The big news this weekend is, of course, that my debut novel Against the Elements came out, and is available for general sale on Amazon.
But I wanted to first discuss something else entirely.
Isn’t it funny how the writing mood takes you sometimes? Some days you can’t write a word. Others, your mind is flowing with all sorts of plot ideas and character sketches, and you can’t keep up with yourself. And the latter is kind of how I feel at the moment.
It’s strange, because I thought going to Thailand would slow my creative flow – not because it wouldn’t be inspirational, but because my mind would be full of other things I had to do. Yes, I’m busy – all the time, in fact – but on those rare occasions that I have a moment to myself, I’m holed up in a corner, scribbling away in my notebook, planning for my graphic novel, Son of Songs.
Son of Songs has been in the pipeline since June last year. I would say it’s my major WIP at the moment. If I had to describe it, it’s like Indiana Jones meets The Da Vinci Code meets space. And right now, I can’t stop writing it.
Perhaps writing has, once again, become the thing I do to unwind. Perhaps I am simply inspired by a different culture and experience. Perhaps it’s just one of those moments all writers get when the floodgates open and you just can’t stop. I’ve burned through a whole chapter and I’ve crossed plot-points off my list that I’ve been deliberating on for months. I feel a little sorry for Joe, my poor dyslexic artist friend, who I’ve set the whole of T.S. Eliot’s The Waste Land for homework while I’m away.
But we feed each other. I often find my lulls in Son of Songs occur when we haven’t spoken about it, or neither of us has anything new to share. There is a great buzz of energy when we meet as we bounce ideas off one another, changing things, adding things, rearranging things. As soon as I sent Joe the lastest chapter, he tweeted me – ‘I’m nine pages in and loving it!’ That just fanned the flames.
I’ve never collaborated before, and I find it helps to have someone to discuss with. Sometimes I’ll come up with an idea and it’ll be rubbish, but we can work together to get though it. Right now, I’m stuck on a puzzle, and I need help to get through it. Otherwise, I’d probably just give up on it and choose something else.
It’s a very different writing style for me. Writing so someone else can translate your words into pictures is ridiculously hard. It’s not quite a movie script, but it’s not a novel either. Sometimes I describe an image and Joe says to me, ‘Ez, what is this?’ We then spend a fun half hour with me drawing afwul pictures trying to elaborate, and Joe eventually going, ‘Oh, like this?’ and wowing me with his art skills. (My script doesn’t look like a ‘professional’ script, but this is the easiest way for me to write without worrying about format.)
You have to think a lot about facial expression, where people are standing, what else is happening in the scene (and, of course, what isn’t and what’s off panel when). It’s confusing, but it’s fun, and I’m loving the journey I’m taking.
I’m excited about Son of Songs, and a lot of my friends are too. I just can’t wait to see what it looks like.
Back to the present. Remember, Against the Elements is out on Kindle through Amazon. And it’s only £2.49. A bargain, if I say so myself.