Taking the Brexit

24 June 2016

20131243153252734_20Yesterday I woke up an EU citizen. Today, I don’t know what I am.

Like many others, I’ve held back from commenting on Britain’s referendum to leave the EU (the so-called “Brexit”) until now. This is mostly because I know a lot of my friends read this website and I’ve never felt it appropriate to cram my political views down someone else’s throat just because we happened to go to the same school. But also it’s because I’ve been online long enough now to know that the internet is a dark and depressing place at the best of times and trying to make your views heard against that background roar of hatred, ill-informed vitriol and downright trolling is no way to add meaningfully to the discussion.

But the referendum is over now, the votes have been counted and Britain stands on the cusp of change. And there is nothing that my words (like my vote) can do to change anything.

Last night Brexit won. Britain is leaving the EU.

Much will be said over the coming days about how close the race was. People will point to all sorts of demographics. They’ll show how Scotland voted unanimously to stay and how they’ll probably want another referendum of their own soon. They’ll point to Northern Ireland voting to stay and how they’ll likely be looking for unification with the rest of Ireland. They’ll show the oddities seen in places like Sheffield — SHEFFIELD! — of all places, which inexplicably voted to leave despite being a long-time bastion of liberal ideals. They’ll discuss how the “remain” campaign never quite managed to get their message across to the tabloid-reading working classes and that’s why the “leave” campaign ultimately won.

Image taken from theguardian.com

Image taken from theguardian.com

But they won’t talk much about people like me. British people who live abroad. British people who have foreign wives and foreign children in their not-too-distant future. British people, in short, who have always considered themselves European first, British second and English only a very distant third.

I live in Poland. My wife is French. European life and European culture flows through my veins and beats in my chest. It used to be that I was just another EU citizen living between countries as was my right as an EU citizen. Now, I find myself an oddity, straddling two worlds as they strive to isolate themselves from each other. Will I need a visa to work here in the future? Will I need to reapply for residency? Will I have to start buying health insurance when I travel to other EU countries? Heck, will I need to start taking my passport with me when I pop over the border to Germay?

And beyond these mundane practicalities, there’s the simple fact that I’m devastated. Shocked. Without any sort of hyperbole, this is honestly one of the saddest days of my life. I feel as though my entire national identity — my whole sense of who I am — has been ripped away from me. It’s nothing short of a mini-existential crisis.

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And what gets me — what I really don’t understand — is how there are actually people in the UK rejoicing at this result. There are people who say, “We don’t need the EU. It’s never done anything for us. We’re better off without it.”

Let me tell you something: Poland joined the EU in 2004. I moved here in 2009, so I’ve already been living in this country for most of the time that it’s been an EU nation. I have seen first-hand the good that comes from belonging to the EU. I’ve seen the workers flowing out of the country to other countries where they are more needed, thus helping reduce Poland’s unemployment rate. I have seen the influx of money and foreign investment. Wroclaw, where I live, is a booming economic centre: the home of Amazon, Google, HP, Volvo and Credit Suisse where I work, not to mention many more.

Did you know that when I first moved to Poland, there was only one motorway in the entire country? At the time Poland was the only country in Europe whose capital city, Warsaw, wasn’t connected to the rest of the nation via highway. At the time, if you wanted to drive to Germany you’d have to go via a road which was built by the Nazis. And note, when I say that this road was built by the Nazis, I don’t just mean that it followed the path of a road which was built by them. No, I literally mean it was the exact same road, foundations and all, which was built back in the 1930’s and never updated.

Now don’t get me wrong, Germany is fantastic a building roads. But 70 years is a long time to go without an upgrade.

All of that is changed now. Poland’s motorway network is vast and growing all the time. Its infrastructure is on a par with may Western European countries. The EU made this possible.

And you know what? The really great thing about free market, open border politics is that Poland’s gain was the UK’s gain also! Thanks to the influx of skilled labour from countries like Poland, the British economy boomed and its unemployment rate remained enviably low even throughout the darkest days of the 2008 credit crunch. Immigration meant an influx of skilled labour into the UK, much of whom was prepared to work in jobs that most British people wouldn’t want and for wages that they wouldn’t accept. And the best thing was that Britain didn’t need to spend a penny on educating these people or keeping them healthy through their formative years. Instead here they were suddenly on our doorstep, willing to move to our country and work, thus instantly adding value to Britain’s economy.

Really, The Sun? Really?

Really, The Sun? Really?

But the “Leave” campaign never see this. They see only immigrants and the scary refugees in camps in Calais and somehow they get them all confused in their heads and they start shouting xenophobic nonsense like “they’re taking our jobs!” Guys — you want a job? Apply to one which matches your skill set and then do better than the other candidates in the interview. Stop blaming other people for your own failures.

Whatever. There’s no point in arguing these matters anymore. Brexit won. The time for debate is over.

I’m in shock right now but I know that pretty soon I’m just going to have to face facts. The Britain I remember from my childhood is gone. The Britain I grew up in — that of “Cool Britania” and New Labour — is as much a figment of my imagination now as Nigel Farage’s much-vaunted Golden Age of pre-EU Britain. The fact is, I must have been away from my country for too long because I obviously no longer understand it. I always knew Britain was a fundamentally cautious nation when it came to European affairs but Brexit in on a whole other level?

I mean for crying out loud, even my own home town voted to leave! My friends and family — the people I grew up with — probably voted to leave. Do you know how sad that makes me?

How it should be

How it should be

Sad as it is for me to say, I don’t think there’s a place for me in Britain anymore. I don’t like what this country is becoming. I don’t like what it’s doing. And luckily, I was able to get out and move abroad before that border was closed to me.

So you know what Britain? You don’t want Europe? Fine, Europe doesn’t want you.

Go! Be independent if that’s what you want. Enjoy the coming decade of constant recession, rising unemployment and falling exports. You want to keep those immigrants away? Fine by me! I’ll just have to stay abroad instead and be an immigrant myself.

You wanted Brexit. You got Brexit. I hope it drowns you.

I am never going back.


Floorboards and chimneys and doors, oh my!

18 January 2016

Happy New Year everyone!

OK so straight off the bat I need to deal with the elephant in the room.

Yes, I realise I’ve been very quiet lately. In fact, I’m a little embarrassed to say this is my first blog entry in over 5 months, which is an inexcusably long time to go without checking in, especially for a blog which is supposed to be all about me. You’d be forgiven for thinking I was dead. Or that I had no life. Not that there’s necessarily much of a difference between those two states of being.

However, if there is one little thing I can say that might go some way to excusing my absence, it would be thus:

My house is finally finished. My wife and I are now ready to move in.

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A view from the front. The driveway here is brand new, hence the copious amounts of sand

That’s right! Months of hard work. Weekend after weekend of wasted time spent painting and fixing and tinkering and pottering. Piles of catalogs and endless trips to IKEA. Whole teams of workmen standing around in our living room scratching their heads as they pull quotes out of thin air.

It’s all over. It’s done.

Finally the end is in sight.

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A view from the back. Please excuse the patchy grass in this picture. It had a rough summer bless it

As you can imagine, I’m pretty stoked about this fact. Moving house was one of my main goals for last year and to think it’s finally happening – this week no less – fills me with nothing but happy thoughts.

Don’t get me wrong, there’s still a way to go yet. My wife and I are going to be knocking around in some pretty empty rooms for a few months yet while we save us enough to buy more than a couple of items of furniture. But the important thing is that the bulk of the work is done.

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The upstairs bathroom complete with custom-made storage unit for hiding away the washing machine

What’s more, it looks pretty good too in my opinion. Oh sure I’m well aware the style we chose won’t be to everyone’s liking but what matters is that we like it. And that’s good considering it’s us who will be living there.

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A view of the living area. To the right is the kitchen. To the left the faux-brick fireplace

 

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And here’s the opposite angle showing the living room with the stairs on the right. At the time this picture was taken, we hadn’t finished installing the skirting board, so if the blue wall looks a little unfinished, that’s why

Oh and as the icing on the cake, you will recall that I mentioned a couple of posts back that I was re-working my novel for the umpteenth time with the aim of finally posting it off to an agent.

Well, I’m happy to report mission accomplished here as well…

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For some, this will look like just an ordinary envelope. For others, it’s a Big Deal

What happens next is in the hands of much better people than myself. In the meantime, if you don’t mind I’m going to be right here, chilling in my new pad. It’s been a tough few months and we could use the break.

#dealwithit


Deleted scenes #2 – #4

14 August 2015
Luckily the editing process isn't quite this tedious

“Murder your darlings” – William Faulkner

One of the strangest things about writing a multi-protagonist story (or at the very least, one of the things I wish someone had warned me about before I started writing one) is how much it forces you to write a story in a certain way.

To explain what I mean, imagine I had a book with just one protagonist in it. In such a novel, the hero might get 30+ chapters all to themselves. The whole story is told through just a single set of eyes and thus, over the course of the book, the reader is able to fully follow the hero’s story and understand their plight. This approach allows for a lot of twists and turns and, consequently, a great deal of character movement.

Look at 50 Shades of Grey for example (and wow, how I never thought I use that book as a positive example…). The whole story is told from the point of view of one character: Anastasia Steele. Thus, no matter how much Ana flip-flops in her relationship with Christian Grey (and boy, does she flip-flop), it doesn’t matter. We go right along with it.

Multi-protagonist novels, however, are very different beasts.

When your plot needs an infographic to explain it, you know you're in trouble

When your plot needs an infographic to explain it, you know you’re in trouble

On the one hand, having more characters means that the scope of your novel can be wider (since you have more eyes in more places showing the reader more aspects of your world) but the flip-side of this is that unless you’re lucky enough to have all of your viewpoint characters in the same place at the same time (in which case, why on Earth do you need to have multiple protagonists to begin with?), the individual plotlines for each character become quickly diluted.

When each character has only 5-10 chapters dedicated to them and the reader might not encounter that character again for several hundred pages at a time, it becomes increasingly important to keep each of those characters constrained to plots which can be easily summarised and understood. Your characters need simple throughlines and clear resolutions. There is little room for ambiguity.

So many protagonists... Best make them all stereotypes and give them 3-4 scenes each

So many protagonists… Best make them all stereotypes and give them 3-4 scenes each

It’s a law of diminishing returns: the more complex your novel becomes, the simpler its individual storylines must be in order to avoid your reader getting lost in a maze of byzantine plot twists.

Which is exactly the situation I found myself in with my main character, Abigail Leighton.

Abi’s story was always centered on the theme of identity and belonging. She is caught between the two worlds of the bunks and the nobility, belonging to neither and yet hated by both. Hers is a unique position, and one from which the reader is able to fully grasp the multi-faceted issues plaguing the ship. (Or at least, that was the theory).

Australian model Gemma Ward. Her innocent yet determined appearence informed much of Abi's character

Australian model Gemma Ward. Her innocent yet determined appearance was a big inspiration when writing Abi

Originally the plan was to have Abi break out of the bunks near the beginning of the book (which she still does), betraying her best friend in the process (ditto). Later, she would find that the outside world isn’t quite the land of milk and honey she’d always thought it would be (which is still the case) so she goes back to the bunks, begs forgiveness from her friend and then together they break the unspoken out of bondage and lead a rebellion against the ship, thus creating a third, new choice for her.

The problem was… that last part was too complex. If I had 20-30 chapters dedicated to Abi, I might have been able to make it work. But squeezed into just 10 chapters it just came across as her being indecisive, flip-flopping from one chapter to the next between wanting to be in the bunks, then out of them and then back again. It strained credibility.

Plus there’s the fact that no one would choose to return to the bunks. No one. It doesn’t matter how neat and tidy it made my narrative arc or how much thematic sense it made. The simple fact is that Abi, the character, would never return to the bunks even if you paid her and thus by shoehorning such a face-heel turn into the book I was doing her character a dis-service.

Abi might be many things, but an idiot she is not.

So instead I chose to postpone the reunion between Abi and her friend into the next book where it would happen on more even terms. The denouement of Abi’s story line changed from one of her instigating the rebellion to her actively fighting against it instead. Her story became simpler and easier to follow. A clean arc, shorn of ambiguity which (*spoilers*) ends with her becoming a hero.

Unfortunately, this leaves my original ending somewhat in limbo. There is no place in the novel now for Abi the would-be terrorist or her flip-flopping shenanigans. Thus, I present three chapters to you here. Three deleted scenes which will never make it into the book.

Click here to read deleted scene #2: Back from Exile (PDF)

Click here to read deleted scene #3: The More things Change (PDF)

Click here to read deleted scene #4: Undertakings (PDF)

As with my previous deleted scene, these chapters are far from perfect. Expect to see spelling errors, redundancies and other writerly ticks that would normally get weeded out during the editing process. Despite this, I like these chapters a lot and it’s sad I couldn’t find a place for them in the final mix. But ultimately the need of the story much come first. There is little room in multi-protagonist novels for needless complexity.

I hope you enjoy them.


Returning to the Arkship Ulysses

20 July 2015

As many of you know by now, I finished writing my epic SF novel the Arkship Ulysses at the tail-end of last year. I may have mentioned it once or twice.

Needless to say, the whole endeavor was a labour of love from beginning to end. Writing on the Arkship Ulysses spanned nearly 5 whole years – a depressingly long chunk of time to devote to telling a story I’ve had going round my head since I was 14 years old but a necessary one.

712L The Observers web

I have no idea why I keep using this picture to illustrate the Arkship Ulysses. I guess I just like it

The end result was good, although I’d be lying if I said it ended up close to what I originally envisioned. For one thing, it was a lot longer than expected, so much so that I had to cut the story in two and add in a sequel I’ve been trying to plot out ever since. At least 2 major characters were chopped out of the final cut, one of whom was originally supposed to be the book’s hero. There were whole chapters that I’ve even talked about on this blog that never made it into the final edit.

Still, I have to count it as a success overall, not least because it actually received an honest-to-God review online! And believe me: for an unpublished, unknown author like myself to receive any sort of unsolicited attention is a very rare and humbling thing indeed.

A couple of choice quotes from The Finder’s Saga review linked above:

“Burgess story and writing are epic. The chapters are long but the writing rich with description and dialog.”

“I find the plot intriguing and the characters strong, rich and multidimensional. The characters have motivations, fears, hope and all the emotions necessary for a rich story.”

“I find his setting descriptions and the background story believable and essential to the plot.”

Those are all really nice things to say about my work and I’m honestly chuffed to bits and extremely humbled that The Finder’s Saga would commit an entire blog post just to talking about yours truly. One of these days I’ll return the favour man, I promise.

And by the way, reading nice things about myself: Strangest. Feeling. Ever.

Special thanks to The Finder's Saga for the really kind words

Special thanks to The Finder’s Saga for the really kind words. It was very humbling

Anyway, in his book On Writing, Stephen King says it’s often a good idea to let a novel sit for a few months after you’ve finished writing it before you start with the redraft. He says that when you first finish working on a novel, you’re too close to it. You’re too invested in the characters and too close to the story to have any sort of objective opinion about it.

He recommends taking a step back and leaving it in a drawer for a few months while you work on other things.

This book is pretty much my bible when it comes to approaching creative work

This book is pretty much my bible when it comes to approaching creative work

It has now been six months since I last wrote about the Arkship Ulysses. In the meantime I have, in accordance with King’s advice, been doing other things. Lots of other things. Now, finally, I think I’m ready to jump back in to this beast and make some much-needed (and final) edits.

“What edits?” I hear you cry.

Well as it happens I actually made a list of patch notes whilst writing the first draft in anticipation of this day. These are basically moments during the writing process in which I was aware of contradicting myself but didn’t want to go back and fix them in the interests of moving things forwards. The list I’m about to print here probably won’t make much sense unless you’ve read the book as closely as I have but hopefully it will put into context just how much redraft work needs to be done.

In short, it will involve writing one completely new chapter and extending two more as well as numerous other fixes which will mostly involve a lot of CTRL+H work.

writers-block

Note: I will not actually be using a typewriter to make these edits

Fixes needed are:

  1. Make Nathan Hathaway Master-at-arms not Chief of Marines
  2. Don’t kill Tundra until chapter 15
  3. In chapter 14, Rutherford tells Kara that she’s due to move into the Captain’s quarters – not ones that he himself is funding
  4. Change Ramiel Sullivan to Gabriel Sullivan throughout.
  5. In chapter 17, it is taking place on the morning of Earth Day not the evening. People are still getting ready and when he listens to the Captain, he’s talking about how nervous he is about meeting Kara for the first time and whether he really needs to. He’s told it’s mandatory.
  6. It’s Commander Fletcher, not Albright
  7. Stuart when he goes to Oxley: he is publicly thrown out but still secretly helped. Oxley sends Sarah to give Stuart a map. ‘The best nodes can be found here’. And then they share a shot of something (this contains the gene seed for the Metapath). Stuart perhaps vaguely guesses this near the end of the book but it’s not until the sequel that all becomes clear.
  8. Remove the character of Rutherford. Where he currently exists, make it all Nathan Hathaway. Put Rutherford as a far more professional soldier type. Keeping his superior’s secrets and covering up for him out of loyalty. A much better replacement for him in the second book when he takes over as master-at-arms. It’s Rutherford that interrogates Stuart, not Hathaway
  9. Give each department head a cool-sounding naval name. Boatswain (chief of maintenance) for example. Chaplain, Master Shipwright (chief engineer), Wardmaster (medical), Ordnance, pursers (administration), etc.
  10. Show Estavan getting pulled away for interrogation better than currently

As well as generally giving it a spit and polish and cutting its length by at least 5%.

Additional scenes to add:

  1. Before being rescued from the bunks. A scene where Abi is burying her father. Her friends gather around her wrapping up his body and leaving it out for the priest. There’s nothing left to keep her here now, she thinks. Its time she makes a break for freedom. Brent is marveling over Kara. This is the girl the uniforms are all het up over? Dawn reveals her plan to use her. He offers to take her in to show the Gentleman. They’re putting an army together. Plans to attack the ship. Abi rolls her eyes at the words. It’s all show boating, she thinks. Still she gives the uprising her blessing. He’s angry now about father’s death. He doesn’t know what he’s saying.
  2. After visiting the bunks to try and see Dawn. Abi goes looking for what remains of her old life. There is little left. Her old quarters are all in the hands of the Oxleys. She manages to look up Stuart in the directory but his quarters are deserted. They are tiny and a mess. Equations everywhere. Old ship parts he was tinkering with. She finds a small box tucked away under the bed containing the old family crest. She remembers how it used to adorn her father’s chest when he still wore the uniform of master shipwright. Remembers him cold beneath the touch as they laid his body out to be collected by priests. She takes it with her.
    Outside she runs into the landlady who scowls at her. Says Stuart is two weeks late paying his rent. She’s going to kick him out. She thinks Abi is a whore he’s hired. She takes the box of goods from Abi. Abi protests. I’m his sister. But the landlady takes one look at the number on her arm and shoos her away. Abi returns to her quarters alone. That’s when she cries.
  3. Final chapter to resolve everything. The Captain sits in his quarters going over the reports coming in. The ship is a mess, the nobility are at each other’s throats in outrage and he doesn’t know who to trust anymore. He trusts Abi, however, for reasons Abi doesn’t understand. He asks her to help him find a genuine long-term solution to the issue with the bunks. He reinstates House Leighton which his father pulled down years ago. He names her ambassador to the bunks. Abi reluctantly accepts.
work-in-progress

“A movie is never finished, only abandoned.” – George Lucas. Suffice to say, it’s the same with books.

Phew! Well anyway, that’s all for now. I’m going to give myself 3 months to make all of the changes listed above. At the very least I hope to be done by my birthday when I can finally start sending this thing off for submission and working on another novel instead. As always I will post my progress here.

I also plan to start posting some deleted scenes on here which never made it into the final cut. Think of them as Director Bonuses if you will, a nice little extra for those of you who have been following me this far.

Watch this space!


Bits and bobs

16 May 2015

No time for a proper post this week so I thought I’d update you all on what’s going on this end.

First of all, I’m in a book!

It's a thing of beauty

It’s a thing of beauty

Not one of my own books sadly but one written by my former director Terence Clark-Ward. It’s called “I can Sing in English“. The aim of the book is to teach young children how to speak English through the use of songs and repetition. Admittedly it’s not a very new idea, but the core concept in this book is that all of the songs are based around just 25 key words. These words, according to research recently conducted by Professor Leslie Rescoria from the Child Study Institute at Bryn Mawr College, USA, are the first 25 words that a child will learn in English if English is their mother tongue. This means that if a Polish child can master these same 25 words, they will have the equivalent vocabulary of an average 2 year old English child. That right there is a very persuasive argument for loosening any parent’s purse strings!

I appear on the CD as one of the lead vocalists. And yes, before you ask, I can sing. In English.

Here's a pic of me in the recording studio looking all singery and professional and stuff.

Here’s a pic of me in the recording studio looking all singery and professional and stuff. This is actually the second book of Terry’s that I have been a part of. The first was Zegnajcie Bledy all the way back in 2010

And finally, an update on the house.

Courtesy of a month of back-breaking labour, our garden is now (finally) weed free and neatly raked over ready for grass seeding.

Not a weed in sight

Not a weed in sight

We also have a vegetable patch complete with strawberries, potatoes, rosemary and onions. We did have some basil planted as well but the slugs attacked and killed it in less than a week. We’ve since swapped the basil out for mint and so far the slugs are leaving it well alone. So at the very least it’s nice to see they are fussy eaters. God knows there isn’t much vegetation left for hungry slugs to choose between in our garden, hence the impenetrable wall of loose stones that we ferreted out from around the garden to keep them at bay. (Un)fortunately our garden has no shortage of stones in its soil.

One day all of this will be in my stomach

One day all of this will be in my stomach

Our upstairs bedrooms now all have floorboards and the beginnings of a skirting board (although this will need neatening up as we are not happy with it at present).

Once all the furniture is in place, this room will look very different

Once all the furniture is in place, this room will look very different

The downstairs bathroom is a complete mess but at least we have a plan for it (more or less).

The bathroom. Minus the bath. And the toilet. And, in fact, anything

The bathroom. Minus the bath. And the toilet. And anything at all for that matter

Next week we’ll be getting a fireplace and exterior blinds. I’ll post pictures of that when I have them.

And finally, a last bit of news. Hard to believe but it’s now been over a year since I’ve been working for Credit Suisse. Yes, strange to say I am no longer the wide-eyed innocent that I was when I first stepped foot within these hallowed hallways. Next week I sign my full-time, non-probationary contract, and that is a very good thing.

That’s all for now. Expect the next proper post any day now.


Our new house

2 March 2015

So it’s still not officially official yet – the bank hasn’t approved our loan application yet and the final documents are still in the process of being put together – but it looks as though my wife and I will soon be the proud owners of our very own house.

This house, to be precise.

A shot of our new house from the back

A shot of our new house from the back

As you can see it’s a brand new semi located outside the city. Owning a brand new house is cool because it means you can make everything fit your exact specifications, but it does mean a lot of work needs to be done before it’s fit for human habitation. I can already tell you that every weekend between now and the summer is going to be a slog of visiting showrooms and pouring over catalogs for everything from bathrooms to fireplaces. But hey, it’s a project, and it’s something my wife and I have been planning for a very long time.

Unlocking the front door for the very first time

Me unlocking the front door for the very first time

The house itself is located just outside Wroclaw, in a small village a few kilometers away. It’s close enough to the city that we can drive to Wroclaw in just a few minutes but far enough away that it feels like we’re in the countryside. It’s very quiet around us. There’s a park with a children’s playground opposite us. Our neighbours mostly comprise chickens and a small company that chops wood. There are no shops but there are a lot of domestic animals. We also have some friends living in the same village so that’s cool.

A shot of what will eventually be the kitchen

A shot of what will eventually be the kitchen

My wife and I are both really excited to see how things pan out from here. As always I’ll be posting our progress here so check it out if you’re interested in keeping up to date on all things house-related. I’ve a feeling there are going to be a lot of updates on the subject.


Short story: Gifted (After)

12 February 2015

Marshall-AmpsA couple of weeks ago I posted an old story on here. I said I was going to redraft it and send it off to a short story competition about ghosts. The story had to be up to 5,000 words long and it had to have a ghost in it. Those were the rules. The rules said nothing about the story itself being scary, however, or even a horror for that matter.

So anyway, it’s been many long hard days since that last post and I’ve finally finished the redraft. The story is now called The Star, which is a much more fitting title for it.

To break things down a little:

  • Things that stayed the same from the first draft to this one: the characters, the setting, the plot points and the length
  • Things that have changed: literally everything elsetumblr_n2gqggvSsE1ryd41yo2_1280

The Star still follows the same basic outline as Gifted. Both stories start with the lead singer of a newly popular band passed out backstage just moments before the biggest gig of his life. In both we then get a scene of his band mates trying to bring him back to his senses, followed by a gig that goes disastrously wrong (though for different reasons). In both we then get to see the fall-out from this terrible concert, which results in the character hating himself.

For all that, however, this is a very different story to the first one. Its themes are different, its characterization and tone is different. The central concept at the heart of the story is perhaps the most different thing of all. And that’s one of the reasons why this was so fun to write. I was following a story template created by my younger self but I still had room to be creative.

It’s nice when that happens.

As always C&C welcome.