Staying Focused


Some anonymous wit once said that writing is 3% talent, 97% not being distracted by the internet. This is so true that the London County Council even put it up on a blue plaque. Distractions abound – blogs, Facebook, forums and Pinterest. Instead of editing last night, I spent a couple of hours compiling this. It’s related to the book, so it’s like writing, yes?

No. Bad everwalker, no biscuit.

Even other stories count as distractions, really. Mercy the Goblin, that most determined of narrators, keeps using my hand to write her diary. Bodysnatching, that’s what it is. And she’s stronger than me. The trouble is that, the nearer I get to the end of working on Spiritus, the less I want to work. Partly because I’m bored of editing (in a weird not-bored kind of way, like when you objected furiously to being taken on long walks as a child but actually quite enjoyed it once you were out there), and partly because I don’t want it to finish. I don’t want to break up with my pet project of the last 10 months (blimey, has it been that long?).

Suck it up, princess. Bite the bullet, shoot the internet, and EDIT.

That was Mercy talking. She’s a menace.

I read a good piece of advice yesterday – every character wants something, even if it’s just a glass of water. Thea wants gender equality, Astraeus wants glory, Sabine (narrator of Corpus) wants wealth, Mercy wants justice. And a fight. And a beer. Aaanyway… it sounds obvious but it’s quite an easy thing to overlook. Without that focus, though, you risk rambling both in scenes and throughout the story. Every scene and story needs a villain or opposition; they also need a goal. Even if the goal is a glass of water. Keeping that in mind helps focus the direction. The goals in Spiritus are actually a little fuzzy and I think it’s a lesson I can usefully apply to the next project. Once I get there.


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