Friday 26 July 2013
Guest Post: Writing Life by Graeme Brown
by Graeme Brown
Enter the world of Will Lesterall, a boy who’s grown up in the safety of his father’s castle. Tales of the outside world ruled by warring kings and creatures of nightmare have never seemed a threat, yet on the night celebrating the two hundredth year of the sacred Pact that has kept Fort Lesterall safe, a secret intrigue ripens, and in the course of a few hours Will is confronted with a choice greater than he can comprehend.
Join an unlikely hero as destiny pulls him into the middle of an ancient conflict between fallen gods and ambitious women, one that demands blood, both holy and wicked, and the power of an ancient fire bound in steel. As swords clash below a watching wood, hope and betrayal war as fiercely as fear and valor.
Whether he lives or dies, Will Lesterall will never be the same.
A Day in My Writing Life by Graeme Brown
I write every day. Usually, I get up around 5am and read for an hour or two. On an ideal day I go for a run or do yoga, but if I had a bad sleep I will go to the university and do my math research until lunch time. I don’t like writing in the morning. I like to let my juices simmer for a while, but not too long, so I find mid-day is the best.
Starting a writing session looks like this:
I have a black box full of small sheets. These are the growing outlines, character and setting sketches, maps, and world-building notes I keep organized and add to every time I discover something new about my story. I have rough sketches for future books—basically anything as it comes to me—including the arc for the current tale I’m telling (The Pact, and A Thousand Roads, its sequel). Someday this box may become a filing cabinet, but I hope to have an office by the time that happens.
When I start writing, I spread out all the sheets I might need. Usually I spend about ten minutes going over the outlines and looking at character profiles. This helps me to connect to the story. I’ll open my manuscript on the computer and start reading over old work. Sometimes, if I got my run in early or have one of those inspiring days, I already have sentences, ideas, or dialogues in my head waiting to get scribbled down, and this gives me a good starting point. Usually, though, I have a hard time, and don’t end up writing anything that doesn’t get deleted until I’ve been at the computer for about twenty minutes.
I write slow, think long about what I write, polish, tweak, what have you. That way, revision for me isn’t about fixing up lazy writing, it’s about addressing larger things like inconsistent plots or character motives, development issues, poor pacing, reordering exposition—things like that. In an hour (typical session) I usually write about 500 words worth keeping. I’ve done 2400 once, and that took me all night.
A day in my writing life always has its rewards. I feel like I know my story a little better, like it’s closer to the form I’m trying to get it into, even if that means I leave a session aware of a huge flaw that needs to be addressed tomorrow. I have a hard time getting started, but when it’s time to stop I don’t want to. A day in my writing life always ends with me eager for the next one.
Books and Tales will be closing in January 2018.