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Book Update #1

I promised regular updates about how I’m getting on with the writing of my book on my About Me page, and haven’t followed through on that since. The truth is, it’s not gone well, or anywhere at all.

Around the time I first started working on it, I was also writing numerous articles, reviews, etc., and wound up feeling kind of burned out. I came to the decision that I needed to focus all of my attention on the book, if I was ever going to get anywhere with it. This was sometime in March, and I haven’t done anything since.

Writing is a fickle thing. I’m a firm believer that you need to wait for inspiration to strike before putting pen to paper – figuratively speaking. That’s especially the case where creative writing is concerned. If you attempt to press the issue, when your mind is being uncooperatively uncreative, then it will only ever result in something you’re going to be dissatisfied with. It’s the same with critiques of any kind. Your impartial judgement of something inevitably suffers when you’re fighting writer’s block, desperate to finish it by whatever deadline, and so the end result is rarely to a desirable standard.

In my case, inspiration tends to strike, rather inconveniently, when I’m lying in bed, waiting to fall asleep. I suppose it’s because all other distractions are silenced, and my mind is at its creative best in those instances. But it’s been a long time since even that has happened.

Until the night before last. I was finally, finally, struck by the urge to return to my book, my head full of ideas; dialogue, descriptions, plot advancements. Before I can write, I need all this ready prepared, swirling about my head. The book is still in its very early stages, but as someone who takes a long time to do anything, and procrastinates like it’s a profession, it’s nice to be going somewhere with it at last.

I still haven’t settled on a title yet. Time and Time Again sounds a tad clichéd. I’ve been considering Relive, since the central conceit of the story is about reliving your life, and the procedure itself, as well as the corporation who create it, go by this title. I’m sure I’ll decide on one eventually. I have, at least, managed to create a rough summary of the story.

When the amnesic Michael begins to experience memories that don’t belong to him in the form of waking dreams, he starts to question the reality around him. His search for answers brings him to the Relive corporation, who offer a procedure marketed as “time-travel”, that enables those of a particular condition to experience their lives from start to finish. Michael might just find the answers he’s looking for in his own past.

The story is essentially science fiction, but with a very human element at its core, that deals with identity, and how our memories and experiences create who we are. I hope I can do my intent justice, and it doesn’t wind up being a hackneyed entry into the genre, as ever since the idea for this book came to me, I’ve been worried about screwing it up.

The first chapter is approaching completion, but I’m constantly finding myself editing what I’ve already written. I find descriptive writing the most engaging. Here’s a sample of one of Michael’s waking dreams:

He raised his head and glanced just over the doctor’s shoulder. The wall behind him was torn at the edges like fabric, luminous and expanding as Michael’s gaze lingered on it. This was always the case. The light radiating from inside flitted around, and he could see shapes and shadows forming beneath its iridescent veil, like a translucent reflection through glass. Its glare was now spilling into the room like water on a beach. The light snaked its way along the walls and coiled around him, wrenching him from the confines of the doctor’s office. He was being pulled through the chasm, into its depths, his eyes fixed, determinedly, on what lay within. He could see a solitary, black figure milling about in a stark, white room. He’d been here before.

I’m quite proud of this description, as some of the manifestations that plague Michael are quite difficult to paint an accurate picture of. But where dialogue is concerned, I often struggle to come up with stuff that doesn’t feel stilted to some degree, so I find myself rewriting single lines over and over again to rid it of that feeling. It’s a pain in the arse, but hopefully something I’ll overcome in the months ahead, because this book is going to take forever otherwise.

Anyway, that’s all I have at the moment. I’ll continue to post updates on my progress as I go. Thanks for reading!

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