The Sunday Circle: What Are You Working On This Week?

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The Sunday Circle is the weekly check-in where I ask the creative-types who follow this blog to weigh in about their goals, inspirations, and challenges for the coming week. The logic behind it can be found here. Want to be involved? It’s easy – just answer three questions in the comments or on your own blog (with a link in the comments here, so that everyone can find them).

After that, throw some thoughts around about other people’s projects, ask questions if you’re so inclined. Be supportive above all.

Then show up again next Sunday when the circle updates next, letting us know how you did on your weekly project and what you’ve got coming down the pipe in the coming week (if you’d like to part of the circle, without subscribing to the rest of the blog, you can sign-up for reminders via email here).


What am I working on this week?

Still working on my heavy-metal-orangutan-dinosaur-apocalypse novella this week. The rough draft of the first act is done, which means i now move onto the road-trip portion of the story and freak out about the fact I now get to write scenes with actual dinosaurs.

Also putting together the thesis rational for my PhD prospectus document so I’m prepared when uni goes back.

What’s inspiring me this week?

Stick with me on this one, but the four films in the Sharknado series. I sat down to watch all of them with a friend earlier this week, and I was really impressed with the first three. They’re terrible films, as everyone accuses them of being, but they are internally consistent terrible films that don’t treat their concept as an ongoing joke. Everyone in the movie treats the possibility of a sharknado (and, in film three, the oncoming sharkpocalypse) with utter seriousness, which I suspect is one of the reasons they became a cultural landmark back when the first film debuted in 2013..

They lose that in the fourth film. The tenuous verisimilitude and internal consistency of world-building gives way to the parody of Star Wars movies and entirely consequence-free carnage. Deaths – however stupid –  that would have been mourned and carried with a character in the first three films are forgotten in the fourth, and major characters have the kind of plot immunity that robs scenes of their tension.

Basically, the fourth film is the kind of godawful movie most people assume the first three are. It’s an incredible series to watch if you’re a fan of incredibly goofy narrative concepts (which, lets be honest, heavy-metal-orangutan-dinosaur-apocalypse falls into), just so you can figure out why they work and why they stop working.

What part of my project an I avoiding?

I have to pull apart the lit review from my thesis and rebuild it from scratch, as it appears I may have tried to do far too much for the wordcount available to me in my end-of-semester assessment.

I’m also hitting the end of the kicking-the-tyres stage of a project I’m not particularly sure about, which means I should really fire up some of the sub-projects that would let me test whether the main project will work.

  9 comments for “The Sunday Circle: What Are You Working On This Week?

  1. 16/04/2017 at 4:45 PM

    I really like your thoughts on Sharknado, Peter. I follow the creator/director on twitter & he’s a really funny & interesting guy.
    Here’s my Sunday Circle.

    • 17/04/2017 at 11:30 PM

      Oh no! All the best in your time of trial.

  2. karinacoldrick
    16/04/2017 at 6:48 PM

    Hey there folks!
    Peter, sounds like you have your work cut out for you with that lit review. Somehow I’d missed that they made FOUR Sharknado films… Not sure if I’m shocked or stunned at this revelation.

    Ree, my feels for you with your Ikea joy. Rare for such a bundle of errors from the Flat Pack Gurus. Good luck with the re-submissions.

    What am I working on this week?
    Plotting. Juliet Madison, one-woman-powerhouse, ran an online workshop on “plotting in a day” last weekend. The focus is very much on character and conflict, but the process gives a lot of insight into how to be more prolific by having clarity at the outset. Juliet also has this nice approach about fleshing out core scenes and then working them into a timeline – so you can eat your pantsing cake while keeping your plotting one.

    What’s inspiring me this week?
    Finally saw both Rogue One and Fantastic Beasts. As a lifetime Star Wars fan, it’s weird how the franchise is waning on me just as it’s waxing stronger than ever. (I think now it’s popular with everyone, I have fan fatigue.) Still, not engaging in the fandom meant the ending surprised me. Also, all the Easter eggs. And the ending. TBH, it feels like the ending Star Wars always should have had but never did because Mythic Heroism. It gives me hope The Last Jedi won’t be a rebooted Empire.

    Purely to brag, my daughter is now addicted to Pratchett’s Tiffany Aching series and I am sooo happy. Oh, Fantastic Beasts was pretty and slow and with flashes of darkness. And the tautology of flashing darkness is deliberate.

    What part of my project an I avoiding?
    It’s school holidays so getting words down is hard. I need to map out a bunch of scenes this week, however, as I’ve signed up to a binge-writing May.

    • 16/04/2017 at 9:04 PM

      Karina I wish it was Ikea! I bought it online from a place called Dshop. Learned my lesson – never again.
      Good luck with getting work done during the school holidays. Is binge-writing May a specific project like nano-wrimo or something that you’ve set for yourself?

      • karinacoldrick
        16/04/2017 at 10:54 PM

        Ah, that explains the Chinese writing. I did think any kind of writing was unusual for Scandinavians. (Lego is the same.)
        The binge-writing is organised by someone in RWA. I’ve done Nano before, ages ago, but taking a structured approach is new to me!

    • 17/04/2017 at 11:29 PM

      I enjoyed Fantastic Beasts, cautiously, too. And I’d love to chat about the plotting workshop sometime!

  3. 17/04/2017 at 11:26 PM

    Hello, I am still here, just rigid with (good) panic and (self-inflicted) deadlines.

    What am I working on?
    [Muffled wails]
    – A piece for a choose-your-own-adventure themed art show. It’s due in three days, so at least there’s a time limit on it AND I’ve finished off the pieces for the other two shows in the last week and I’m not allowed to do any more until after August.
    – Editing, somehow, dagnabbit.
    – Numerous, numerous art deadlines.

    What’s inspiring me?
    – I just read Practical Magic, and really enjoyed its strange lit/magic realism/outright fantasy blend.
    – Fascinated by the zombie-apocalypse-level world-building of Gone Girl, and how it’s a novel about a point in history, more than it’s about the people in it.
    – On a day off I started sorting out the spare room cupboards, throwing old suitcases out and stacking all my art paper and packaging where I can find it, which is still more weird than cool, but progress.
    – Baking pie. It’s fairly meditative.

    What am I avoiding?
    At any given point in time?
    – Editing.
    – Parts of my reading.
    – Eating things other than pie.

    • karinacoldrick
      18/04/2017 at 7:23 PM

      Oh I adore Hoffman! If you liked Practical Magic (which is beautiful), you’d probably also like her The Probable Future. She also writes YA but I’m not so taken with these.

      Feel free to drop me a line re the Plotting Workshop. Are you at ReaderCon or can you make the Brissie RWA conference this year?

      Keep at it with those art deadlines and maybe take the editing in timed stages? Or break it down so it’s a page a go?

    • 18/04/2017 at 8:29 PM

      I didn’t know Practical Magic was a novel. I’ve always loved the film.Maybe I’ll try tracking the novel down, sounds like I’d love the book, too.

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