Tropes, Tension, And Bullet Journals

The second draft of Crawlers is well underway now. To put it favorably, my manuscript is covered in notes. To put it slightly more honestly, my manuscript looks like a two-year old went town on someone’s thesis with a pack of stolen bic pens and half-chewed highlighters.

In other words, I’m almost ready for the first big edit.

In writing this story and doing some research on speculative fiction tropes, I’ve already started putting together some exciting ideas for a new story; a real set-in-space, epic science fiction series. It’s already becoming difficult to keep myself focused on the hard thing and not go off chasing the shiny new idea. I also have Zenith Rising, the last book in The Fielding Series, simmering on the back burner which I know I need to come back to finish sooner rather than later.

So now I’m effectively working on three projects at the same time: the as yet unnamed science fiction series, Crawlers, and Zenith Rising. I already know how hard it is writing just one novel, and now, because of my enthusiasm, I have three on the go at once.

In the interests of preventing brain damage, I’ve started a bullet journal to measure my progress and try to keep everything organised. If you don’t know what a bullet journal is, it’s basically a diary/notebook/calendar organisation system. I’m not sure how useful it’ll be for me yet, but I figure it’s worth a try if I don’t want to get buried under an ever-expanding avalanche of work. Here’s some information on the technique if you’re interested in checking it out yourself.

Outside of my writing, I’ve been spending a lot of time watching video essays on writing craft and screenplays lately. There are plenty of channels devoted to these subjects on youtube, a couple of my favourites being Lessons From The Screenplay and Channel Criswell.

There are so many easily missed moments and subtle devices used in books and film, it’s often great to back and deconstruct a scene to try and gain a better understanding of how it managed to inspire those feelings within you. I’ll leave you with one I watched the other day which goes over the methods Tarantino used to create such anxiety-inducing levels of suspense in the opening scene of his film Inglorious Basterds.


“Microsoft Type Cover 2 – IMG_4252” image by N i c o l a licensed under CC BY 2.0.

Tropes, Tension, And Bullet Journals
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