The weird thing is, I started this blog so I could, you know, talk about writing. What's weird about that is, the farther you get into the whole professional side of things - the business of writing, as it were - the less you feel free to talk about it: the important stuff, the stuff that's occupying many of your thoughts, is between you and your editor and your agent. So I find myself in a curious position I suspect a lot of writers do, where you gradually sort of self-censor yourself because to do otherwise would be to divulge what are, really, confidentialities. Which is a shame, because there's a lot to tell.
Another reason for a lack of writing here is I've been busy working on outlines. Lots of outlines. Several outlines. Outlines coming out of my freaking ears. That's my life just now: I go to the part time job, I come home, and I type. A lot.
So, Gary: what're you up to?
Cool: want to talk about it?
Because I'm, you know, hanging in a limbo-like void here, man. The future is indeterminate. I can't really talk about my writing until I know whether I'm going to get a second contract.
Wow. Can't you tell us some things?
Well, I've got enough book ideas to last me about ten years, for a start. Curiously enough, very few of these are in the 'space opera' mode. I did space opera with Angel Stations. Lots of running about, shooting, and blowing up things. I did slightly less running about, shooting and blowing up things with Against Gravity, which wasn't really a space opera at all, and was meant to be more 'serious' (stop laughing at the back, there).
Some of the other stuff I've been working on includes 'Wonderland' (also known as 'Things Unseen'). This covers a period roughly between the end of WW2 and the mid-Seventies. It was inspired by a book about CIA and KGB covert involvement in the development of the arts, including modern art - Jackson Pollock, and so forth. That's all up to maybe sixty thousand words. Once I've got all the other writing work out of the way in the next couple of weeks, I'm going to try and go back to it and get as close as I can to finishing it. I'm expecting it to top out at maybe 150k, so the chances of actually finishing it anytime soone# are slim, but I'll see how far I get.
Another project I've got in the pipeline is having a go at writing an episode of an existing TV show. Every now and then I go to the scriptwriting workshop I've been hanging out at in recent weeks, and have a conversation with Claire (the person who runs the workshop) that goes something like this:
Gary: So how much do you get paid for writing an hour long TV episode?
Claire: About eight thousand pounds.
Gary (giggling): Say it again, Claire. But the other stuff too.
Claire: Eight thou, when they buy it. And another eight thousand, when they start filming it.
Gary (weeping hysterically, clawing at the table, both legs twitching violently): No. Say it properly. Say it the way I like it. With all the good bits in.
Claire (shaking head sorrowfully): Eight thousand to buy it, eight thousand again when they start filming it, another eight thousand on the first day of transmission ...
Gary (bursting into erratic, hysterical laughter): Say it! Say the good bit!
Claire: ... and the same again, if they repeat it.
Gary slides under the table, pawing at the carpet, making ecstatic snickering and grunting noises to generally appalled expressions.
Gary (briefly popping his head back up, a glazed look in his eyes): and how long is the average hour TV script? In words?
Claire: About fifteen thousand words (or sixty pages, in TVland parlance).
Gary: passes out from sheer joy.