Something for the Weakened

Archive for November, 2010

Idle Thought

November 28th, 2010 by Alastair

It’d never really occurred to me until today, but had anyone else noticed that Ray Davies never really wrote choruses? Sure, there are repeated refrains and motifs, but not anything you could really call a chorus in most of the Kinks’ early hits. I’ve not been listening to the albums or anything, not recently anyway, so I’m not saying that he never wrote any, but having had a quick skim through the well known classics released in the sixties, none of them seem to have a chorus. Except maybe David Watts. And that wasn’t a hit.


Not Writing, Not Writing, Not Writing – Day 16

November 22nd, 2010 by Alastair

So as the few of you who read this and don’t speak to me on a regular basis may have surmised, the writing project didn’t really work out. The Friday following the previous entry produced no material and ended with my stumbling home in the early hours of Saturday morning in an inebriated state. That Saturday’s hangover lasted most of the day, during which time I managed maybe two hundred words. The Sunday involved my going out for most of the afternoon and early evening and by the time I returned home, it became clear that I was not going to catch up with the six thousand words I was short and I decided to put the whole thing to death. Which is a bit of a shame, though it has put both it and me out of our respective miseries.

There were a few things within what I wrote that I was reasonably happy with, but it was becoming more than a bit of a slog. The fact that the characters were so bloody nice was one of my problems. I’m a lot happier writing flawed, mildly unpleasant characters and the corner I’d written myself into meant that I would have to keep up this insipid level of loveliness for at least half of the length of the month (that was where the twist would come and would have made things more interesting for me). The corner itself was the fact that I’d started with about four lines of dialogue set in ‘the present’ and had moved into an extended explanatory flashback for the rest of what I had written. After almost four thousand words of this, I still couldn’t see a way to wind things back round to the ‘present day’ without some sort of horribly crowbarred linking of themes. Which I’d have found disappointing.

A fair amount of what I’d put down was clumsy and poorly thought out too, which contributed to my disillusionment. There are a fair few lists of events masquerading as plot and some points where the narrator seems to be developing a personality, which was to be something I’d planned to expand upon, but really don’t come across well at all. Much of this is of course down to the fact that the whole endeavour was very poorly thought out, when it was thought out at all. Should I have another go at something like this again I’m going to have to at least figure out a loose outline of where I’m going, otherwise I’m just going to fall into this trap again (it being the self same trap I fell into last year).

Since this admittance of failure, I’ve fallen into a bit of a slump. This glumness first manifested itself in my purchasing a digi-box for the telly. This was mainly down to my desire to watch the adaptation of Kirkman, Moore and Adlard’s The Walking Dead. This was curtailed somewhat by my discovery that although the FX channel is free to view over here, it’s not actually available through freeview boxes, only cable or sattelite. Which was frustrating. I’ve also been unable to catch up on The Increasingly Poor Decisions of Todd Margret or Getting On due to my housemates insistence on watching Match of the Day. Sigh. I have however discovered that the box has got Tetris hardwired into it. Which I have been playing. A lot.


Really a lot.

I’m beginning to worry that I might have a problem.

Okay, it’s not quite that bad, but I did lose almost an entire day to it last week and still find myself sat in front of it for hours at a time. It’s a wonder that I haven’t worn out the batteries in the remote yet.

Anyway, I seem to be over the worst of my gloominess and am now facing the start of a week away from employment – of my own volition, it’s not been imposed on me for psychological reasons, honest. Anyone in the Lahnden area Wednesday or Thursday who wants to hook up, do give me a shout as I shall be wandering the streets with scant agenda. Another thing that cheered me up was the discovery of this -

It came to my attention while indulging in one of my regular searches for the League Against Tedium Radio One show (thirteen years since it was broadcast there’s still so little evidence of it online, but there’s enough to prove that it was out there once and someone out there somewhere still has it, grrr). I’d heard of it’s existence some time ago, but had never seen it until last night. A lot of the material is standard Munnery and a fair few lines are ones that I’ve heard him use in the last couple of years. Some of the sketches went on to appear in Attention Scum and the bit with Roger Mann telling a ghostly story was later resurrected on Fist of Fun and Lee & Herring’s Radio One shows, only with The Actor Kevin Eldon playing the part as ‘Roger Mann, Britain’s Scariest Man’. The Actor’s piece as his long time character Paul Hamilton I can’t imagine having cropped up anywhere else, except maybe a one off thing he did in the guise of Hamilton (Comedy Lab or 4Later? I can’t remember). It’s worth it for that if nothing else.

Right. More soon. I imagine.

Writing, writing, writing – Day Four

November 5th, 2010 by Alastair

Not as successful today as I’d hoped, but a reasonable amount produced. Failed to produce anything during work hours – do my superiors read this nonsense and specifically set tasks for me? Wouldn’t put it past them, the hideous cunts. Tried to start early in the evening, but was easily distracted. Why have broadcasters suddenly started putting on television programmes I might want to watch. Damn you, Autumn schedules. Thank Christ I don’t have digital or a computer capable of showing me iPlayer. Spent much of the evening dabbing blood from my lip, after I managed to cut it on the softest baguette you could imagine. Made some pleasing discoveries about the story – now definitely know how the shop works and what it sells. Also pleased to be using a character named Marigold Zapatista. Am now just over four thousand words – about two and a half thousand short of where I ought to be, which isn’t all that bad. Should make it up over the weekend (and I’m doing nothing if I’m not spending my time just ‘making it up’). Tomorrow night is Friday night though, so how strong will my resolve to create and not get hammered be? Tune in later to find out all the dullard’s details!

Writing, writing, writing – Day Three

November 3rd, 2010 by Alastair

Failed to find as much skiving time at work and thereby failed to get as much written as hoped. Still, managed to knock out another thousand words in the past hour, putting me just shy of two and a half thousand. About two thousand short of where I should be. Ah well, tomorrow should be easier. Now, to the pub!

Writing, writing, writing – Day Two

November 2nd, 2010 by Alastair

Not a great day. Discovered that the web Nazis at work are still claiming Google Doc’s is a download site and thereby blocking access to it. Will now have to save each draft three times, if I want to get work done away from home. Spent a pint’s time contemplating where things might be going, with some mildly pleasing results. May have to change some characters names though. Didn’t attempt any writing until gone ten, by which time the cold properly had me in it’s thrall. Forty-five minutes later I’ve still not managed to kick start my brain into anything resembling a useful creative entity, so am going to give it a rest today. Should have some skiving time at work, so will hopefully get some words down during the day. Might have to skip the Wednesday quiz to get on top of things, but we shall see how it all goes. Must go dribble mucus in a corner now. Bye.

Writing, writing, writing – Day One

November 2nd, 2010 by Alastair

To those of you coming to the game late, I am attempting the feat of writing a 50,000 word novella in the space of November. It’s not just me, loads of people are doing it – see! I’m afraid that (hopefully) the next month will mainly see posts like this detailing my whinges about my own lack of talent, how far I’m behind on schedule and the agony that I find writing to be at times. Unless I give up on it like I did last year. Then it’ll be about my unsuccessful attempts to grow a moustache. Anyway, that’s the last time I’m explaining it this month, I shall now bore you with details of the first day’s typing.

Bit of a slow start. Had got slightly behind on message board lurking, so frittered away an hour on that before finally starting on the work at hand. Then ended up breaking again for another half hour to watch that new Coogan/Brydon thing (I rather enjoyed it – not hilarious but chuckles to be had, can’t wait to read what my subconscious has to say about it). In between those interruptions, smoking far too heavily (always happens when I’m writing), occasional games on the LCD sudoku (since I deleted all games from this computer following last year’s Spider Solitaire farrago, I fear that this might be this year’s vice – might have to hide the batteries from myself) and a complete lack of plot or characters, I still managed to get just shy of fifteen hundred words down, about a hundred off target. Which is a reasonable start I suppose.

Things I can tell you about the story so far – it’s currently centred around and elderly couple who run a shop that sells…um, something. They have ran it together for thirty years. One of them’s just received a suit of armour in the post. Number of characters called Gladys – one. Number of characters called Brian – two. Total number of characters seen – three (probably). Mentions of soup – one. Not entirely sure where exactly I’m going yet. There are some plots beginning to form, but exactly where they’ll lead I’m not certain. Might just concentrate on these two, but imagine I’ll be wanting to play with some new toys in a couple of days so I can do me some dovetailing, but we’ll see. More tedious waffling tomorrow (unless this cold I appear to be developing breaks badly…).