Hi Lovely People,
Well, it’s been a fantastic month (so far) on Downstream Book 2.
22,000 words and I’m starting to really lose myself in the characters and the plot – in a good way. Stephen King said a novel should take no longer than three months to write, so you don’t get bored and get close to your characters, knowing what they will do and how they think.
Okay, the planning of this book has taken much longer (!) but I’m on track in terms of the actual writing.
In the second book, Joe is thrown back to the 1960’s where he must solve a mysterious murder and subsequently becomes embroiled — along with Vinny — in a gangland turf war in the East End of London. In order to write this, I needed to understand the era, not just the obvious fashion and music references.
As you can see, research is a vital part of my process, which means my Amazon “BUY NOW” button is glowing hot – as is my brain – filled with rich, fascinating details of the swinging 60’s. I can’t wait to share it with you, more details coming soon…
I’m also learning the art of planning multiple stories at the same time. The thought of working on numerous projects used to feel daunting. Yet, over the last few months, I’ve been craving the variation of multiple worlds and characters. I think it’s partly due to my understanding that stories need to percolate, way down in my subconscious and then emerge when they are ready.
As I write Downstream Book 2 I am also working on outlines for Hibernation Book 3 (yes, it is happening), a Zido Zitagi origin story (which I plan to give away exclusively to members of my mailing list) And, a new series of futuristic, short-stories, in the style of black mirror. If you haven’t been watching that, why not?
I know my place – second fiddle to Alfonzo. I told him he was famous. He yawned. So Italian. Effortlessly cool.
It’s getting cold in Blighty and that can only mean one thing; Alfie has to be constantly wrapped in thick, luxurious blankies.
He only comes out of said blankie for the 3 F’s. Food, Fuss or Fire.
Films I’ve watched
It’s been on my ‘to watch’ list for a while – finally got around to watching Baby Driver, the perfect, Friday night film. Stylish, classy and well put together. It has a soundtrack to die for, and a stellar cast that does a good script justice. I enjoyed it immensely. When I heard the premise (a getaway driver that has to listen to music in order to drive like a demon) I have to be honest I shrugged, arched an eyebrow and said ‘mehhhh’. It sounded like fast and furious stitched together with a banging soundtrack. One for the kids…
And in some ways, it is a mash-up. It reminded me of musicals, like Hairspray and Grease (It wasn’t set in the 60s, but it certainly loved the era – Ray bans, vinyl, Motown and soul feature throughout). There are also shades of true romance, a young couple of dreamers looking to escape a world of criminality. Talking of the music, the sound design was great fun too, every click, look and edit was linked to the music, even gunfire was executed bang on time. Excuse the pun…
From a storytelling perspective, absolutely nothing new here, it was all about the style, the presentation, and sometimes that’s enough to bring a fresh perspective on a well-worn trope.
So, if you’re in the mood for some stylish car chases, a dash of romance, some action, machine guns, and an eclectic soundtrack then give it a try. I loved it.
Stuff I’m reading
I’m knee-deep in non-fiction at the moment, learning the craft of ‘Dictation’ as I attempt to increase my word count and release more work next year. I feel as though I’m back to school and chewing through as many self-help and advice books as I can get my hands on. However, there is always space for another Dresden files instalment. As I approach the end of the series, I have mixed feeling of excitement and sadness, knowing that soon I will be leaving these characters for good. Back to book 1 and start all over again? Maybe…
Also working my way through the other Hitchhikers Guide books, I mean why not? And, I just heard that Benedict Cumberbatch has signed up to star in the movie version of Matt Hague’s novel, ‘How to stop time’.
A genius decision, and a great match for the lead character. I presume you’ve seen Sherlock? The quirky, intelligence of that character will suit the story of the man who lives for centuries really well. One to watch out for… can’t wait for the trailer.
Stuff I’m Streaming
Outlander Season 3 – No spoilers.
Loved Season 1. Mixed on Season 2 and now feel a bit like a traitor when I say I haven’t been feeling Season 3. Admission: I haven’t read the books (Sorry, sorry, sorry).
But, after the first few episodes sparked an hour debate with my better half, I knew something was up. Maybe it’s because I write (things are forever ruined) but I do need things to make sense, to feel the characters are acting… well, in character. The actors are doing a sterling job, but at the start of Season 3, their characters were just ‘off’ and their decisions and reactions to major events a bit ‘wierd’. What were their motivations? Why didn’t they do this and say that?
I did some digging into the differences between the Outlander screenplay and the Novels. And there it was. Most of the ‘problems’ were due to the on-screen adaptation. The screenplay cut important scenes from the books and changed characters considerably, to the point they no longer felt real (to me anyway).
The good news? They seem to be back on track now and things are hotting up towards the finale. Sometimes it’s worth hanging in there…
Oh, and here’s a little note to anyone in the future (not literally, although that would be cool) who might consider adapting ‘The Downstream Diaries’ to screen. PLEASE don’t change too much, it took me ages and I really did think a lot about why people do what they do.
Coolest thing this month
Super Mario Odyssey on the Nintendo Switch. My goodness. Hats of to those guys. (that’s a gaming joke).
And, my new sit-stand desk. Great for general health and the coolness of my studio. Pics to follow soon…
Right, that’s me done. Back to Joseph Bridgeman. He’s just been arrested again… In handcuffs, he thinks, time-travel and getting nicked go hand in hand. Literally…