Thursday, March 15, 2012

Clockwork Birds

Let's be serious for a moment here. I've been writing lately. A lot. A lot as in, last week I wrote about 10,000 words in my novel. The first 10,000 words, in fact. It's possible that I'll end up scrapping or editing the living hell out of these words in the future, rendering them essentially useless, but right now I feel pretty good about myself. Chuffed, even. Writing a lot is exhausting, but no matter what, 100% of the time, I find it extremely satisfying.

I'm also about done with a 2-week work placement at a publishing house here in London. While the work hasn't always been the most stimulating, I've enjoyed every single second of it. Being in such a book-centric environment is amazing, and the people I've worked with are ridiculously friendly, welcoming, and full of information about the world of publishing. I keep telling people, "I don't want to leave!" I really don't. I'd be happy just going there every day forever, doing menial jobs for free. I'd bring everyone coffee and hang up their coats. Okay maybe I wouldn't do that forever, or for free, but what I'm trying to say is that I'm loving my work placement. It's done more to inspire me and get me motivated to write and finish my novel than even the Creative Writing MA program at Brunel. Don't get me wrong; the MA is amazing, and absolutely worth every penny I've spent on it, but it just hasn't kicked me into gear as much as working with this publishing house has over the past two weeks. Let's hope this motivation continues!

A few people have asked me what my novel is about, and I feel like a dick because I'm a bit reluctant to give out any specifics in terms of plot. But my novel is my baby, and as it's not published or anything, I want it to remain as under-wraps as possible while I work on it. I will say it's a fantasy of manners, absolutely my favorite sub-genre of fantasy bar none, and it's about a harpist. (I like writing about harpists, apparently.) There's also a tad bit of pseudo-steampunk happening in it, but not enough to make it a legitimately steampunk novel I'm afraid. And there are clockwork birds. Just keep your eye out for my name in lights, guys! Ha ha.

If you're interested in reading any books that fall into the "fantasy of manners" or mannerpunk sub-genre, I highly recommend Swordspoint by Ellen Kushner as a starting point. It's how I originally discovered the genre, and it's still regarded as basically the definitive mannerpunk novel. Definitely read it, if you have the time! It's technically a fantasy, but it reads like historical fiction -- there is no magic, no dragons, or anything you'd typically think of when talking about fantasy. So don't be afraid, Mom; you might actually like it.

And now I'm going to dive head-first into writing, and likely spend the rest of my evening bashing away at the keyboard. Farewell, real world.

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