Wednesday, 10 February 2010

Old Fart Wannabe Blog 7 - Inside the OU

Entry for 10th February 2010

Have you ever seen Dr.Who? For those outside the U.K. who haven’t it’s a Sci Fi series where the hero travels around in a box, about the

size of a large dog kennel on the outside but with an inside about the size of a small cinema. I am now discovering that the study of the

“Craft” is a bit like that.
I am ploughing my way through my first course, a mere introduction, intended to prepare me for serious study later in the year and I keep turning up treasure. 

There is a quote running around in my head, I don’t know from where, maybe some old T.V. ad.” I didn’t know there was so much in it”. That’s how I feel about this serious, as opposed to casual, writing business.

 I didn’t know, for instance that my chunk of words, my pre-dawn brainchild has 
a wholelist of genre sub-categories to follow the main Historical one. There are, for instance, ‘action’, ‘adventure’, ‘magic realism’ and one I’d never heard of, ‘maximalism’. The
last one I couldn’t even find in my on-line copy of Webster’s, that’s how specialised it is; fortunately the OU has a glossary for all of these categories.
I also discovered, from the writings of ’proper’ authors, the difficulties experienced with titles. I’ll probably come back to this at a later date, when I get nearer to publication. If there is anyone out there I may even ask your advice, conduct a poll, whatever. For the moment I did an Amazon and Google search and, as far as I can see, my provisional title ” The Axe and the Shield” is untaken. My daughter, the graphic designer,in kicking around possible cover designs relevant to 

the text ( which she still hasn't finished reading) thought maybe “The Cross and the 

Hill”  ( two of the mute characters in the yarn)  might be a possibility. ‘Herself”, on the other hand, tends to refer to it as ‘That Damn Book”. I could see that, as an attractive possibility, but rejected it; that title would perhaps raise expectations of humour, doomed to disappointment. The tome is not
a funny book, not intentionally anyway.
The sum of my advice so far to wannabe-published authors? If you’ve already done it —well get you— if not, sign up to a writing course. You’ll be surprised how much is in it. And you meet some lovely people.
Take care out there,