creative writing, process, women

Writing Update

Im now 190 pages into the first draft of The Exit Counselor which i am doing longhand. I am waiting for my agent to get in touch about Until She Sings.

I am reworking Nothing Keeps Me Anywhere into a leaner book. There were things i found which did not sit right so i am making revisions each day.

Stranger Lights awaits a second draft and some research but it will come in time.

Thank you for reading, liking and commenting.  It means a great deal.

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beauty, creative writing, poetry, process, social media, women

Writing Updates

I have reached the 120 page on Lawful Evil, which means that the first pad of longhand has been typed up and edited. There have been some changes, mostly for the sake of clarity and a few scenes, which although pleasing to have written and read, don’t move the story forward.

I am waiting for notes on Nothing Keeps Me Anywhere, which I hope to have by the end of the week. It’s the project that I went into after Until She Sings, and was very different from it’s predecessor so once Lawful Evil is done, I will be working on that.  Strange Lights still sits in exploratory but the longer I leave it, the more cogent the editing will be. I have also made notes towards roughly three future projects, one of which has an outline, whilst the other have character and background notes, sketches essentially to capture some of what I aim to put into the stories themselves.

I am always about my purpose, which is writing and the more that I do, the hope is that I improve and develop so that when the opportunity arises, someone will see me as a worthwhile investment. I love what I do, but I also act professionally about it and put my energy into the things I can control. Which is, at this stage, the work.

If you want to check me out other places, I  am on Facebook as https://www.facebook.com/matt.blissett.1

Twitter as @mbblissett

https://www.instagram.com/mbblissett/

I am down to the last 100 pages of Lonesome Dove, which is exquisite and moving then will be diving into The Count of Monte Cristo which is a stunning book and a genuine classic.

There will be more poetry and short fiction coming this week too, please share and comment, as it is always good to know that someone is reading.

Thank you for reading.

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creative writing, process, writing

On Writing – Second Drafts and Approaches

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I am now 65 pages into the second draft of Lawful Evil.

What has been interesting for me is that I am a lot more ruthless with it than the first draft than I have been in previous books. A lot of that comes from experience, an understanding that my first drafts are about getting whatever is in my head onto the page without worrying about it being perfect. Some people do, and that’s okay but for me, having multiple stages allows me to not feel any performance pressure in terms of getting the book to a point where I feel comfortable sending it to the agent, and in turn, making it a viable prospect. I can waste my own time, but I won’t waste yours. We are up against kitten videos and hot and cold running pornography after all, so you need to make sure the work is worth someone’s investment.

The first draft is where I figure out what I wanted to say, I use the story grid to ensure that the work has a progression that meets the expectations of the audience, which is a conversation in and of itself, and also allows me to know the overall shape of the work itself. Within that, first drafts are where I meander, overwrite. Remember playing air guitar (pfft remember I bet you’re doing it right now)? Same principle.

I write in longhand, in pencil because it is something that I find connects me to the work and allows me to approach it from a different area of my brain than typing does. It is comforting but in it’s low fidelity approach, it is portable, easy to pick up and put down. I use A4 lined pads and work through until I am. It is done at a rate of 2 pages a day, but I do work in flurries when time allows so there are extra pages done but the baseline is 2 pages in order to take away the pressure but also to be productive.

It sounds boring, but I look at it like this – on a bad day, it is only two pages. On a good day, you walk away hungry and that builds fortitude and discipline, like saving for a rainy day. The rainy days will come, and I have faced more than my fair share, but as a practice, I have kept writing.

I wait for at least eight weeks before I start a second draft. I do not review it until the notification comes up on my calendar and I read through it, typing and editing it. I aim to remove whatever does not serve the story.

Stories are what I tell. I don’t know if I am any good at them, but I study their structure, read and absorb them, to the extent that I can talk with passion about them. I like to write because it’s low-tech and doesn’t initially rely on anyone else to make them. I have beta readers, an agent and eventually a publisher and editors there, but for the most part, it is just me and the drive to do it.

I view writing as my purpose. The more I’ve aligned my life around it, the happier I have become. Sometimes it makes me appear stoic, even taciturn and perhaps self-obsessed but in truth, it really does make me happy. I cannot say whether I am any good, but the work is something that I can do, and if I don’t have any natural talent, then I can work to the point where there exists the appearance of it. I am ambitious in my goals, but that came about as a desire to do more of what I love. I think writing is magical, it’s introduced me to some wonderful people and those of you reading this are amongst them. I don’t have dreams because you wake up from them, I have goals and they are big ones because it is better to reach high and fail rather than aim low and succeed. I don’t talk about writing as much as I do write, if that makes sense. It is a better balance, much like watching a sport when you could be playing it.

I feel successful because I have written a book before. What I want is more of that, and although it is lonely work, and you sometimes have that fear of missing out, when my work colleagues talk about playing Elder Scrolls in PvP, or going out and I’ve been writing or reading, I worry that there might be something wrong with me. Then I look at what I have achieved in the last few years, see that people from countries all over the world visit here and take the time to like and comment, and it is all worth it.

My ambition is to someday send you links to the listing on Amazon, or tell you that a book of mine is available in bookstores but that is the beginning. Thank you for reading.

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Patience and Process

Sit down, listen and I will share something I’ve learned.

I have learned this through pain and upset, which is how the best lessons are learned. Ask a thwarted lover, they will tell you, if they can manage to stop crying long enough for any degree of clarity.

The most difficult thing to learn when pursuing a goal, artistically or otherwise, is patience. Society is geared towards instant gratification, to the point that it sinks into the unconscious and you are unaware of how that desire has been stitched into you. So, for instance, when you’re writing and you want to get feedback even as the first draft resembles a hostage demand written by a dyslexic clown with a crayon between its teeth.

You know what I am talking about but you need to breathe through it.

I got your back on this. Trust me.

It never goes away, but you make your peace with it. It is a long game, and you have to approach these long periods as part of your training. Think of a montage in an action movie and use that time to educate and improve yourself. Develop a practice that can sustain you through those times. My patience is being tested whilst waiting for a nod from a publisher about the second book so having a process inures me to that, to a certain degree.

When I say that, I will break that down into stages so that we are clear on this matter, together, okay?

By that I mean, something that you commit to daily/weekly/monthly for an amount of time where you focus either on the act of, or learn something about your art form.

I write two pages a day, sometimes it is done in one heady rush, it can be awkward or slow but it gets done. That two pages can be part of a first draft, it can be editing towards a later draft, it can be two pages of a short story but it gets done.

Why?

OK, so my reasoning, and it is sourced in research and experience,

  • It gives you something to do whilst waiting for the time to pass. The devil makes work for idle hands, and all that. If you’re always working on something, you’re using that ambient emotional energy in a productive fashion.
  • You improve over an organic period of time, by working on it in small (manageable) increments without being consciously aware of it. I don’t believe in the idea of natural genius. There is talent, there is hard work that gets you to a level of talent and genius is normally the perfect storm of the two.
  • A little each day builds up courage, like saving pennies. I think it’s a good antidote to ‘writer’s block’ which I prefer to frame as resistance, and in turn, think it’s a fear of writing poorly. Don’t worry about it, get it down and get it done.
  • You get used to the idea of being productive regardless of circumstance. Writing to inspiration is great, but it is inconsistent and doesn’t lend itself to a professional mind set. I believe in being professional, it is a source of my personal enjoyment in the craft. Behaving like a professional tends to get you treated like one, and I believe in that attitude for a number of reasons. One, it lowers the pressure if you do get to that point and two, it lends itself to a better nuance of enjoyment when you are honing in on different levels of craft or the project. That’s before we get into things like manifestation and goal setting, which I probably won’t. A man has to keep something back, you know?

OK, so hopefully that gives you something to think about. Montage over.

If you have any questions, then please use the contact form and I will answer them. Anonymity is assured, should you wish and please put that in the body of the question so I know.

 

 

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Sir 2.0 Episode 1: Processing. (audiobook)

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Sir 2.0 Episode 2: Processing.

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You swallow but your throat is acrid with tension. You cannot make out the details of the people watching you, only that they are there. The gown continues to shift up on the back of your legs, adding self consciousness, drop by drop, over the stir of emotions that collide and change within you.

‘To complete processing, you will undergo a cursory medical examination and a bathing procedure. Once those are complete, you will be assigned sleeping quarters and then left to your own devices until tomorrow morning.’

You narrow your eyes against the light. The voice has retreated behind an air of routine and its emotional content is all that you have to go on in terms of figuring out what is going on here. How much trouble, you potentially are in depends on what information you can glean from your present circumstances.

‘The correct response is yes sir.’

Your heart beats hard and faster. There is a low murmur of conversation, and a stifled giggle which rakes its nails down your spine. A hot flash of humiliation bursts in your stomach, a perfect emotional time travel, taking you back to high school again. The spotlight is hot, and you can feel perspiration beginning to teem underneath your arms and at the small of your back. At this precise moment, every sense is sharpened, ready to cut like a theatre of eager surgeons. Whether it’s you or someone else, depends on the response you give.

‘Yes, sir.’

You raise a hand and a titter snakes through the audience.

‘Am I being held here against my will?’

The laughter grows and someone calls out ‘not with those thighs, dear.’ Your cheeks burn with blood and tears well in the corners of your eyes.

‘Don’t laugh at me.’

That draws a series of oohs.

‘What upsets you more, being held here against your will or being laughed at?’

The voice comes through, silences the others in its wake. The way a comet burns up air on its passage through the night sky.

‘Don’t play doctor with me. I want an answer to my question.’

The voice gives a dark chuckle that makes you shiver to be its subject.

‘What if you had already been asked that question?’

You frown, aware that the spotlight makes every expression exaggerated. Another ripple of laughter starts up. It hurts more than the first time and you start to back up.

‘Stop right where you are.’

You jerk at the change in tone and volume and in response, the back of your gown hitches up a centimetre, highlighting the backs of your thighs where they meet your ass. You give an involuntary yelp, which fuels the embarrassment even further.

‘I wouldn’t, there’s nothing wrong with me.’

He pauses and the laughter dies away again. It’s application reminds you of a whip or a paddle and its sting unsettles rather than the pure, stable joy of pain that you enjoy. That you recognise this comes to you unbidden and without import.

‘My point, exactly.’

A wall to the left bursts into brilliant, white light and coalesces into a screen. A series of numbers dance across, teeming in patterns of deliberate complexity before it opens on a woman’s face, smiling.

Your face.

‘Hey, look you’re probably freaking out about now, but that’s kind of the point. I am you and you are me, before all this starts off.’

You watch yourself give your name, date of birth, social security number, mother’s maiden name and that you have paid to experience SIR, signed a raft of paperwork to avoid indemnity and that you should just relax and go with it.

Offscreen, a female voice asks you onscreen how you heard about SIR. You smile, and you recognise yourself, the telltale blink that you give and the bitemark on the inside of your lip that you could probably slip the edge of your front teeth again and find the indentation by instinct.

Your capacity to tear yourself to pieces without cause, a thought arises, might be part of why you are here.

Not that you are sure what here means.

‘I go to a munch two towns over once a month and one of the subs there went. She did not stop talking about it so I looked into it and -‘

You watch yourself spread your arms and grin. A hopeful light twinkles in your eyes. If this is not you, then it’s terrifying in its accuracy.

‘Here you are. Or I am. Sorry, I get tongue tied with things like this.’

The interviewer chuckles and you join in, a little ahead of the beat and the audience in the room follow along. The screen fades into black.

‘We’ve installed a block on your memories. We don’t change anything about you, and at every turn, we’re a bit like the opposite of a supermarket. We always offer choice. You are here because you want to be, but part of what makes this so popular and so important to maintain discretion is that we agree that this is all part of the play.’

Your breath is molten in your lungs and a heat begins to pool in the pit of your stomach, drawn downwards by gravity and you clench your thighs together to make the sensation flare deeper and warmer.

‘So, I volunteered for this?’

A hum fills the air and you experience the interview directly again. The leather chair underneath you, the scent of the Ethiopian coffee that you were offered on arrival and the drive over, calculating how much this was going to cost you. Chrissy had said it was ‘life-altering’ and you knew that your life could use some of that.

Some people went into simulations about the zombie apocalypse, you came here.

‘Does that answer your question?’

You stare into the darkness. The want is bolder than your fear, it puts a leash on it and a muzzle. The courage hardens your nipples, relaxes the muscles between your thighs, opening and transforming the emotions into fuel for the engine of your desire and your fear and your need.

There have seldom been clear distinctions between them and that, you know is part of why you are here. You smile and lower your head. Deferment is part of it, and you know that there is expectation and a responsibility here for you. It is a misconception that the submissive is powerless, and you stopped explaining this to vanilla types a long time ago. Here, you have the power and the voice, the eyes in the darkness are asking you to take it.

‘Yes, where do we start?’

The table is wheeled in with stainless steel stirrups mounted on telescopic stands mounted on the ends, a section cut away in the middle and velcro straps at the top end. A second table is brought in with a bowl of steaming, lilac and coconut scented water and a natural sponge. You run your tongue over your lips, and your heartbeat drowns out the thoughts in volume and rhythm.

No one is laughing at you now. Which is a good place to start.

‘Whenever you are ready.’

TO BE CONTINUED.

 

 

 

 

 

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ambition, beauty, craft, creative writing, creativity, emotion, empowerment, inspiration, love, nature, passion, poetry, process, purpose, sensuality, stoicism, strength, Uncategorized, wisdom, women, writing

Spark

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Trials lie in wait

On every corner

I hold within

A spark of purpose

I am earth, air, fire, water

And all things

Within it

Undefined

By anything

Beyond will

And purpose.

Each quiet hour

Before dawn

Pen makes

Love to paper

Fingers seduce

The keyboard

If you would

Find me anywhere

Find

Me

There.

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