Day 30 -An Odd End…

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So…

This is the thirtieth post, but obviously not on the thirtieth day (WP drafted this one, as well). I’ve hit a lot of obstacles along the way, but I persevered, and got out the other end alive!

Thanks to everyone who read the entries – I’ll try and be more frequent with future posts. So that means more book reviews, author interviews, and maybe some original short stories.

Stay tuned!

Dave

Day 29 – Make Em’ Laugh…

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I’m currently in the process of perfecting the first 5000 words of my novel in time for an agency’s funny-story competition, and when I’d gotten it to the best I possibly could at the moment, I went on to write more of the overall novel. That’s when I noticed something for probably the first time…

Writing comedy is HARD. Seriously hard. And comedy for children? Probably the hardest of all.

It’s not as simple as “That’s funny, I’ll put that in!” You’ve got to consider your audience, the joke’s suitably, it’s necessity to the story, it’s phrasing/delivery… There’s no point having a funny idea if you can’t get it across clearly for your readers. Especially children – adults will read a long, convoluted humourous passage, decipher the intended joke, and move on. Children will just find the book boring, and put it down. Then you, as the author, have lost.

Thankfully, as the author, you have as long as it takes to make every joke zing (unless you’re an already-published author working to a deadline, in which case I’d think it’s safe to say you’ve already proven you know how to write jokes). Your first draft can be as long and muddled as it can possibly be, because your revision process will then whittle away all that fluff and prattle time and time again, until you’re left with as close to perfect as it’s going to get. And it’s the same with writing the jokes. So what if it took you four lines to say “grandma blew-up the birthday cake”? What matters is that, by the time you’ve revised it half a dozen times or more, you’ve got something snappy, surprising, and sure to make the kids giggle.

So take it from me – just because writing gets hard from time to time doesn’t mean you’re going anything wrong. It just means you’re learning more about the writing craft itself…

Until tomorrow!

Dave

Day 28 – Still Behind…

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I’m getting more and more lethargic as the days progress, and my blog schedule is suffering because of it. And for that, I apologise.

The good news is a) I haven’t given up, and b) there’s only two posts to go (after this one).

But where to go from there? Obviously, I want to do more book reviews, interviews, and talk about my own writing projects and process, but I currently have two writing competitions I’m working on, as well as the constant search for employment, so posting regularity might take a dip after the 30th post. But I won’t give up on it! So stay tuned… And you never know what you might find next.

Until tomorrow!

Dave

Day 27 – Club LOUD

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Sorry, fell asleep and forgot I hadn’t caught up…

So, after the Ice Bar the four of us went next door to a place called Strawberry Moons – go in there and say you’re a friend of Dave’s. They won’t know who you mean, but I’ll probably find it funny – a bar/nightclub packed from wall to wall with party people. Needless to say, I felt out of my element, but Misha led us to the dancefloor just as an ABBA/Steps tribute band (I know, right?) finished up. There followed a weird few minutes during which a man-woman host judged a limbo competition (the stick was held by two half-naked guys, I kid you not. And they held it with different… Er, muscles as the stick was lowered). A long dance marathon followed. But I don’t dance, so I mostly stood by the railing, and held onto her bag for dear life.

Come half midnight, Misha had finally had her fill of boogying, and we all caught a sleepy bus home.

It was definitely one of the most varied, interesting, and at times downright weird days out I’ve ever experienced. But I wouldn’t change a thing.

Until tomorrow!

Day 26 – Getting Colder

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So, yeah, my girlfriend and I went on a river cruise for her birthday – but the fun didn’t stop there! Oh, no…

After a small spot of retail shopping (during which I freaked out on the lowest level of Topshop – did you know there’s no name for the fear of being underground? Surely it should be something like Subterraniphobia, right?), we met her best friend and his wife for Nandos… And then went out to hit the town!

First stop, the Ice Bar! Created by the same people who created the Ice Hotel, the Ice Bar is exactly what it sounds like: a bar, made of ice.

Before you go in, a protective cloak that makes you look like an Eskimo is thrown over you. This cloak has a pair of insulated gloves attached, gloves you’ll quickly become thankful for as you step though the doors… Into a wall of cold air.

A 40 minute timer is projected onto the wall which is, of course, made of ice. As are the bars, the chairs, the sculptures and wall carvings. The only things not made of ice are the staff and the sheet metal flooring, the latter of which stick to the soles of your shoes every now and then.

You get a free drink with the price of admission, and I – seeing as how I don’t really drink – made mine a non-alcoholic one. It sounded lovely, looked great in it’s hollowed-out icecube glass, and I’m sure I would’ve loved it. But then I found out the hard way that

A) The ice counters were made of ice, and had widely curved edges. And…

B) Curved ice counter edge + icecube glass = the metal floor enjoying my drink for me.

So I spent the next 35 minutes with no drink, but great surroundings, and even greater company.

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Me, with my beautiful girlfriend. No prizes for guessing who’s who…

But the night didn’t end there!

That comes later…

Dave

Day 25 – Delayed Due to FUN

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Yes, this should’ve been posted on Thursday, but that was the day of my girlfriend’s 25th. And did we have a great time (not like that, you cheeky monkeys)!

We went to London, for a bit of sightseeing on the London Eye River Cruise. It was only a little chilly, so the two of us persevered on the open top-deck to take many great photos as the informative-yet-chicken tour guide told us all about the buildings lining the Thames, both old and new.

On our ride, we saw the Spire…

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The Tower of London…

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And a pirate ship next to a pub.

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There was also a small ship on top of a theatre that served as a single-room hotel AND art installation, but the cruise shot past it before I had a chance to snap it. Just google “A Room for London” if you’re curious.

That was the afternoon – I’ll save the evening for the next post!

Until then!

Dave

Day 24 – NOT the Jack Bauer Power Hour

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Totally forgot my last blog was still a day behind, so here’s yet another catch-up blog.

This is the 24th blog, although not on the 24th day. I’m a huge fan of the show 24, hence the post title. It’s a great example of how a premise for a series can be repeated whilst exhibiting significant changes in each story to keep it fresh and exciting. Each season has a distinctly different threat, and even Bauer’s situation changes… Unlike, say, the Bond films, most of which get a bit samey. They only thing that changes there is his face (I have multiple in-canon ideas behind this, but I’ll save that for another time).

Another good example of the same premise changing enough to stay fresh is, of course, the Harry Potter books: each year is another year at school, we know Voldemort wants him dead, and that something is bound to be dodgy within Hogwarts itself, but that’s pretty much where the similarities between books finish. Rowling then sprinkles each with enough originality to make each book stand apart from the rest.

Both are proof that you can revisit the same characters without placing them in wildly different situations every time.

Until tomorrow!

Dave

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