Thursday, 1 November 2012

Morning After Mayhem

Nottingham, Festival of Words team prepare to launch
@wordsnovel as part of Word of Mouth at Mayhem

What a great night!
I met a load of really interesting people at Mayhem last night - a great combination of Mayhem fans (including a chap whose horror make up was eye-wateringly good) and Broadway cinemagoers who had just come out of seeing Skyfall (all very impressed with Mr Bond).

The lineup was great - classic takes on old stories, archive chillers from the seventies and early eighties projected on the wall, and me.

It's my second time I've had work showcased in Word of Mouth at Mayhem, but my first where I did the reading.  I wrote The Good Books specifically for Mayhem - taking all my memories of watching Hammer House of Horror behind a cushion on a Friday night, and rolls them up into a tale that creeps up on you like an odd smell...
Two (A5) pages in to The Good Books at
Mayhem (pic: Robin Vaughan-Williams)
It's a nerve racking thing, standing up in front of an audience and reading your work, but when you don't have Tom Baker's telephone number, you've got to do it.  It's part of being a writer, talking through your work, and getting immediate feedback from people during and after the performance.  It was lovely to chat about how I wrote the story, what parts people enjoyed, and watch other writers perform their work.

If you're thinking about doing it yourself, there's loads of advice on the interweb telling you how to do it, but here's my one tip-top tip:

A5 printouts.  No, really.

When you've finished writing, change the document page size to A5 on your word processor, and print it two pages at a time on your A4 printer.  Cut in half, staple into paperpack-sized notes, and never worry about your story wilting over half way through - you've got enough to concentrate on when you're presenting a chunk of your soul.

Hope that makes sense:  if it doesn't, I'll show you what I mean when I perform at the next Word of Mouth in November - more details later...

If you're still in need of a chill, Mayhem runs until the 4th November - for more info, take a look here.

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