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?

Man, you know how I thought I was done with the first act of my story last week? Turns out, it wasn’t so. I found a whole ‘nother fifty pages of story which, when I hit it, immediately proved to have all the hallmarks that identify the first act (namely: newly arrived B plot and the transition to a vastly different landscape/setting).

A useful kind of rabbit hole to go down, but it does mean I’ve still got all these editorial tools that I need to trial, and some stories in dire need of revision…

What’s inspiring me this week?

So many good movies and documentaries this week – including The Imitation Game and a surprisingly good SBS docymentary series on hipsters – but the best of them was checking out Francis Ford Coppala’s 1973 film, The Conversation. It’s an old-school seventies thriller featuring Gene Hackman as a surveillance expert with a guilt-ridden past, who comes to realise that there is something hinky about his current assignment. Most people will probably come to it for the cast, which includes a pre-Star Wars Harrison Ford, or the fact that it came out in the same year as Watergate and features the same technology.

I got to it because it’s one of the early films in which Walter Murch served as editor, and there are references to it all through Michael Ondaatje’s The Conversations. Fascinating stuff, if you can track down a copy to read beforehand..

What part of my project an I avoiding?

The editing exercises. ‘Cause they’re hard and unfamiliar and bring me closer to the fail-state of writing, wherein I finish things and send them off and people tell me they’re still not fixed enough to be publishable.

  12 comments for “The Sunday Circle: What Are You Working on This Week?

    • 31/01/2016 at 10:51 PM

      I also finished the first draft of a book about my editing process (creatively titled Edit your novel, step-by-step), which is the one I both use and teach>

      To borrow a phrase from the internet (and the Simpsons): Your ideas are intriguing to me and I wish to subscribe to your newsletter. Or, in this instance, buy that book.

    • 31/01/2016 at 11:44 PM

      Charlotte, Liz Duffy Adams wrote a wonderful play about Aphra Behn, titled “Or,” – I saw a performance last year and it is Restoration bedroom farce only in a writing room while Aphra tries to finish a play to deadline while dealing with her spying past, her royal would-be-lover, the unexpected arrival of Nell Gwyn and a demanding patron. If you get the chance to see it (I don’t know if there are recordings) it was a treat.

      She’s also working on a Restoration historical serial for Serial Box with Delia Sherman et al this year but I don’t know if it involves Behn.

  1. Pingback: Sunday Circle #1 |
    • 31/01/2016 at 11:38 PM

      I haven’t wanted to watch The Babadook yet, but you got me with “seamlessly changes perspective”. Now I need to find someone with whom to watch it.

  2. 31/01/2016 at 9:57 PM

    Hi all! This is a quick late night check-in to say briefly that between moving house and volunteering night shift at the Melbourne Global Game Jam this weekend, I’m at capacity. Despite a string of near emergencies and actual emergencies, good things are happening, but have no words.

    Will be back next week bright eyed and bushy tailed!

  3. 31/01/2016 at 11:37 PM

    What am I working on this week? It’s a week crowded with meetings so I’m only working on: (a) editing a chapter per day of the Regency and (b) working the kinks out of a repeating pattern I want to get printed.

    What’s inspiring me this week? Due to confluence rather than intention, I’m reading too much about Charlie Manson, which isn’t my inspiration of choice. Revisiting Heyer’s wild, meaty, flippancy is even more refreshing by contrast, so I’ll go with that.

    What part of my project am I avoiding? Getting momentum on the editing, and adding a border to the pattern. It’s just one tiny step too far, on a project that gained unexpected legs.

  4. Karina
    31/01/2016 at 11:45 PM

    Hi folks,

    What am I working on this week?
    Um. New stuff. Definitely new stuff. But only a little because real life has intruded. I did, however, manage a less-than-adequate blog as a result of this exercise AND I got that challenging synopsis done. (To the extent that the husband, who has read the various summaries but not the full book, said, “Oh I finally understand what the story’s about now.”)

    What’s inspiring me this week?
    We’ve been listening to an audiobook of Rudyard Kipling’s “Just So Stories” in the car, and, O Best Beloveds, it has reminded me how much I love the language of that era. I am also in love with my little library/office. Very snug and secure-feeling-making.

    What part of my project an I avoiding?
    Getting stuck into something new properly. The husband and I are at the point where we need to generate an income sooner rather than later, and my writing is supposed to be taking a backseat.

    I see that Sophie is rigidly writing between 5-7am – and I am faint with awe at such dedication. While I prefer to write at night time once the kids are in bed – the self-editing is lower when I’m tired – I may need to resort to the extreme measure of getting up earlier to get any writing in at all.

    The trick will be sneaking past the kids’ bedrooms without waking them…

  5. 01/02/2016 at 9:16 AM

    Finished at the last few hours of Sunday, the piece for myself:

    *unf unf unf etc*

    I need a day off before I figure what the next piece is.

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