Phil: It’s National Writing Day, which seems as good an opportunity as any to give you all an update on how team NolanParker are getting on.
Progress is being made on Book 3. Not fast, but definite progress. As ever, writing sessions are intermittent but we are getting the words down.
In our early days, I was worried about the balance between main story arc and funny stuff. The Kate/Dave love story needs to move forward and in this book and it gets a little heavy and dramatic at points. This is lightened by the story around the firm they are closing down (or are they?) where are comic side comes out. At one point, we had loads of ideas for the love story but the funny stuff looked thin.
A few weeks and several discussions later, we have loads of funny stuff. It just came out of nowhere. Some of it absolute filth (in a funny way, at least for me as I can deny all knowledge when my mother reads it) too! The story has really taken off and we are coming up with loads of ideas. There is also the chance for some proper character development too. Tracey gets to shine a bit in this book and show a different side to her character – something my mother will approve of. It’s amazing just how the imaginary people we write about start doing their own thing once we let them.
Anyway, I am determined to write something this evening and not for work. If I don’t, Candice is going to shout at me on Saturday…
Filed under Phil, Writing
Phil: So there we are, sitting in a cafe awaiting the delivery of drinks and cake, and La Nolan passes me a Christmas card. I open it up and along with the exhortation to have a merry festive period, is the message above.
I mean, we’ve only just finished Book 2. Can we really be releasing book 3 in 12 months time?
Worse was to come. We exchanged gifts. Normally this is a low key business but this time she insisted that I open this, “Because I want to see your face.”.
I did as I was told and found a copy of the book Make a Killing on Kindle.
Ahah! I realise that as the techie half of the team, it’s going to be my job to make sure our books are found by as many people as possible.
But there was more to come, I opened the cover and found:
It seems someone has serious ambitions and loves Only Fools and Horses.
Somehow, I suspect I’m the Rodders in this partnership. I’ll be getting a 3-wheel van. Candice will be behind the wheels of the Capri Ghia!
Filed under Books, Phil, Writing
Phil: Last week, Candice was blogging about one of her earliest favourite albums – Phil Collins “No Jacket Required” and by coincidence, I was listing to a show on the radio about one of mine.
1985 saw the release of Suzanne Vega’s eponymous first album and to promote it, the first single “Marlene on the Wall” enjoyed heavy rotation on Radio 1. What I should have done is rushed out and bought the album, but in those days, my local library loaned proper vinyl albums out so I simply borrowed it and made a tape using my sisters record player and the tape recorder I used for my ZX Spectrum. Obviously this is bad so don’t do it kids. As they said at the time, “Home taping is killing music” even if the phrase “It tapes tapes” appeared on every stereo system in my mum’s catalogues at the time.
Anyway, while I liked the songs and the imagery, the inspiration for the lyrics was always a bit of a mystery. Until I heard Johnnie Walker’s Long Players last week. The program covered the album track by track with explanations of each from Vega.
Much of it was slightly disappointing, stuff about songs being something to do with whoever she was dating at the time but for pure weirdness, the track “Small Blue Thing” wins.
Inspiration struck when she saw the blue doorknob in a boyfriends apartment. In the centre of the knob (stop sniggering at the back) was the image of a blue eyeball. All of which inspired the opening lines:
Today I am
A small blue thing
Like a marble
Or an eye
Utter barking mad, but oddly, still sounds good today.
So, songwriter, get down to the ironmonger’s for your next hit. It just shows, ideas can come from anywhere.
Mind you, if you think this is oddball, I’m working out how to shoehorn a Lieutenant Pigeon joke into our latest book just to see if anyone spots it…
Filed under Phil, Writing
Phil: Our latest luncheon meet-up was notable for a couple of things.
First, the queue for the cake was so long and slow-moving that I had to settle for a baguette that was delicious, but the same colour as my shoe.
Second, we came up with a significant new addition to the text that both fills a hole in the story and provides a chance to add more funny stuff. Because of that, writing the first draft falls to me. I’m researching at the moment.
In the meantime, I’ve been reading a book about hovercraft. I’m fascinated by them having managed to take a ride across the channel and back the weekend before they were taken out of service back in 2000.
From this, I discover there was a hovercraft development site not very far from the fictional island we’ve set Kate vs the Navy on.
This sets me thinking, can I include this in the story? There is a definite place for it if I changed a boat into a hovercraft. There would even be some logic to the change.
But then I realised that appealing as the idea was, I’d need to make more and more changes to the existing text and most of these would add nothing other than the chance to satisfy my love of hovercraft. That’s not a good reason to mess around. Worse, as hovercraft are much harder to control than boats, there would be a definite credibility gap at a crucial point. Not perhaps one that many people would spot, but if I were a reader, it would annoy me and you don’t want to annoy your reader.
I guess the lesson to be learned is that you can’t cram all the ideas you have into a book. The secret is to assemble the best ones and learn to put the others back in the box for another day.
Back to the stuff I’m supposed to be reading up on…
Filed under Phil, Writing