WHO IS THE MIRROR-MAN?

Idea 10: The Mirror-Man is near completion

Yes, yes, I know it’s been a while. Ok, like, 7 months. But in my defence, I actually haven’t done much writing of the novel in that time. I think I managed two chapters between then and April, which I am currently using to finish off my first draft. I have one week left and one final chapter plus an epilogue, then begins the long process of editing.

The Mirror-Man has never left my thoughts, however. Not an hour passes where he’s not sitting there in my head, telling me his story and yelling at me to get it done. I can’t leave him where I left him in the story, and he knows it. Imagine my surprise when a song is released last month by a talented young lady called ‘Mirror Man.’ Apart from my annoyance that someone else has stolen my character’s name (for it HIS, this whole story is HIS,) I took it as synchronicity that the end was nigh, another way the Mirror-Man has somehow reached through worlds and in to my external life to get me to return to the page.

I submit. I will finish it.

Who is the Mirror-Man?

The Mirror-Man is near completion.

Idea 9: the Mirror-Man is infinite.

I have been back at work for a week. The process is now officially over. I can’t find the words to summarise six weeks of writing, I can only say I came so close to my goal and am happy with the outcome. 18 chapters out of my target 25, I haven’t yet worked out what that equates to as a word count.

I suppose there isn’t much to be said. This blog will continue as I continue with the task of finishing the Mirror-Man’s story, no matter where it leads. Time is a precious thing now, and mastering it will be the next challenge.

The Mirror-Man goes on.

Who is the Mirror-Man?

The Mirror-Man is infinite.

Idea 8: the Mirror-Man is choice

It’s been 11 days since my last confession. My excuse? A mixture of a not so productive week on the laptop and a self reflective period with the story. And, I’ll admit, an ounce of self doubt. With that however, came an acceptance; I decided that if I beat myself up I wouldn’t achieve anything and so I had to just write what I could. I tried upping my word count which didn’t help and remembered that I had set a 2,000 word goal for a pretty good reason, even if I was finishing by midday each time. So I just wrote up until the point that it started to become uncomfortable, and by that I mean the words taking on a life of their own on the screen, all dancing and doing doing the hokey-cokey before my eyes. Anyway, it quickly fell back to 2,000 words per day, the natural order of things, and this week I really pulled it back. I’m halfway through chapter 17 and with my last week coming up, I hope to at least be in the last two or three chapters by time I go back to work. I still have faith that I may even complete the first draft before then, but I’m not setting myself any more expectations.

Chapter 16 was called ‘Choice’. I loved that damn chapter and everything it stood for. It was the crossroads of the two main characters and explores how even obsession is still a choice of sorts. This whole project has been an obsession, hasn’t it? I chose to write it and I chose how best to tell the Mirror-Man’s story. Chapter 16 was at its heart a confession to myself. One of the characters, Audrey, tells Grem that he always had a choice.
We are the causes of our own suffering. And hard choices are all part of our life’s telling.

Who is the Mirror-Man?

The Mirror-Man is choice.

Idea 7: the Mirror-Man is faith

I finished a chapter yesterday afternoon and saving it to my memory stick I realised that I only have ten more left to write. I had only been dimly aware of this, but it struck home and put things in perspective. I am three weeks in to this project and have three weeks left; the goal has never felt so…close, I guess, and it has spurred me on beyond what I could have imagined.
I am now starting to get an understanding of how this story is going to feel as a complete thing and although very much at the first draft stage, I have been really pleased with the outcome. Myself and three friends, all writers, met up and shared samples from projects we have individually been working on. That was the first time I have shown this to anyone and it was with a sense of trepidation; this is my baby – what if they hated it? Fortunately, it went down really well and all three gave me some constructive criticism but also praised the bits I hoped they would. They reinforced everything that I have been doing and gave me a new found sense of confidence and purpose. Their advice has found its way in to subsequent chapters and this end part I think is just going to roll out.

Sometimes, you’ve jut got to trust in your story and your ability.

Who is the Mirror-Man?

The Mirror-Man is faith.

Idea 6: the Mirror-Man is obsessive

It was a bewildering complex of caves and tunnels that threatened to claim him for eternity if he lost his way. How deep he was it had been too dark to fathom, and with no sense of time either he was unable to make a rational estimation.

The torch was thrust out before him, a ward against the black fear that made his heart quail. Was there even a world above? It felt like a distant dream now, a far flung fantasy of his madness. For he had to be mad to be here. Had to be.

 

It has been over two weeks now and this passage from a recent chapter sums up how deeply submerged I feel within the story. I was writing up until quite late last night, and the Mirror-Man found his way in to my dreams; he showed me the way to the place where the story ends. The first part, at least. He knows as well as I do that we are getting close.

I feel renewed through this process now, where last week I found it an introspective trial. I have started meditating again which has helped me to accept some things about myself and this strength has found its way in to my writing. I visited Temple in London, a location where a part of my book is set, to do some research and take some photos. It was awesome wandering the same streets that I knew my characters would soon be and it gave me a fresh outlook on that particular chapter. 

Today I have a completely free schedule and an empty flat, so I’m going for a marathon word count ready for the weekend, (which, I will admit, rarely yields any fruit!) I have vectored that in to my remaining total and it feels nice to be able to give myself a break over those days.

Finally, it turns out that people actually read this blog so I would like to thank each and everyone of you for giving it the time out of your day. For all those that follow, your support is much appreciated.

Don’t be shy to comment and say hello though, eh? 😉

Who is the Mirror-Man?

The Mirror-Man is obsessive.

 

Idea 5: the Mirror-Man is elusive

Grem, the other main character in my book, can never seem to get a straight answer from the Mirror-Man. Ultimately, these two characters just do not trust each other, which has been a fun relationship to write but I sympathise more with Grem’s frustration. For writing the Mirror-Man’s story isn’t a straight line, isn’t something I can easily sum up, and it has led Grem to extremes in order to uncover.

I feel like I have had to dig deep, like Grem, in order to tolerate the Mirror-Man standing over me every day, watching my fingers tap on the keyboard and making sure I reach my daily word count. I have to tolerate what he has forced me to confront about myself and the fact that this won’t stop unless I complete what I set out to do. But some days, trying to catch that magic spark just doesn’t happen. Sometimes, I can’t just get a straight answer from the Mirror-Man.

Even though I am positive and inherently know that I am capable of this, some days the end feels like an impossible ambition.

Who is the Mirror-Man?

The Mirror-Man is elusive.

Idea 4: The Mirror-Man is self-reflective

A week has passed since I started my journey down this dizzying road, and like any task that you build up in your head, it’s never as difficult as what you initially thought. Don’t get me wrong, I couldn’t wait to begin, but I was under no illusions that it was going to be easy. I just thought it would consume every waking hour. That hasn’t been the case, and where I have had this all stored in my head and on paper for so long, I have been racing through each chapter with confidence, allowing me the rest of the day to absorb and to reflect.

Reflect. An important word to this process, I think. Important to the story too, in many ways. I broke my normal work routine and used my holiday to write, and the new found space and time and of course, the very nature of what I am writing has led to my own self reflection; hopes and regrets. Past vs. future vs. present. As my characters seek self discovery, I seek it with them. It has been hard to adapt at times, and it is as much a test of spirit as it is of self-discipline.
The Mirror-Man said that when people look at him, they see themselves reflected back and they are forced to confront their true natures. I have learnt that this is truth.

He also said that to learn the truth is to learn of oneself.

Who is the Mirror-Man?

The Mirror-Man is self-reflective.

Idea 3: The Mirror-Man is not a fan of weekends

This may come as a shock to some of you, but it’s really hard to write over the weekends! *Gasps*
My first trial came in the form of Mr.Saturday afternoon…and then Mr.Sunday morning. I hit about 650 words in total. It’s not a huge deal really as I was thinking of upping my word count this week anyway, but it frustrated the hell out of me at the time. I actually couldn’t wait for Monday in order to return to my routine and am now firmly back on track after another productive day of it. Something to monitor over the coming weeks anyway. Does anyone have any suggestions that will help me hit the weekend word count?

I slept terribly Saturday due to a cat related incident, and the subsequent insomnia led me to thinking about the novel, (not that it takes insomnia to trigger such thoughts!) and in those twilight hours I came up with some important ideas that I knew I’d forget by the morning. Cue a 4am writing session and the curving off of a conversation I was having some difficulty with in chapter 6 which was overall a humdinger to write, but a HUGE joy to complete.

Also, I was reminded today to take my time. I set this goal in order to just lay down my first draft, so I’m not hoping for a masterpiece on my first attempt, but I read over some material that I wrote in a rush, and it needed some attention. Again, not that surprising and it’s inevitably going to happen from time to time, but after blitzing so much by midday last week, I’m going to consciously pace myself this week.

More words, more attention.

I’m now exploring areas of the story that I have been really excited about for a long time, so I’ll be posting some samples soon.

Who is the Mirror-Man?

The Mirror-Man is not a fan of weekends.

Idea 2: The Mirror-Man is liberation

Having waited so long for this, I expected the moment to be a non-event. But I knew I was ready, had no time to worry about whether it lived up to expectations or not. The morning came and I began. Although no trumpets sounded at the completion of my first word, it felt damn good. The Mirror-Man had arrived and he approved. It started rolling out, and I hit my word count by about 1pm, way ahead of schedule. I took a stroll in the sunshine with a good friend, went to the gym, and felt on top of the world. What I had set out to do was achievable and I was finally living it. The time felt truly mine to shape.
The subsequent two days have been equally as productive, giving me a new energy that is positively affecting every area of my life like a breath of fresh air.
The Mirror-Man made choices that led a character through a baptism of fire today that have awakened a strength within him that he won’t quickly come to appreciate. But that is what the Mirror-Man does. He helps you find YOURSELF.

Who is the Mirror-Man?

The Mirror-Man is liberation.

Idea 1: The Mirror-Man is inevitable

One week from today, I will begin the task of writing the Mirror-Man’s story in full over six weeks. This idea fills me with a mixture of dread, anticipation and raw excitement, for I have never attempted something like this and quite honestly, I don’t know if I have it in me. Of course, I have to believe that I do, because ultimately, I feel that I no longer have a choice in the matter. He approaches and he won’t be put off any longer. 

I have put the finishing touches to the final aspects of my planning and feel about as ready as i’ll ever be. I have had to turn down a lot of people, projects and offers of work for this precious time, which wasn’t easy in itself. Six weeks off work is a privilege and I had to find an element of peace within myself in order to break free of the expectations on my time and to simply say ‘no’. I had to come terms with the fact that this is going to happen and I am going to achieve what I set out to do.

Who is the Mirror-Man?

The Mirror-Man is inevitable.