September Blog: Pictures of the Past

A girl in Ireland, 1920s. From my Attrition folder.
A girl in Ireland, 1920s. From my Attrition folder.

Day 2 of the novel masterclass with Mia Gallagher was hugely beneficial to me. It was great to meet up with the other writers again and to hear how everyone’s work was progressing. The day itself helped me to put things into perspective and to explore what I had achieved as well as formulate a plan for going forward.

For the second day of the workshop all participants were asked to give a presentation on their work. I facilitate a lot of workshops and training as part of my day job, so as soon as I read presentation I automatically thought PowerPoint.  Much to my embarrassment I was the only one who thought in this way, so I ended up being the uber-nerd of the group with my presentation on a memory stick. That said, it was also a genuine reflection of how I work; I have a folder on my computer for each project and I keep relevant bits and pieces in it that help to form and shape my story. Notes, images, articles, links to all sorts of interesting stuff and anything else that takes my fancy. I used some of these elements in my presentation and it was useful to re-assess my connection with the story and the characters.

Here’s the brief presentation, slide by slide (animations obviously not active):

Slide1

Slide2
Ireland in 1920s
Slide3
Goals from Day 1
Slide4
Thinking like my protagonist
Slide5
Free association to my story and characters
Slide6
PoV
Slide7
Current problems to work on
Slide8
New goals

As you can see my somewhat ambitious next steps include to get first draft completed by end of 2017. This was discussed among the group and, while I’m happy to extend this deadline in a worst case scenario, I’m going to try my best to get the first crappy draft of Attrition finished by 31st December 2017. If I don’t, I don’t but I might as well give it a go.

My plan earlier in 2017 was to participate in NaNoWriMo again this year after my success in the preceding two years but now I think I’ll give it a miss.  This seems contrary to what I’ve stated in the previous paragraph but I’m just not feeling it this year. That’s not to say I won’t be writing as much as possible during November; I will be. I’m just not sure NaNo fits in with everything else this year and I’ve been feeling a bit under pressure lately, so a year off from it might not be a bad thing. That said, I could take a notion and change my mind over the coming weeks.  I’d strongly recommend anyone thinking about NaNo to give it a go but start planning now! You’re more likely to succeed if you have a plan in place, no matter how loose it may be.

Next month looks as though it’s going to be equally busy. Dublin Theatre Festival is already underway and will continue for the next few weeks. I’ve been to two DTF shows already and I’ve  several more that I’ll be reviewing during the run of the festival; three for radio and the rest online. I’ve also a couple thrown in just for pleasure, which is always welcome and possibly made more enjoyable by the fact that I’m not making mental notes throughout the performance. When I manage to switch off, that is.

You can read my reviews from Dublin Fringe Festival here:

How To Be Angry

Dummy

The Half of It

My Left Nut

From All Sides

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