Monday, May 29, 2006

Big Buggering Bollocksing B'stard

Crap, crap, crap, crap.

Once a year I try to write a short story. It's the only time I try my hand at writing, both because I know I'm not very good and because I have nowhere near the level of dedication to write more often (Scott, on the other hand, wrote a book last year which was very good and - should he ever get his finger out sufficiently to go through a second draft and actually submit it to someone - could well be publishable).

Anyway, this year's Bernice Summerfield short story competition has come round again and so I've been working on a story, off and on, for the past month. It's due to be submitted to the editor by Wednesday and I was intending to finish the first draft tonight, leaving me tomorrow to got through it and tart it up a bit.

Except - after typing about the thousand words which comprise the middle part of the story - my idiot laptop crashed. And I hadn't saved any of it, because I am a total tit.

I don't know if I can be bothered doing it all again, especially since I was making it up as I went along and it was going so well and I doubt very much if I could replicate what I'd written.

So - as I said - crap, crap, crap, crap.

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Blogger SAF said...

Damn it, I'd have looked forward to reading that.

11:26 am  
Blogger Stuart Douglas said...

SAF: "Damn it, I'd have looked forward to reading that"

No, you really wouldn't :)

TBH, I was wondering whether to submit it at all, what with Mr Wallace editing - it just felt a little too much like letting a mate read your poetry when you're sixteen - maybe it's good, but it's a bit unlikely and it might be terribly embarassing for the person you showed it to to come back and say 'well that's just rubbish' in as nice a way as possible whilst you do your best not to die off.

I'm going to have another go at the middle bit tonight since I would like to finish it, for my own satisfactionif nothng else - if I don't submit it I might even put it online here (yeah, like that's going to happen :)

12:07 pm  
Blogger alienvoord said...


so did you lose the whole story or just those thousand words?

12:48 am  
Blogger Stuart Douglas said...

I was left with an opening 500 words and another bit a little bigger from near the end :(

I redidi it last night, but re-reading it this morning it sounds quite rubbish....

9:25 am  
Blogger Stuart Douglas said...

Well I went over the story again but - and perhaps it's just my imagination - it really wasn't very good compared to the lost first attempt (or The Missing Classic, as I'll now be calling it).

The whole thing seems to have become horribly imbalanced and the prose stilted (really I'm sure I must be mis-remembering the first version - my prose is *always* stilted after all).

Sent it to the Big Finish email address at 10pm last night, thereby just sneakign under the 31st May wire. Didn't get a confirmation back or anything but maybe you don't - last year's editor, Simon Guerrier, was having all entries sent to a personal address whereas this year they're going to a Big Finish submissions address, so presumably it's a little different.

12:41 pm  
Blogger TimeWarden said...

Hope you have better luck with your story than I did with my "Revelation of the Daleks" novelisation. I was a bit unfortunate when I tried Virgin because of it featuring Daleks and, of course, the original having been written by Saward.

I've answered most of the points you made, about my recent post, on my blog fairly extensively! :)

6:48 am  
Blogger Stuart Douglas said...

Toim: "Hope you have better luck with your story than I did with my "Revelation of the Daleks" novelisation."

Have you read the New Zealand fan-club's novelisations of the missing Targets? They're quite good.

8:32 am  
Blogger Stewart M. said...

I'd really love to read your submission! If you feel like sharing it with anyone, that is. If not, I completely understand.

I was planning on entering the competition until I read that it was specifically about the Braxiatel Collection - I know virtually nothing about Braxiatel or his Collection, having until recently been a Benny virgin (pun intended).

Roll on Ood!

5:57 pm  
Blogger TimeWarden said...

David Burke was the original (Granada) Watson. He played him for 2 seasons/13 episodes in "Adventures" only. I always thought it ironic that it was Holmes who died but the Doctor who regenerated!!! More recently, he's appeared as Insp. Lynley's boss who goes off the rails.

I'm aware of the NZFC's novelisation of "Revelation" but haven't read it. To begin with, I was a bit cheesed off when I heard about it as I completed my version years before, beginning even before it was realised there wouldn't be a W H Allen adaptation, writing it, initially, just 'cos I love the story (and on an Amstrad of all things)! The fun part was hinting at the psychological reasons for Mister Jobel's behaviour towards the opposite sex!!

3:10 am  
Blogger Stuart Douglas said...

Stewart M: "I'd really love to read your submission! If you feel like sharing it with anyone, that is. If not, I completely understand."

I would show it to you if I thought it was any good, but the re-write ended up rubbish and as it was due in that day I just sent it off the first draft (if this sounds like panicky justification designed to cover up total lack of writing talent, then that's cos it is :-)

When Nick Wallace rejects it, I might try and mmake it less crap...

11:46 am  
Blogger Stuart Douglas said...

Tim: "To begin with, I was a bit cheesed off when I heard about it as I completed my version years before."

Do you still have it? I'd love to read it (if you me yours...)


11:50 am  
Blogger Stewart M. said...

Re: your last comment... I absolutely agree!

4:35 am  
Blogger TimeWarden said...

You'd be more than welcome to read it but as it's on a 5 1/4" floppy disc, as it was written on an Amstrad, must be 15 yrs ago, I've no idea how to access the document.

I have a print out, collecting dust. I remember reading the first chapter to a friend in the US about 3 or 4 yrs ago, when we had cheap phone rates(!), and thinking one paragraph was very clunky!! That was the last time I looked at any of it.

I started to revise it at one point but can't remember now if that was before or after the printed copy. That was when I started to elaborate on Jobel's psychology but the tricky thing is how much to tell and how much to leave to the reader's imagination.

The hardest part to novelise was the facial exchanges and weapon movement between the Doctor and Orcini, near the end, in Davros's laboratory. It's hard to transfer the pace at which that sequence happens on TV into the written word and, while physical stuff is interesting to watch, it's less appealing to describe.

5:58 am  
Blogger Scott Liddell said...

Ooh, ooh, my book got a mention in a blog!

So i'll drop my deliberately grumpy "Steptoe to your Son" demeanour for now but feel compelled to mention that even after knowing me for 30 (yes folks, 30) years, you still managed to spell my name wrong in the attempt at a link ;-)

8:17 pm  
Blogger Stuart Douglas said...

Scott: "you still managed to spell my name wrong in the attempt at a link"

Well if you had managed to keep your blog up for more than four entries (allabout a comfy chair you bought IIRC) I'd have probably got the link right...

9:16 pm  

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