Writing and Books

121 – Deadline Day

For my own personal sake, I created a number of deadlines before writing my novel. I’m addicted to routine, always have been. A hangover from ten years at boarding school. I like to know when things are happening and for how long. No wishy-washy it could be anytime, or I’m not sure, or your guess is as good as mine. No, no, no, no, no, no. I need time, I need dates, I need places.

My first deadline was today. 12 December 2013. I finished at 12.53. 231 pages. First draft.

I wrote in post 114 that it takes a long time to write a novel. And it does. So I stress that this is a first draft. It’s not finished, as in polished like a French dresser. But if I died today, it would be perfectly readable, just in case. Truth is, I don’t know how long it takes to write a novel. Fact is, I don’t care.

My next deadline is on 28 February 2014 in 78 days or 11 weeks time. The final one in case you haven’t read Blogley before is on 3 May 2014. My birthday. 40.

So Oggers, what’s this rollercoaster about, eh? A violent action thriller set in a village in France. A romantic adaptation of Andy McNab’s Bravo Two Zero set in France. A sci-fi where all the aliens look like Gerard Depardieu set in France.

Not really. It’s like a long Blogley entry but with plot, actual places and real people. Not just the ramblings of a madman in France. Think of it as a wine, a Corbières if you must. Strong undertones of Blogley in Lyon peppered with deep hints of Nottingham, Exeter, London, plus an overwhelming whiff of Wales, Bristol and New York thrown in to create an all round towering read. In fact, if you’ve ever met Blogley, you’re probably in it.

I’ve enjoyed the process. I recommend it. It’s been great for the soul and my ponderous mind. Playing with ideas and concepts. Twisting them into shapes on the paper, standing back and saying, ‘Fuck me, I didn’t know I could do that.’

Letting the mind wander, breaking down the constraints created by the naysayers and the ‘shouldn’t you have a job’ brigade. Allowing it to roam deep into the wilds of the mind to see what it finds. Quite a catch I assure you.

So there we go. All bundled up. A Christmas present to myself to slide down the chimney on Christmas Eve to say thank you for doing something I’ve always wanted to do.

‘Well done, old chap,’ Santa will say, ‘perhaps a glass of champagne for all your efforts?’

‘I don’t mind if I do, sir. Thank you and Happy Christmas. X’

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