Saturday 4th March 2017
Saturday is supposed to be my rest day but I’ve ended it feeling absolutely exhausted. However, unlike my recent fatigue, I can squarely put this down to having an incredibly busy day.
I got up and made myself a big brunch in between doing some general writing admin. By the time I’d eaten that and done a few chores it was time to head into town. I really need to do some serious housework but other than the essentials during novel drafting time only the bare minimum gets done.
My head today is very much filled with an upcoming action scene. Not the “car chase” as that’s close to being written but the action scene after that. It’s still some way off (some 10 or more chapters) but it features a duel.
I was gutted when I had to take the swordfighting out of the first book. It wasn’t expanded properly and the book was already huge, so I vowed I’d do some swordfighting in book 2. This upcoming scene was the product of that vow and was an early part of the plot.
It’s a single rapier duel and whilst I know the outcome, I’ve not really thought about the actual fight as it’ll appear on the page. Given how I’m good at writing action scenes and the fact this is a fight with the weapon I predominantly train with, the pressure is a little on.
I came to the conclusion whilst walking into town that this fight has to be something special on the page. Rapiers are often seen as quite gentlemanly (and therefore are seen by some to be quite boring when it comes to accurate recreations on the page). But I want to do something quite brutal. I want to change the way people think about rapiers. I want to change the way they look at accurate depictions of swordfighting. In short, I want to write the greatest swordfight ever committed to page.
Yeah, nothing like making it easy for yourself, Adrian.
I figure that this is possible (apart from the greatest bit – that’s subjective) but I need to choreograph it. So I put a call out to my fellow swordfighters to help me choreograph something truly epic. There’s quite a way before I have to start writing the first draft of this duel so we’ve got a few weeks to prepare.
I stopped in at Swindon Writers once in town. It’s always interesting to hear when other writers are up to and we had a nice discussion about gravity and swearing and all sorts of random things you get when you gather a load of writers together.
I’d only planned to pop in on my way to the gym but I ended up staying for a couple of hours.
Likewise, my gym visit was extended. I started with a 5km run, upping my speed this week by 0.5km/h to 8.5km. Still not fast but I’d prefer to take it easy and build up rather than knacker myself. I went from there to the rowing machine where I did a very leisurely 2km.
I’d been suffering with poor form on the chest press machine during the week. Because I have such strong shoulders, it appears I use my shoulders to move the weight rather than my chest. So I dropped the weight and went for perfect form hoping to build it up so when I go back onto heavy weights again in the next week or so, I’ll do it properly this time.
Finally, I went on the bikes. These are new to the gym and I was told that they are the same that the Olympic cycle team use. First, it took me an age to get my feet into the pedal straps. Second, I can’t operate the screen without my glasses. So whilst I think I set my weight correctly, I didn’t find it particularly hard (I was going leisurely). I ended doing 20 mins as there was a brief shower outside.
I had thought about finishing off with some cross trainer work but the rain had stopped, so I left and popped into the supermarket.
My original plans for tonight got cancelled yesterday so I had to get food, and seeing as these are the last few days before I’m on an even stricter diet, it was my chance to pig out tonight. In my world that means more vegetables. However, they did not have the turkey meatballs I need for my new diet so I walked home and then walked onto the other supermarket a mile from my house to get some. I could have taken the car but walking gives me a lot of time to think. Plus I got to try out my new beats headphones which are very comfy and well worth the £30 I paid for them.
Completely forgetting that I’d already bought a lot of drink (not alcoholic), I went home via the corner shop and bought a single beer. I won’t be having alcohol come Monday so I’ve been making up for it the last 2 weeks.
Came home, showered and cooked, listening to another short story whilst I did so. They’re still not clicking with me. I enjoy them but I just feel they are missing something in terms of story. I enjoy subtle but perhaps I’m just not subtle enough with my reading. Oh well, this is all part of the journey.
I have decided a little on what I want to do with my short stories. I’m very interested in people who live outside the societal norms, sometimes forced to by their circumstances. I think there’s a temptation to portray that as a negative. So, by way of an extreme example, we get a story of a single mother forced into prostitution who’s addicted to crack, rather than a story of a single mother who is able to provide for her children by becoming an adult webcam star. And because these stories usually deal with taboos, when we do get those stories they tend to be a bit seedy or titillating. I think if I wrote such a story currently I’d probably fall into the trap of the former rather than the latter. Now how you’d make the adult webcam star work within a fantasy context, I still don’t know (probably with magic; In fantasy it’s always magic), but I’m guessing I’m interested in something a little deeper: people who consciously step outside of societal norms, who become the other not by birth (such as race, gender and sexuality) or disability, but by a conscious decision.
My ideas here are not fully formed but I thought it important to capture them because I think this theme will play out in my short stories in the future.
I ended up having so much food that I was bloated before I could finish it. That’s what beans sprouts do for you (I know, I live so recklessly!). No wonder I’m feeling so tired!
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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