My angle on finding focus in writing …
or why writing is a bit like cinematography.
I took the following pics when we were camping a few days ago (yes, I know I’m an abysmal photographer). It occurred to me much later that this series of shots mirrors my approach to writing. It’s funny how the mind works.
Sometimes, when I’m stuck, I change focus and suddenly the scene will work. I think this awareness of zoom and angle is second nature for screenwriters, but us fiction writers have to work at it.
‘The Next Big Thing’ meme…
Thanks to Paula Weston and Fiona Wood for asking me to sign up to this. I wasn’t going to participate in this meme because so many other wonderful authors are on the brink of a new release and I’m barely out of the gate, but here we go – it sounds like fun. Here’s my next fledgling thing.
1. What is the working title of your next book?
At this stage I call it ‘Jack & Jeremiah’. I’m notoriously bad with titles. The title of the book always comes last.
2. Where did the idea for the book come from?
I often begin with a vivid scene, not necessarily from the beginning of the story. In this case I saw a girl and a guy sitting up on the screen platform of an abandoned drive-in (there’s my obsession with heights again). The guy is trying to smell the girl’s hair without her noticing. Don’t even ask me where this is going.
3. What genre does your book fall under?
It’s definitely contemporary YA, an offbeat romance with a streak of mystery.
4. What actors would you choose to play the part of your characters in a movie?
I’ve sketched Jack, but I can’t show her yet because it’s bad ju-ju. Her face will self-destruct like the portrait of Dorian Gray (this is the only time I’m ever superstitious about my process, before the first draft is complete). I don’t see a particular actor for the part of Jack so I’d have to audition a bunch of unknowns.
5. What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?
I can’t even say snop…sypon…sysop…let alone write a one-sentence…one.
6. Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?
I’m represented by The Drummond Agency and it’ll be published in Australia by Text Publishing (pub date TBA), Hot Key Books in the UK and Simon & Schuster in North America and Canada.
7. How long did it take you to write the first draft of the manuscript?
This is still very much a work in progress, hence the vague responses to this meme.
8. What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?
I never compare my books or my writing to others, but I do write with a colour palette and a scale of mood in mind. Weird, I know. In this case I’m getting a ‘What’s eating Gilbert Grape?’ kind of mood/vibe and I’m seeing this:
9. Who or what inspired you to write this book?
This book is an exorcism. I had Jack and Jeremiah’s voices in my head while I was still writing Friday Brown.
10. What else about the book might pique the reader’s interest?
It’s told from alternating POV and it’s funny in a tragic kind of way. There’s a Mack truck called Lola Ginabrigida and an epically awkward first kiss.
Refilling the Well…
or Where Inspiration Comes From, Part 2…
I can feel a pre-writing-frenzy fugue coming on so I won’t spend too many words here. Here are some pics from our redneck weekend instead:
A shoe-tree just outside Waikerie in the South Australian Riverland.
Bizarre things like this restore my faith. In what, I don’t really know, but after kilometres of nothingness, bam! This.
And this – what kids do when you give them too much junk food and take away their iPods.
And what cars do because they don’t have a choice. Yes, that’s the poor old troopie again. It lost a few body parts over the weekend and its headlights looked a bit like this:
I’m still finding bulldust in places it ought not to be.