Sunday 29th January 2017

Today has been all about fighting.
I went sparring with other swordfighters today.  Unlike last week (see The Climb #1) we had a good turnout and so I got a lot of fights in.  I’m a naturally defensive fighter so my aim for this year is to become much more offensive.  This coupled with the fact that I’m doing a lot of teaching means that I’m not getting as much practise in as I have been, and the practise I’m doing is a bit shoddy as a result.
However, I was pleased today that when going in, I was making sure my sword was in the stronger position.  I’m doing a lot of cutting as a secondary attack, but it does seem to be working.  I also got a few nice feints in.
It’s always difficult to tell how well you’re doing because we’re all levelling up together.  The nice thing is that everyone is really willing to give feedback, telling you what worked and what didn’t.
I’ve got a tournament next weekend and whilst I felt good today, I’ve got a long way to go until this change in fighting style all comes together.  So I expect to do badly next week.  Not that I mind, it’s about taking one step back to eventually take two steps forward.
After a couple of hours of sweaty fighting a group of us headed to the pub and had a nice carvery.  I was good and had Turkey (because Beef makes me pile on weight a day or two later).
Came back home in time to pop over the road to the shop and get some spinach.  This is what my new healthy lifestyle has come to; where the highlight of my day is hunting down fresh food.
I updated the swordfighting blog with an article and a couple of pictures from today and then sat down to work on the scene I’ve been mulling over in my head all day.
The chapter I’m currently working on features gang warfare.  I want something pretty brutal and exciting, and so I’ve been planning the fight out.  I love the action scenes in Black As Knight, the book to which this is the sequel to.  I’ve been through that manuscript at least a dozen times and some of them still have me punching the air.  My agent loves them as well.
Which means that coming into book 2, my worry is that they are not going to match the scale and impact of the first book.  I still worry that the end of this book isn’t as epic as book 1, but then at the same time I want this to feel like a continuation of the story rather than a remix of the first.  As a result, I have a challenge to myself to make the action scenes absolutely top notch.
I have a pretty clear view of the potential books in the series and the villains we’ll see.  Each of these will lend themselves towards certain types of scenes and so in many ways the villains dictate what type of action scenes I write.
In this book, we deal with gangs, and so I want the book’s action to be fast, violent and dirty.
Planning it out always helps as it allows me to spot holes in the narrative before I come to write.  Of course, when it comes to writing, things can sometimes take a bit of a left turn but my plan gives me a lot of flexibility which should lead (eventually, after a ton of editing) to a pivotal action scene.
Unusually for me, I wrote the 2600 word scene in a single setting and for a first draft, I’m really, really pleased with it.  Of course, it’ll need tidying up but not only does it have some great action, it has some awesome character dynamics as well.  I’m really enjoying writing in the same world but with a lot of new characters, even if I kill a lot of them off.  Mahahaha!
It means I finish the day with over 3000 words added to the manuscript.  I’m quite pleased with that, particularly as a large part of the day involved planning.
I’m getting close to the point where my original half-draft ends and I’ll be writing pure first draft again.  I’ll be interested to see if that increases or decreases my wordcount.
If you want to follow more of my journey, then be sure to check me on my social channels.  Likewise, if you’d like me to expand on any point mentioned above, please say so in the comments.
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