So, I have five goals for the year. Three fiction-related, one poetry-related, and the final one is all about reading.
Reading takes care of itself. I’ve always been good at mining out slots to read during the day and the Kindle is a major advantage to getting through more books. I remember when I got my first Kindle my reading increased dramatically, and able to synchronise what I’m reading across my iPhone and iPad has only served to increase the amount of opportunities to squeeze in as much reading as possible.
As for poetry, you may remember I take care of all of this under the pseudonym, Chas Stramash, but that doesn’t mean I have extra time in the day to write or publish poetry. As things stand, I have a half-written chapbook that was scribbled roughly into a notebook while on location in Sri Lanka last year. It’s a book that’s written itself more or less, and setting aside dedicated days to work on it – using poetry writing as a break from fiction – will ensure I get this goal completed easily and enjoyably enough.
But it’s within the fiction realm that I’m demanding most from myself over the course of the next year. I’m planning to complete three outstanding projects, two of which are more outstanding than the third!
So which one first?
I began work aimed at completing GATECRASH during the summer last year, and because it’s still fresh in my mind, and because I know where it’s going and where I want it to go, I’m going to continue with it first. It makes most sense.
It’s also the first book I’ve worked on using Scrivener, so importing it all back into a single document would not only be difficult, it would also mess up my research and planning that I’ve set up within the tool. I’ll be leaving all that as it is. Given that Scrivener isn’t available for the iPad yet, I can’t work on it in the mornings, which means I can fill that particular time a lot with other work… a new chapbook, for example.
There is one important thing that needs changed in this particular book, however, and I think it’s the reason the book has faltered on so many occasions. I am now, in the light of reflection, positive it is why I have been unable to finish it to any form of satisfactory level.
Most of the main characters have the wrong names. Only the lead female and one of the male characters have the correct name.
Changing the names of multiple characters is not something I’ve ever contemplated doing before. I’ve always felt that when a character is named – given birth to in my mind – he or she stays with that name for eternity. The same goes with how they look and behave (in my mind). But thinking about this with an open and clear mind, removing all prejudices and blaming mechanisms, I’m sure the wrong names are what is proving to be the fly in the ointment of this particular novel. They just aren’t sitting well despite being good characters. They have flaws and bags of personality, loud voices, the will of life and they hold the story up in a strong way. But there’s just something not right about them; they have the wrong names.
I’m terribly Sorry Matthew, but you’re just not a Matt!