easy to write. I struggled through the opener and had no idea a riot would break out, but it really is exactly what was needed. It places Phil in his ascendency as a leader and a speaker. I always wanted Phil in front of a camera at some time, leading the support for Walter when he needed it, but thought I lost that chance when Phil went on the run. Glad this was eventually achieved though.
I like writing ones like that where I have a few points to aim for. Won’t deny that I took some personal experience into different parts. Others inspired by clichéd movie concepts, but where else can I draw inspiration? Anyway that had a good flow and the mood was heavy. I actually felt a little sad and cry-worthy at times. Good Stuff Eden. Now go home to your wife!
I’ll be first to admit that dream sequence was fucking nonsense. What am I to do? This whole chapter was fairly woeful considering the pace of the story at this point and it really only saves itself right near the end. After a couple solid Walter chapters this one unravels itself. More Lucy’s fault as I try to position her for the climax, which at this point was still inconclusive. I think around this time I was close to ‘breaking’ the story. Maybe I already had, but I got to a point after 200 pages where I jotted down the final few motives and saw the finish line.
My first proper weed chapter. Probably not as funny as I would have liked. I had the idea to run with Phil’s medieval theme but that quickly fell away. There were some jokes in there but as a whole I don’t think the writing flowed well and the beats were missed. I would want to focus on this and the previous chapter somewhat if an edit were required. Maybe it is the fallout of another ‘event’. The Sam Tank reveal was a strong event like the train crash. Now that it finished I am somewhat lost for momentum.
Back on track. Trustworthy Stevie delivers a well paced chapter. I just want to say that I think this idea for BullCit is genius. I have considered starting a real blog that is to be passed among people like a borrowed book. They write one entry and pass it on to someone else. How diverse and awesome would that be if it worked. The risk that it would get hijacked would only make it more special if it didn’t. Might try it someday.
I don’t think I give enough time to the changes in attitude. It is part of the burden of having such scene based writing, that something has to happen each time. Maybe it still works but it must come off somewhat rushed. I liked the meditation fantasy sequence as it represents the majority of my meditation experience – thinking you are free from thought but getting completely lost in a dream or fantasy.
Now that’s a chapter. Venting a little on my old church days, though perhaps channelling my brothers as I was always the good church goer. I also enjoyed the speech. I thought it was going to be a challenge to Sam Tank but instead it was a valid point on happiness and in tune with the theme of the book. Only qualm would be that it is a little odd how intelligent Boss has become lately after being a relative idiot previously. Can write it off as a new focus from the shock of his losses, but is that enough? Who knows.
Families are awesome right? What odd society has us all pinned together in an ever evolving love-hate relationship. I channelled some darker memories and added the 20% exaggeration for the drama. It’s amazing how easy a loving mood can be ruined by an absent mind.
This turned out better than expected. I started with the assumption that part of Phil’s character is that he is a talker and a lacklustre writer. So if the writing was shit then so be it. But the story seemed fun. Maybe a little hard to catch on exactly. As long as everyone is paying attention they can see the connection between the new format of BullCit and the story to track down the password. Really getting into the nitty gritty here. Closing in. I felt very close after this one!
This was a well paced chapter. I think it holds well to the happiness and some general words of wisdom. Yu would think someone who writes a story about the happiest man in the world would either be him or be the complete opposite of him. But I am in the middle with the rest of you and just trying to write a long winded answer to the eternal question. The last part is fairly bold narrative wise. We are taking the big steps now.
Line ‘em up and knock them down. Happy start with a tragic turn. A little rushed? I don’t know. Similar to comments I’ve made before about moving forward and only telling the story in critical scenes. Do we need to know they spent nearly a week together fucking and enjoying each other? I’m efficient by nature and I find it hard to waffle on. This story is soooo much longer than I planned just because I forced myself to let it breathe. Anyway we could almost start a countdown here. 20? 25 to go?
I don’t know what to say here. Everything is getting very real. Having both legs broken would be pretty horrible.
For this chapter I am Stevie. I wrote a few of my own writing tricks into this one. I also wrote the feeling of achievement that it gives me. I almost want to tell everyone that writing is the key to killing off your demons but it may just be that for a few of us. Anyway this chapter takes the BullCit gospel a step further and the climax a step closer. Also Whisky is there!! Oooooooh!!!!
There is a hard to sell plot point around here that I am not totally comfortable with. This wasn’t a great chapter but it had a crack at it. We’ll see how it plays out but I am somewhat apprehensive.
This one was pretty good. Another big piece of plot going down. I found it hard to manage all at once – to keep the intrigue as well, and the doubt over the true motivations of everybody.
A simple chapter here to give Ricky Talk another moment to shine. As always the balance of a stupid POV with writing that isn’t just a bad excuse for terrible is the key. Good stuff.
Looooong. I don’t know what possessed me to write so continuously, but since I had done so many two page chapters I thought this one would serve well. I think it was great to be perfectly honest. It took me more than a week but has a solid flow. As for my fearthat some plot points would fail, this has been slightly allayed. Still not sure if the real audience would respond like the studio audience and buy all of this. Hope so,
Well what a way to celebrate 100 chapters? That was a shit fight of a chapter to get through. I remember not finding any flow or consistency and regularly chopping and changing as I looked for a pace to the context. Obviously that needs to change. A full rewrite if need be (Currently need be not). The sentiment though should be easy enough to grip. The two forces marching on the Towers where Walter is held. I was pretty anxious to be finished by this point. Almost there folks.
An improved chapter. It perhaps lacks little conviction in the final moments of the rally speech but it sets the scene perfectly. The army/battle nature of it is very appealing to the Lord of the Rings fan in me. The hardest part here was the logistics. Trying to get a grip on significant numbers and scope is tough. That can obviously be rehashed in rewrites. For now I just want this thing out in the open.
Good solid chapter. And the boys are in the Towers. And Chips is back!?!?! But how? To be honest I’m still working on that and have a very fickle angle. Oh well, we’ll go with it. Sorry no time to comment more.
Yes. Action packed. Keep reading!
Anice short one, plenty of intrigue I hope. I actually struggled through that one trying to describe the penthouse a little better but eventually not bothering. I got to improve my setting descriptions I think.
I guess I will quickly touch on the change in heart for Tony and Lucy. It is because of the Walter and Sam’s cleverness. I’m concerned that too much of it happens off screen (off page). But it was difficult to handle the logistics. Let me know if you think it worked well.
Stevie sure does endure a lot of pain. This was not easy to write and was long and arduous. Worse still I had no idea how I was going to add the Lucy Blues element. Luckily reading back it flows well. The next chapter is important to how well this works. So let’s do it
Another quick one. Probably in retaliation to the last long one. Works well enough. Walter is defeated would be the title. Don’t linger here. The climax should be read without these intermissions.
This is too good, I almost forgot to write this. Again I hope the action sequence is comprehensible. In my head it is a sweet fight. So calculating and true to Whisky. Sorry but I’m so keen to finish this so I’m going back for the next chapter
Yes! So long I planned this event and look at it! It’s brilliant. It all came together and I am honestly quite proud. This stand-off with intrigue and death and surprises. I can’t guarantee to myself that it is perfect and there may be flaws that I can’t see until a third party reads this but to actually create this scene and have it seem captivating even though I wrote it is special. Keep Reading!
Mmmm more stuff to be proud of. Sorry to gush but what else can I do? Some logistical problems and a rushed re-edit of Whisky’s potential to be revived. I fell quite emotional about the reaction Phil had to the robot dying. I guess in the end they were robots. I always planned to make it ambiguous but here we are. The Towers have fallen.
Simple way to round out the dramatic chain of events. Logistically I guess it is hard to know how long it would actually take to dig somebody out of the rubble in that fashion. Maybe I need a researcher.
Something about happy endings doesn’t quite sit well with me. I have to have a realist touch or a “kept on struggling through life ever after” vibe. Stevie is perfect for this. After all he suffered what does he really have? I guess he lived and that is what he needs to realise. Hard though with no legs...
Wow. I did it. What an odd feeling. Relief I guess but the anticipation only grows. What now? Really? I think I plan to send it to publishers. Is that what people do? It is not perfect, it could be so much better with more and more editing but I don’t know if even that is worth it. I want this to be worth it though. More than 2 years of writing, tolling away on trains and late into the night. This is really it and I am proud. I promised I would finish this and with some finality to my aspirations as a writer I leave this project in the fate of those who decide money canbe made from it. Honeslty I think I will be lucky to get a response and this will exist on Beatles on the Moon forever, never read by any individuals, It’s still worth it. I wrote it and I finished it. I hope you enjoyed it.