Work-in-Progress: an Update

23 Oct

And so I’m off to the writing den. The boot of the car will be loaded up with paint (for decorating purposes), logs (so that I don’t freeze to death), and books and CDs (so that I don’t die of boredom). I’ll also be taking my laptop, with Work-in-Progress No. 1 stashed safely away inside it.


The writing den awaits me

I’ve been working on WIP No. 1 for the last year now and I still haven’t shown the text to anyone. All that I’ve shared are the three short extracts on this blog (herehere and here) and a further one in Jamboree Bag, the sampler of my work now in the hands of a few readers. Previously, during the days of the Ipswich Writing Group, I would have shared a larger number of extracts with my fellow writers. As it is, 12 months and 60,000 words down the line, I continue writing in a vacuum. Like its predecessor, WIP No. 1 has a pretty complex structure (I don’t like doing things the easy way…) so it’s nowhere near finished. And it’s always possible, of course, that it’s a heap of garbage. That’s the risk we take as writers. It’s not until a project is on the home straight that you can really say whether it’s going to work or not. Time will tell.

LUAP Uniform Transitory 2

How WIP No. 1 might look in print

A week without the Internet or work, or people, come to that… hopefully, I should get a few thousand more words written. In the meantime, here’s a further extract.

I had begun to wonder about the flies.  That was when I first suspected that I might be losing my grip.

The People’s Semi-autonomous Republic had possessed a genius for surveillance, even before the advent of digital technology. Microprocessors, nanotechnology, CCTV, hidden microphones… What mightn’t the Republic’s successor be able to achieve with these modern miracles? One thought led to another. I noticed that whenever I was sitting at a table in a bar or café in that city, I would find myself surrounded by flies. I can honestly say that they’d never bothered me much before. Now I’d developed a pathological hatred of those little black monsters. The mere sound of their senseless buzzing would jar my nerve endings. I’d lash out at them until either they were driven off or destroyed. They seemed to be everywhere. And I started to question their reality. Mightn’t they be tiny drones, then, designed to follow me, to gather information with their microscopic cameras and recording devices? And if their operators didn’t like what they found, who was to say that their proboscises mightn’t turn out to be armed with scale model ballistics?  I became expert at trapping them. When an insect landed on my table, I would hold my hand above it, lowering it slowly so as to overwhelm its compound eye.  And then I would strike. I never discovered anything that looked artificial, though, just the splattered innards of the creatures. They contained no miniaturised circuitry or mechanisms. But that didn’t mean to say that my suspicions were unfounded. I may merely have crushed the wrong ones.

All text and images © PSR 2013


6 Responses to “Work-in-Progress: an Update”

  1. jhuwevans October 23, 2013 at 7:19 pm #

    Have a good break. Watch out for flies – or bio-bots as we call them in the trade.

    • Paul Sutton Reeves October 30, 2013 at 1:53 pm #

      Thanks, Huw. Back now. Come to think of it, there were lots of lies out there, as per usual, but I don’t think they observed anything interesting.

  2. October 23, 2013 at 10:14 pm #

    Wow, the writing den looks really cool! Good luck with this intense week of writing, it sounds like you will get a lot done. I am going to try to match your determined energy and get some writing done of my own.

    • Paul Sutton Reeves October 30, 2013 at 2:06 pm #

      Hi Lauren and thanks for commenting. The writing den is pretty cool, actually. I spent a lot of time on repairs this time but did plenty of thinking about my work-in-progress and wrote a few thousand words too. How did your writing go?

  3. Mari Biella October 24, 2013 at 8:37 am #

    Enjoy your break, Paul. Hopefully you’ll get lots done!

    • Paul Sutton Reeves October 30, 2013 at 2:08 pm #

      Hi Mari and thanks for your good wishes. I’m back now and had a good time writing and repairing!

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