Saturday 23 August 2014

The Blog Tour Blog

I’ve been challenged again, this time by Pandora at Princess Pandora - Queen of Denialto attempt the Blog Tour Blog, answering the following questions:

(1) What am I working on?
(2) How does my work differ from others in its genre?
(3) Why do I write what I do?
(4) How does my writing process work?

I’m also supposed to nominate others – but I won’t do that.

Instead, if you read this and fancy having a go, please feel free and let me know in a comment.

Anyway, here goes:

What am I working on?

As well as writing the odd post for this blog, I am currently working on my third travelogue and an autobiography. The travelogue covers a trip to Japan from last year and takes the form of a daily diary. Japan is a wonderful place to visit and I just wanted to record everything we did, which meant taking copious notes, countless photos and even the odd voice recording while wandering the streets of Osaka. Sadly, progress is slow because, due to work commitments, time is sometimes too short to spend the amount of time I need to spend. Nevertheless, there is progress and one day I will finish it.

As for my autobiography, I realised that I am not getting any younger and it would be nice for my kids to be able to read about my life growing up in Walsall, studying in Liverpool, living in Manchester and travelling around the world. This is most definitely a background project and I add a few notes every now and then. I don’t think it will find its way onto the internet, but I hope that one day, it might be passed down to kids, grandkids etc. I would have loved to have read an autobiography of my own ancestors and I would hope that further down the line, my thoughts and words may be interesting to my future family.

There is one other thing. I have a novel in my head which has a beginning and an end, something that previous novel ideas have severely lacked. I have even written a brief synopsis and a few hundred words. Maybe one day I might actually dive into it with a bit more devotion and actually produce something I am proud of.

How does my work differ from others in its genre?

When I first put pen to paper with my China travelogue, I had in mind something similar to the travel writing of Bill Bryson. It soon became clear to me that I wanted it to be more personal, more like a journal than a treat for tourists. My Australia travelogue was actually a birthday present for Mrs PM’s mum who accompanied us on the trip, which meant that this too was very personal; I wanted her to have a detailed reminder of every experience on that once in a lifetime trip. I guess the same is true for my current Japanese travelogue.

Most autobiographies are interesting because the people involves are famous or have achieved something extraordinary. I am just a normal person living a normal life so my autobiography, if I ever finish it, will be not the most riveting read. I guess that, too, is very personal.

As for my novel idea, regular readers will know that I am a huge fan of science fiction and in reality it will not differ that much from the weirder works of Dean Koontz.

Why do I write what I do?

My writing, including my blog posts, has to be of interest to me. I would struggle to avoid expressing my own thoughts and opinions in the nonsense I write, which means that I tend to stick to subjects and genres that interest me. I need to express myself and writing is my favourite way of doing so. In my last blog post, I hinted that I might give up the blog and pour my thoughts into another medium; the truth is, I don’t think I will be able to. There is little point in writing about a subject if nobody reads it. Sadly, this means that I will continue to pour my drivel into cyberspace – I’m sorry, dear reader.

How does my writing process work?

The process is different depending on what I am writing.

For a blog post, a thought usually pops into my head and I immediately try to make a note of it, either by writing it down in a notebook or sending myself an email, if I don’t have a notebook with me. Blog posts are rough and ready and, while I do spend time researching if necessary, I usually post them after one or two minor rewrites.

For everything else, I am more of a perfectionist. In a typical session, I do a little research, write freely for a while and then walk away. When I return, I read my words two or three times , refine them, do a little more research and walk away again, repeating the process until I am reasonably happy with my work.

This is an interesting idea, and I am sure that professional writers would be very quick to offer advice on the best practices for writing, how to find ideas, how to go about research as well as how to refine your work into something that people will want to read.

Me? I’m just an amateur who enjoys writing as a hobby.

I just hope that you, dear reader, have a little bit of fun reading my weird words.


Pandora Behr said...

You have some very good answers there - liked hearing about your process.

Plastic Mancunian said...

Hi Pand,

And vice versa.