- 16/03 (GMT):
Episode 1 - London Below
- Weekday Episodes (GMT):
Episode 2 - Earl’s Court (18/03)
Episode 3 - The Angel Islington (19/03)
Episode 4 - The Black Friars (20/03)
Episode 5 - Market Afloat (21/03)
Episode 6 - The Key (22/03)
(I was asked to repost this to make it rebloggable, so here it is again)
Sleepyhollowjacks asks: During your Heart-Shaped Box writing days, how did you divide your time between projects? A few days a week on the occasional short story, the rest on Judas? One of my short stories isn’t so *short* anymore. Has stretched out into something much bigger. But I’m aware I could spend two years working on this potential novel, and then not have it sell. Want to avoid the whole eggs-in-a-basket thing.
The first is to stop thinking about writing a novel that’s going to take you two years. That’s too overwhelming. Instead, just focus on what you’re going to do today, which is write another great scene: a scene that does something unexpected and fun and is going to make people want to read on. Something that explores the characters in a way that’s real but surprising. Don’t write about someone waking up, unless they’re waking up to find a dead body next to them. Don’t write about someone making breakfast unless there’s a head in the fridge… or his wife is going to call halfway through his eggs to tell him she’s leaving his drunk and lazy ass for an alligator wrestler and part-time evangelical preacher. That would be a great scene to write and that’s all the job comes down to. Your job is to write one great scene… and then write another great scene. When you have a whole stack of them, it’s a short story, or a novel.
My second thought is that the only way to learn how to write a novel is to write a novel. You’re afraid you’ll spend two years on a book you can’t sell and it will all be wasted time. Forget that. Whether you sell the book or not, it won’t be wasted time. You will be developing crucial skills for the next book. You will develop ideas you can recycle later. Success comes from the things you learn when you fail. If you can’t bear to fail, it’s hard to grow as an artist.
I was one of the people who asked.
This is true.