Monday, 17 October 2011


First a blog post on Monday and then another on Monday again!? I can't make a habit of this, people will think I'm actually reliable. Can't be having that.

At any rate, you may or may not remember in my rambling, bumbling, obfuscating blog post last week, I made mention of something I was planning on doing in November called NaNoWriMo. I also vowed I would expand upon what it was and what it mean, and so here I am. And here we go!

For those of you unaware of what NaNoWriMo is, other than an bizarre sounding, annoyingly puncutated mountain range of a word, let me explain; NaNoWriMo is the National Novel Writing Month. The month is traditionally November and this year is no different.

You start on November 1st. The goal is to write a 50,000 word mini-novel (that is roughly 175 pages) by midnight on November 30th; 50,000 words, in one month. The point of it all is not to be good, but to be consistent. I am essentially endeavouring not to write 50,000 words of beautiful, elucidated prose that will change the face of literature, but just to write 50,000 words.

Fifty thousands words about whatever takes my fancy on that particular day. I might end up thinking of an overarching story, I might not; I might write about monkeys on one day, and then train-tracks on the next.
I do in fact have, on my desktop, a Word Document slowly filling up with ideas and half-thoughts about what to write. So I won't be going into this adventure blind; just with a serious astigmatism. But really, who cares, so long as it's 50k and makes a reasonable amount of sense by the end?

The idea is to teach yourself how to persevere, how to endure and how to break through blocks and fears and just create; to be organic in the writing process. You can look back later and refine if you want, or laugh at the abysmal prose you've created, yet still feel an inimitable sense of pride.

It will be a challenge, no doubt. It will require me to write an average of 1,667 words a day; a feat I haven't done since University, and a feat I have never done for 30 solid days. It will be scary, exhiliarating, exciting, painful and amazing, and I'm excited by the very prospect of doing it.

I'll no doubt be updating my blog with some kind of weekly progress, as well as perhaps posting exerpts from what mad bullshit I've written. Or I may fail and cry into my pillow.


If you'd like to give it a go with me, or find out anymore information about the whole thing, then you can sign up, or just browse around, here - Go on! Do it! Do it!


Or don't. No pressure 


Monday, 10 October 2011

I'm not dead; just regenerating.

Hello internet!

It's been quite a while since I updated this blog. I know I only have a few readers, really, if any, but I still find it bad practice to make the effort to create a blog and then never use the damn thing. I said I'd do reviews, and I did one. I said I'd do a weekly update of something, and then I didn't.

Well. I intended to do all of those things and more, I really did (except not more), but life has a funny knack of sometimes getting in the way. I feel I don't need to explain the major plot point of my life; those of you who've seen my ramblings on Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, or just know me will be aware of what I've been going through for the last 4 or 5 months. It doesn't need to be rehashed; suffice to say, that's pretty much the reason why every concerted effort I've made to be productive or, in fact, any use whatsoever has failed.

Well, no more! If from here on out I don't update this blog or don't do the things I say I will, it's because I'm a lazy son of a bitch, and you can take that to the bank! (May not be worth anything).

So, the obvious aside, what have I been doing? Trying to keep busy, mainly, and deciding that I'm not going to sit around and waste my time like I have been doing. Sure, I game still, I love gaming, but that's not really wasting my time; those hours inbetween games, or inbetween talking to people where you sit, and idle, and do nothing at all, just waiting for that something that never happens.

I'm bored of those moments, so I think I'll get rid of them.

First of all, I'm writing again! And I mean it this time! I've written a few seperate pieces over the last few weeks that I'm cobbling together. It's a lot like when you get annoyed at a Jigsaw and force the pieces together, regardless of whether or not it's the right piece in the right place or not. That's me, that's what I've been doing with these disconnected pieces of writing; forcing them all into the same universe whether or not it should work. I will make it work. Much like the jigsaw, when I'm done I may have created some monstrosity of a seaside scene with sand falling from the sky and upside down parasols in a splotchy blue beach, or a train made of pine trees and steel and smoke and bits of people's faces, but by God I'll have done something productive. Or horrifying. Productively horrifying, perhaps.

The drafts are forming into something a bit more thorough, and when they've got a tad more coherence, I'll put them up in a blog post. There might be some snippets somewhere on my Tumblr, I'm not sure; It's a mess in there!

Speaking of writing, though, I have been discussing it round and about, and as such I am
seriously thinking of participating in NaNoWriMo this year. I will detail NaNoWriMo and my motivation for it in another blog post in several days time. Suffice to say, it's more of a foregone conclusion that I'm actually doing it than I'm letting on.

But what else!?

Well, as well as getting back into the swing of writing, I have been doing a lot of work for  Inspired Quill, an organisation set up by my friend Sara-Jayne, and nurtured over years by her, myself, and a small team of others. Those of you paying attention to the foibles of my life the last few years will have noticed the articles I've written or edited, or just promoted, for Inspired-Quill. Well it's becoming more than just an article/review based blog; that element definitely remains and, although on hold right now, will definitely be all systems go once more when everything stops being so hectic.

The exciting part, however, is what IQ is doing now. At the time of posting this blog, Inspired Quill will have cemented itself as a Publishing House by releasing its first .... ? 

Book. Yes, that's right, a book. If you said Marmalade, I'm afraid you were incorrect, please leave. Take your Golden Shred and get out.

As an editor for Inspired Quill (my job title is actually Editor In Chief. F'nar, f'nar), I've been editing the manuscripts that will become the final, published, bound and printed books. That, again, is actual novels. People's work has been placed into my hands and I have, timidly at first but with an increasing sense of vindication and, in some cases, pure malice, gone through them with a fine tooth comb and highlighted where I think they need to change something, or thoroughly ridiculed them when I think they've been stupid.

Some of the stages of editing may have been only in my head. At least, I hope they were...

The first of the novels, Fall From Grace, is releasing as we speak--Sara-Jayne and I attended the launch party with the Author, Matthew, on Saturday night; there was much gurning and gushing and preening and, most of all, stunned, stupid grinning. Matthew is a human being drawn from a very particular stock; talented, easygoing, faultlessly friendly and groundbreakingly determined. He has set the bar very high; if every author I work with is like Matthew (and I fear they all will not be), then my job is going to be a constant delight, as it has been working with Mr. Munson.

It's an extreme honour to be editing a person's novel. Even if I don't particularly like the subject matter, or if I were to hate the way it was written (so far, that hasn't happened), it is nevertheless a real priviledge for someone to give you their work, work that may have taken years to create, and knowing that they've said 'yes, I've done my best, it's time to know what somebody else thinks of it, for better or worse'. It's incredibly humbling in one respect, whilst at the same time rather daunting; you don't want to be the person to possibly have to tell them what's wrong with what they've written but, in many cases, you have to, for the greater good (The greater good).

I don't presume to be the person who knows what makes a good novel. I can only say what I think makes it good for me to read, and what other readers might think. I don't know how the editing process works for the rest of the publishing world, and I understand some editors have to be particularly harsh, but I never want to be the person who thinks they know, better than anybody else, what makes a book good

I mean I know English. I know English so hard and so well that when English sees me in the street it blushes, so I have a fairly good knowledge of how structure and narrative should progress as dictated by the laws of the language. As to what makes a novel good, though? A story good? I can only aspire to attempt to be the reader, and edit accordingly.

I've nearly finished editing the second manuscript, and after that, there'll probably be more for me. That, however, and the rest of my news and writings and random thoughts and streams of consciousness, will have to wait, as I've rambled on for far too long, and there are more important things we could all be doing. I have to see a man about some orange preserve...

So, until next time: EXCELSIOR!

- Pierre

Also I got a haircut in the style of Matt Smith's Doctor from Doctor Who THAT'S WHY THE TITLE WAS ABOUT REGENERATION HOW CLEVER AM I!?)