Sunday, September 27, 2009

Inspiration strikes!

Well, it's been a week of college, and I'm loving it. In fact, I've been blogging about it on a seperate site,, where you can find out all about the highs and lows of week 1 of my new existence.

Speaking of new existences, I've officially begun my night life. Last night I went out for Niamh's birthday to find myself later at a nightclub. Or...beachclub? Bomdai (I think is how it's spelt). It was fun. And it was inspiring!

Let me explain; come November I will participating once again in NaNoWriMo, so I'm looking for my novel before I write it (sounding slightly crazy now...) I need scenes to move the story along, and because this protagonist is much livlier than Sam from Meet Sam, she will be going out during the story.

As I've only been to one nightclub, it will set there for a scene. As I sat drinking my non-alcoholic beverage, because I can't stress enough that I don't drink, my mind began to work out what to do with the nightclub. There was alcohol, and lots of it. There was a dancefloor. There were dozens of people, large security men, immature teens (late teens, of course) and, of course, girls in skirts that were too short. Then there's the music, thump-thump-thumping in your ear the entire night so you have to shout to be heard and strain your ears to listen.

Then when a song ends, maybe, just maybe, there is a moment of comparative silence. And that's the real climax of the night.

Since that happened, I know exactly what I have to do in the scene, and in various other scenes. It's been working itself out in my head for the entire day. She will live where I live, take the same buses and the same walking routes as I do, attend, even, the same college that I do. She will sing, occassionally drink, think about the world. She will live, yes live, and she will be happy. She will suffer, she will grow, she will find love and lose it and find it once again, and she will become known to anyone who might ever read the book as... The Wedding Singer.

I already have a few little things to throw into the fray that will stick in her life. Need to talk to a neighbour about one of them soon, make sure he's okay with something. I leave that sounding as suspicious as you want it to be!

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Journey of a Thousand Miles

The ancient Chinese (or is it Japanese.. sorry, I'm confused now) proverb says The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. As far as I'm concerned, this is utter nonsense. Yes, it's stating the truth, the obvious truth that you have to begin before you get anywhere, but come on! A thousand miles - a single step won't do you much good unless it's onto a rocket that will fly you a thousand miles.

In my case, my journey begins rather boringly with not a step, but a chair, a laptop and a pre-registration form. My journey begins for real after that, I suppose. This is more like packing. And where am I going, I hear you ask? College!

Yes, this wee little blogger is on his way to the wider world where he gets to become scared of things like six year olds and paste until finally he escapes all that for fourteen years olds and clay. Admittedly, I won't be going near the clay, but teenage boys in art rooms like to throw clay about the place. It's annoying. I haven't even begun studying to become a teacher and I find it annoying.

Teacher, you ask? Yes, teacher. My course is one part Religion (well, really two parts Religion), one part English (proof there is a God, justifying the second part Religion) and one part Education. We'll do all sorts of fun stuff like discuss good and evil in Star Wars, watch the Simpsons, read loads of books and partake in four areas of work experience, one each year. How cool is that going to be?

This is the biggest thing that's happened to me since... ever! I'm actually going to doing something that counts towards my future (unlike the Leaving Cert, which is also like packing for this journey). And by the end of the course, I'll be qualified to teacher people Religion and English in secondary school. Yay!

Don't worry though. This isn't the end of my blog. Not by a long shot. If anything, it's actually helping my blog! You're probably wondering now how a college course will help my blog. Scroll up a wee bit there. See where I mention "read loads of books"? Yeah, that's what's going to change. Yes, I read books, but I've been writing a lot lately, instead of reading the books I want to read. College will broaden my selection of books reviewed on this blog, and maybe get me into reading a lot more than I already am. Fun fun fun!

The only downside to college, and this is both big and small; none of my friends are going to be there. They're all going to a different school so I'm stuck with, wait for it, my twin! Agh! I thought I was rid of him when I left secondary school, but obviously not. Still, it could be worse... Not a lot worse, mind you, just worse.

More fun things happening though; the college has two socities I'm currently interested in. A magazine and a film society! Hurray! I was already on a magazine and I vlog weekly (sometimes more than once) so they're perfect for me. Next in line - Niamh's birthday party! I love nights out like this. I'm not really a night life sort of person, and I don't drink, so my times out are always for something special like a birthday. And it's Niamh's birthday! And two days later, my Debs! Yay again! Niamh is going with me to that too. She'll be in turquoise, I'll be in a black tux with a silver waistcoat and silver cravat. In a limo. With a kareoke machine. Fun fun fun!

More stuff happening too! (I know, this list of great things happening is unfairly long, isn't it?) The Literary Den, with our fabulous new blog ( ) all set up, are releasing a couple of things in the near future. One is our soon to be annual fiction anthology in aid of The Laura Crane Trust, and the other is a couple of t-shirts that will raise money towards funding the administrative stuff for the Den (like the website, and removing ads from the forum) so that we can give more back to the public. So excited about showing them all off on my YouTube channel too! ( )

I think that's it for now. I know, long blog post compared to some of my others ones. And this is only what i know right now! In the future, I'll be trying to add blog posts about NaNoWriMo and some music I'm listening to, and obviously more reviews of books and stuff like that. Until next time, though, take care!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Writers block, and you

Twenty-one minutes ago, according to my Twitter timeline, I was asked about writers block. The particular case was one of the worst I'd ever heard of from an aspiring author - it started last September. Look at the calender; it's September now. When I realised how dreadful this was, I began trying to recall every tip I'd ever received about beating the big bad WB.

One of the favourites: try something new. This can range from anything from new music, a new route to work or school or some other place you find yourself going to every week, reading a new book that's completely different to everything you've ever read, or anything else you can think of that's different in your life. The reasoning behind this is that the unfamiliarity of the subject in question forces your mind to examine it while it's fresh. That new route may contain a dozen ideas for stories that you'll start noticing because the entire area is new to you.

Then there's free writing. Free writing is one of those much discussed areas of writing that involved nothing more than a stop watch, twenty of your best minutes (or even just fifteen), a pen/pencil with paper, or a computer instead, and you, the writer. The idea is to pick a phrase or word to get yourself started, maybe even use it as the title, and just write for the allotted time. It doesn't have to be great writing, once you don't stop until the clock is up. When you're done, you should feel refreshed and ready to tackle that novel that's been hiding away at the back of your mind.

Something I tried recently was going through every single of a band (one of my favourites) and looking for a connection in each one to a story I'd like to write. The creativity behind this lies in finding a new way to tell a story the original author had no intention of doing, like a crossword puzzle, only with ideas rather than words and songs rather than clues. Looking at the lyrics to the songs also helps, in case you don't hear what the singer is saying properly.

These three tips for beating WB have been very useful to me in the past. I'm not going to promise you they work, but they might, and that's the important thing. You won't know until you've tried, anyway. Most importantly though, just write. If they don't work, just try putting your thoughts into coherent sentences, and if and when you get going, you can always edit the badly written parts. Or, if the novel seems daunting, try writing something much shorter. I tried this one as well: flash fiction, or stories less than 1,000 words, are an excellent way to do some writing without having to worry too much about what's going to happen down the road - it's a very short road!

I hope these tips are of any use to you. If you have any yourself, please share them in case these aren't right for our tweeting-writer in question.

Monday, September 14, 2009

New Videos...

Introducing my new video series, in its own little playlist! The Purpose Videos are designed to give reasons behind some of the little parts of my vlogging life, and, if you want, my life outside of YouTube. Just ask a question and I'll do my best to answer it. It's that simple!

This little box here is my attempt to embed the playlist to my blog. I hope it works... (If it has worked, then yay!)

Following that, I made another video to say Happy Birthday to my good friend Niamh. And by good friend, it's really closer to best friend status =]

Here's hoping you enjoyed those. Toodle pip and all that for now.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Update on the writing...

Sorry I've been away for so long; I've been writing. Mad, isn't it? A writer actually writing!

Right now, The Jump stands at 25,500 words! Yahoo! I'm loving the book so far and there's still plenty to go. This book is like Geneticide, only for younger readers, yet more mature. How strange is that! It's darker too, evident from some of the things some characters can do. But it's fun to write. I listen to Hollywood Undead as I write mainly. They aren't too distracting; it's just some humourous rock-rap music (plus, Michael Grant, author of Gone, listens to them!).

I'm using The Jump to do some things I really wanted to do with Geneticide but never got the chance. Characters have hero and villain names (not all of them, mind you) and there are predjudices against them because of what the villains do. The "bad guys" are all pretty messed up too, unlike a lot of them in Geneticide. I want this to be a fun YA novel, so I'm fulfilling a particular stereotype of comic-book supervillains; they're mental! And I mean that literally. They've got issues they can't handle.

So far, I'm six days into the story, which is counted from the beginning of Emily Quigley's gifted escape from people with guns. You might be wondering if that makes Emily safe as a character; I can confirm that it does not. Other things in the story might, but that doesn't. It's simply a method of keeping track on the story.

This and Meet Sam are my two big novels. They'll be going out to publishers when there are second and third books written in each of them. The two books are completely different, I might add. One takes place in modern Dublin, with nothing quite strange happening that isn't contained in the protagonists head. The other takes place on the east coast of the US, with younger characters, all of whom have super powers, and weird stuff still happens (weird even to them, I might add).

I've got no idea where I might send The Jump yet, although my boss in work has an inkling at what might happen ;-)

Moving on from the writing for today, I've got a new YouTube video online! In this significantly shorter video, I discuss my Purpose Videos!

The Purpose Videos will be going live over the next three days. I've got three recorded now, but if you want to know the purpose of something in my life, please feel free to ask with a comment or a message or an email of some description.

Also, the Literary Den Blog has gone live! I insist you go to read it, now! The link is: - I was first, then Andy, and today, Sam. Enjoy!

Until next time, dear reader, take care!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Writing Marathon!

Well, I've gone on a mad one, but not in quite the same as I thought I might have gone a few days ago. See, my idea from a few days ago didn't come to pass. Quite quickly, I got bored with it. Thankfully my boredom died yesterday, with a new project.

I know what you're thinking. "This guy keep coming up with new ways not to finish/start writing." This time, you'd be wrong. See, I did write. I wrote a lot. And I wrote a lot more in these past two days than I ever wrote in that space of time.

10,009 words, according to my word count.

Yes, you read that right. 10,009 words of fiction in two days. I honestly don't know how I did it, but I loved every minute of it! It's been exciting, and thankfully the story's not over. I just had to take a break. Tomorrow there will be more writing and tea (there's always tea) and I'll have beaten another record - the most I've written in three days. Yes, I know it's cheating. Sue me. (please don't though; I only work six hours a week and I don't get paid to write!)

I could go on to describe what the new book is about. I really want to, but I'd just be repeating myself. You see, I read an extract and explained the story a bit on YouTube. So for the next ten minutes, you get to listen to me talk and hear a YT exclusive reading from yours truly. Peace and Love, and see you next time.