Tag Archives: gottakeepwriting

A Snippet of a New Story

A random snippet from the new No Man’s series story…

“I am the Emissary of the Elven Kingdom of the Golden Sycamore.” The sylph turns her head back to Luk. “We wish you to deny Stromberg the lives. When previously informed of this situation, the Merlin was accepting of the urgency and problematic nature of this.”

“Which Merlin was this?” Elise asks, in her sweetest and most confused elderly-lady manner.

The sylph shrugs. “Human names are not memorable to me.”

“Nevertheless,” Luk puts in. “Stromberg is going to, at some uncertain point in the future, try to…what? Kill a bunch of humans? And that somehow powers their Castle?”

“Steal,” the sylph corrects. “We do not know what they do with them, only that they are taken into the Castle and Stromberg’s power is renewed. We do not want this to happen.”

“Yes, I got that. So, the million-dollar question: why should I care?”

Rachel’s sigh is strong enough to blow biscuit crumbs off the plate. Elise reaches out and carefully brushes them up, before standing to deposit them in the sink.

“The previous Merlin considered this-”

“Yes, I’m sure,” Luk says. “But I don’t care. Stromberg can’t have been kidnapping ridiculous numbers of humans, otherwise the rest of Faerie and most of the human world would have taken steps, so I don’t see why you’re trying to get me involved in something that’s obviously a power play between two Courts.”

“If they’re kidnapping people, Luk…” Rachel starts.

“People die every day. The Fae kidnapping humans is nothing new. I’ve got enough to do without getting my ass put on the line by a power that’s perfectly able to deal with it themselves if they wanted to.”

“Do young humans going missing not bother you?”

“Children?” Rachel says, giving Luk a glare. “They’re kidnapping children to somehow power their Castle?”

Luk rolls his eyes. “Go join a charity commission if you’re going to be that much of a preacher! If they’re still powerful it’s obviously not the first time they’ve done it, so there’s still no reason why I should care.”

“If you do this,” the sylph says, “then the Elven Kingdom will consider one of your debts to us paid.”

Luk pauses, and then says, “Well, that’s just fucking bollocks. I don’t think I-”

“Fickin bullcks?” a small toddler’s voice says from the doorway.

Back on the keyboard

So for the first time in a while, I deliberately made myself write last night.

I wasn’t sure what to pick – I looked through a couple of short stories, and eventually settled on the new No Man’s Land story that I was pondering while in Bologna. It’s got a rough layout and so I could write a scene of it, rather than having to try to pick up a story thread that I’d gotten to the end of and then hadn’t managed to get any further with even when I did have the ideas.

I also – reluctantly, in the hopes that it would bring the world back – fired up Moog, who provided my writing music when I wrote the original No Man’s Land. It…sort of worked? It was painful, but it did help.

And….I was writing! Luk is causing havoc, as is Elise, and there’s a cat and a toddler and a faerie and there’s going to be so much chaos. I wrote 2346 words in the end, plus did a bunch of planning and got one thing that’s going to come into the ending nicely (ps. the ending is amazing. By which I mean someone’s going to scream at me. It’s great.)

So yay for a (temporary? longer-term?) end to writer’s block!

A Dose of Editing & Writing Advice

I’m frickin’ exhausted at the moment thanks to moving boxes at work and anxiety-dreams making me tired (although apart from that I’m still great and loving the job!) so have some dollops of advice from this month that I’ve been enjoying…

First, Liz Jones has done two brilliant blog posts this month about editing; one on Elevating Editing (or “what editors can do to keep our jobs when the revolution comes and machines take over the world”) which also has some super practical advice on how to rise above the small practicalities and look at the larger practicalities; and one on Finding The End, which essentially boils down to “don’t give a fuck”. (The longer form is worth a read though!)

And second, Chuck Wendig always has excellent writing advice – I am still adoring his Oubliette Of Unconventional Writing Advice, but this month he was answering the ever-problematic “What Should I Write“, which basically boils down to “whatever the fuck you want”.

The best advice has swear words, I think 😀

Myths and Legends, or Where Marvel Gets Its Stories

So I’ve spent some of the past six months randomly texting a former colleague and now friend with things like, “Did you know ‘Cerberus’ means ‘Spot’?” and “Let’s have a story about the time a pretty Roman threw all the chickens overboard!”

It all started because he’s a Marvel fan, and was telling me about this awesome set of films called The Avengers which feature a certain Norse Thunder God and his sneaky, trickster step-brother. And so I told him the story of the time Thor and Loki dressed up as women and then slaughtered everyone. Because that’s the sort of story that I tell at random times when someone mentions how much they love The Avengers.

And I got a look of part horror, part astonishment. “How do you know this stuff?”

(Yes, Ant, I know it wasn’t quite like that. Shush. This is my story, and I’ll tell it how I want.)

“Well, they’re all taken from Norse myths…” at which point it became clear that I read too much, and also that stories of trickery, drinking and fighting always go down well.

I admit I kinda skidded off the Norse mythology at that point because a) I left that job and it’s a bit harder to tell gory stories via text, and b) I couldn’t remember exactly who fucked over (or fucked) who at any given time and needed to look it up. So we got onto Good Solid Roman Tales Of Morality Fit For Children Of All Ages, including dear Claudius Pulcher throwing the chickens overboard and Gaius Popillius Laenas being a badass with a walking stick – which may have included the line, “Now Rome’s a pretty big bully and they could have sent in armies to lay waste, cause gnashing of teeth and wailing of wimmen and all that. They sent one little old man with a walking-stick and a few unarmed pretty-boys for the look of the thing.” What can I say, I like making fun of the Romans. They’re such a stuck-up bunch.

But in the course of my wandering, I remembered a site that I LOVE. It’s Myths Retold, and it’s amazing – and does a whole bunch of different mythology, not just Norse and Roman, and I highly recommend getting lost in it. I did point my friend at it, but I think he enjoys getting his weeks randomly interrupted with bloodshed and multiple Whatsapp messages – so hey, I’m not going to argue. I have now read up on who Freja was fucking at any given time (and for what particular piece of shiny ornamentation), but I think the next one we’re going to do is “How Loki Fucked Up Majorly, Or How He Got The Prettiest Of Pretty Boys Killed And Then Got Himself Drooled On By A Snake Until The End Of The World”, or possibly for something more light-hearted we’ll do  “How Thor Created The Tides By Drinking Too Much”, which is an awesome story.

Gotta love Norse myths.