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Showing posts from 2012

some short updates

Since my last post I have:

been to (and through) the Odyssey workshop in Manchester, New Hampshire where I met loads of great writers and may even have learned something (though the proof will be in the publications);completed (and now, it seems, been awarded) my MA in Creative Writing from Brunel University in West London where I met loads more great writers (both on and off the teaching staff) and may well have learned something more (though, y'know, I don't think Brunel was quite as obsessed with commas as the Odyssey folk);picked up another Writers of the Future Honourable Mention;Joined the CODEX writers group;submitted very little to anywhere (and that has to stop. Or start. Whatever.);been globetrotting. Just back from Zimbabwe via Malawi. Lots of story material there. Now I have to finish the novel I started for my MA dissertation. I'm about 50,000 words in, which is around half the novel, but I've had to put it down for a few weeks to concentrate on other thing…

hard to get started some mornings

I scared myself recently by adding up all the words I need to write to even halfway reach my writing goals this summer. It's a big number. And just to make life difficult for myself, I can't seem to get started on any of them.

Not quite true, but it feels that way. One of the things I've committed to is an online workshop run by the British Science Fiction Association called 'Orbiter' which means I'm supposed to give four other novelists 15,000 words of my work in progress every two months for critique. I say 'supposed' because I missed the last slot and I'm 22 days late with this round's. It shouldn't be that difficult - it's a fully outlined novel, I'm only 3,000 words or so shy of what I need to send and everyone in the group is friendly and helpful, but there's always something else which needs doing. Today is tricky tax and insurance issues, plus a book to read (for a book group), an evening out (to discuss the book), a cat …

John Carter

Oh dear, oh dear. Where did it all go wrong? Disney's John Carter is currently bombing at the box office - nine days after release it's taken just under $180 million worldwide against a production budget of $250 million. For a film which reputedly needs to make $700 million just to break even John Carter is looking like a flop of epic proportions. And for Disney, this is the second Mars related disaster in two years: 2011's Mars Needs Moms is currently nursing a net loss of $139 million. Reports suggest Disney itself may be projecting a $200m loss for John Carter. What is going on?


First things first. What's the movie actually like? Well the BBC's film critic Mark Kermode said: "The story telling is incomprehensible, the characterisation is ludicrous, the story is two and a quarter hours long and it's a boring, boring, boring two and a quarter hours long." and that seems to be the popular consensus. Director Andrew Stanton's previous experience was…

Every Day Fiction

My story 'The Barber Shop' appeared yesterday in Every Day Fiction. http://www.everydayfiction.com/the-barber-shop-by-mark-bilsborough/ . After the first day, the stories start to scroll down the page until they end up in the archive section, but this link is a permanent tag.

This site seems to get more traffic than Ray Gun Revival (though the story has less chance for prominent positioning) and looks like a good (but scary) place to get some reader reaction. The star rating system is already bringing out the competitor in me though, which is not good. I thought it would be ok just to be published!

short stories

A sales update. I've got a story in the January edition of Cover of Darkness (Sam's Dot Publishing) under the pseudonym Richard Tanswell, and work coming up in Ray Gun Revival and Every Day Fiction (under my own name).

deadlines

Am I the only one who waits until it's really far too late before writing anything? I know writers will do anything to delay the time when they actually have to do any writing, even if the delaying tactic is to do more (but different) writing, like this blog entry for instance. But I think my problem is more than that. Deep down in my psyche, I think I've failed if I submit early. What will I do with all those pressure free spare hours when I don't have a deadline to panic about? Other, more organised people look at me smugly as they go on with their ordered, regimented lives but me? Timewasting followed by frenzied catching up.

I need deadlines, otherwise I'd never focus on anything (random, sloppy, unfinished novels in my bottom drawer testify to that little problem). But what do I see when I see a deadline far, far into the distance? I see plenty of free time. I think I need the adrenalin rush of knowing that I have three hours to do six hours worth of work, or that…