Writing: Like Shitting a Brick Sideways

Writing: Like Shitting a Brick Sideways
Image: Middlesextimber.co.uk

Slow Weekend
I took most of the weekend to myself. I took my time, relaxed, let my substantially depleted hair down, and got through some choice work in the progress. It wasn’t without its pain, as you will read in a short while, but it was progress in the main. In this game, that counts for a lot.

Summer Holiday
We booked our family holiday over the course of the weekend. We’re heading back to the Greek island of Rhodes for a fortnight over the summer. Greece is a place we love, and Rhodes in particular holds fond memories.

This time we’ll be based in Kolymbia on the east coast of the island, but the last time we were there we stayed in Ilyassos and experienced a 6.3 earthquake while there. That event was the spark that led to the writing of my novella GREENER IS THE GRASS, which is shortly to go out to on submission. How apt.

Free Ebooks Giveaway on Twitter
I’m running a special giveaway over on Twitter. The 1000th person to follow me will receive all my published ebooks for free, and for everyone that helps get me there, everyone who follows me between last Friday 1st April right up to the 1000 mark, will also be in with a chance of winning the same prize. Click here for full details.

Writing Baccara
I mentioned there was some pain in my writing over the weekend. And that there was. While writing the first draft of BACCARA BURNING, I reached a point of disillusionment, a point where none of it made sense: the characters pissed me off and it felt like none of it made sense. I fought through it and the draft was completed, but nowhere near to my satisfaction.

I’m on the second draft and it’s happened again. I just don’t understand it. This has become the hardest book I’ve ever written by far and there seems to be no logical explanation for it. Last night in bed, I actually considered scrapping the whole project and leaving STELLA as a standalone book. But something under my skin is itching and I cannot reach it.

It’s a good premise for a book, and a sequel at that. It moves the story on between Stella and Randolph, mixing in background history to their current predicament to cause conflict. It brings in some genuine Edinburgh history and in particular, real life hauntings of the Grassmarket area, and it has a sting in the tail that nobody will see coming, although personally I’m still not sure I’m happy with.

So it has the basis of being a good book and I’m enjoying being with the characters again. But it’s like shitting a brick sideways. I feel as if I’m at an impasse and it’s not a feeling I like. I try to pull on everything I’ve learnt through workshops I’ve done and books I’ve read, but when I look at the story it just frustrates the hell out of me.


Here’s my monthly review. Perhaps that’ll help.

Monthly GDR Review

* Complete BACCARA BURNING revisions – Still working on it.
* Find potential publishers and resubmit SLICK – Complete and sent out.
* Keep on top of fiction submissions – Complete
* Submit to all selected fiction competitions this month – None entered
* Get STELLA on iBooks – scrapped; too costly & complicated

* Get poetry books on Kindle – Uploaded but undergoing reformatting for optimum device display.
* Get all poetry books aggregated on both Amazons – done; 6-8 week turnaround for SP2
* Get poetry books on iBooks – scrapped; too costly & complicated
* Start work on new ideas for chapbook – Working on.

* Start preparing for RR issue 14 in March – Complete and published
* Preparing RR issue 15 for June – Issue full; contributions to be formatted and inserted

* Keep all my websites updated and relevant – updates to add Kindle ads; Twitter & Facebook integration
* New gigs lined up for review – Mogwai (21st) – Complete

* Publish a bloody podcast or at least figure out how best to do it! – 1st one planned. Not recorded yet.

Things That Turned Up
* Met up with local freelance photographer (via Twitter) with view to cross-promotion and other activities.
* Approached by Louise Rennison’s publicist for marketing help based on previous blog post.
* Death of my Father-in-Law stopped all activities other than journal entries and poetry (last week Feb/First week March).
* Asked to be involved supporting the Confident Freelancer webinar. Very fruitful and interesting day session.
* Discussions took place over possible new marketing strategy through Kindle. Could see the return of HUNTING JACK.

Submissions Activity Summary
Nothing new submitted this month.

* New marketing strategy has potential to grow profile, which is its main intention.
* Lots of networking took place and opportunities seem to be opening up in various places.
* Developed new ways to freshen up writing locations, at home and outside.

* Getting pissed off with BACCARA BURNING. Keep reaching a point of severe disillusionment with the story.

Enter coupon code RAINUK305 at checkout and receive 20% off any combination of my poetry books: FRINGE FANTASTIC, POOLSIDE POETRY and SILLY POEMS FOR WEE PEOPLE VOL.2 – all available now for less than a visit to the cinema and they last much longer! Offer cannot be applied to previous orders. US/Canadian customers should enter SPLISH305. Offers expire on 4th April, 2011 at 11:59 PM.

Get 25% off STELLA, my spy novella with a twist, when you order the e-book from the publisher’s website at www.eternalpress.biz. Simply quote 612JMZN67VZX at checkout.

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About Colin Galbraith

Keen runner, thriller author, Madness fan, Mets fan, St Mirren fan/owner, rabbit tamer, outstanding fake faller. Loves cannolis & espressos. #LFGM
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4 Responses to Writing: Like Shitting a Brick Sideways

  1. The second book of a series always just about kills you. Put it away for a few days, and then look at it again with fresh eyes.

  2. Kristin says:

    I’ll go one further than Devon and say that disillusionment happens with each book, not just the second in a series. Ignore the doubt and concentrate on the itch. Good luck!

    Will be using your brick analogy…brilliantly pithy.

  3. Thanks both of you. I think I realised what’s missing with it this afternoon: I’m not obsessed with it like my other work. Why that is, I don’t know.


  4. Kristin says:

    Colin – I’ve just abandoned a revision of my first novel for that same reason – I was trudging through it and not enjoying it. Am now revising my second novel and am on a roll. Subconscious and gut 1, rational self 0.

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