Writing Update: An Uncertain Deadline


First of all, I’d like to apologise for the delay in getting another writing update up on the blog. As you can imagine, university life has been rather busy lately – but that’s not to say that I’ve stopped writing!

At the moment, I’ve had to do some reordering of plot points but now the plot is finally flowing! The first important catalyst in terms of the story has also been written so now it’s a full sprint to the end. The only problem now, however, is that I don’t know when I’m going to get there.

Whilst I have the synopsis planned out and I know what happens plot-wise, my refusal to assign certain plot points into chapters (for fear of having a moment of panic and in turn, self doubt) has led to me being unable to measure my progress. Yes, I may have the word count to help, but whenever anyone asks hoe the book is going, I can only give them the current word count, along with a rough indication of how far I am in the book. Right now I’d say I’m only 1/4 of the way through the book, which is worrying considering that I am to finish by Christmas!

Anyway, aside from all that, ideas have finally started to come naturally, and the words flow. I think the issue now though is getting the motivation to write. It’s not that my story isn’t interesting anymore, it’s just that I need to stop procrastinating!

Current Word Count: 13,829 words

It’s a bit of a jump! Hopefully there’ll be another big increase next time! As always, I shall keep you posted.

Liam

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Musical Discovery: ‘Children of the Wild’ by Steve Angello feat. Mako

Sometimes, I’m desperate to find a new track to review for my Musical Discovery posts. But after a quick look on YouTube, I noticed that Steve Angello released a new track last week. I gave it a listen and I liked it! So, for this week’s Musical Discovery, I review Children of the Wild by Steve Angello feat. Mako.

Aside from the song itself, the music video reminds me of Woodkid’s dramatic Run Boy Run. This continues in the actual music, with the track’s powerful, driving drum beat in the bridge mimicking the consistent drum beat in Woodkid’s song.

On a similar note, Mako’s ‘buzzing’ vocals appear to resemble Noel Gallagher’s style, making the song’s repetitive lyrics memorable and catchy.

Then, for the chorus, Angello introduces a guitar melody which is like Calvin Harris’ track, Faith. Whilst I feel as though the chorus doesn’t match the style of the verses, it’s still a part of the song which stands out to me.

However, despite liking most of the track, that is not to say that there aren’t any parts of the song which I don’t like. For example, in the middle of the track, there is silence for around 15 seconds in the middle of the track, which is unusual and disappointing.

But overall, with certain aspects of the track mimicking artists such as Woodkid and Noel Gallagher, Children of the Wild is a euphoric single by Steve Angello and Mako.

What do you think? Comment below!

Liam

Review: Mega Games with Tom Webb

On a quiet, peaceful September evening, I sat on a deckchair and listened to music. This was part of the Roundabout Festival – a collaboration between Paines Plough and the Lincoln Performing Arts Centre (LPAC) – and I was there to see Mega Games with Tom Webb.

The event itself was held in the Paines Plough Roundabout theatre which, on the outside, certainly looked intriguing. But when we were finally invited to enter the theatre itself, it was surprising to see how large the inside of the structure was. The theatre had a somewhat post-modern design (both inside and outside) and definitely gave off a friendly and homely atmosphere – perfect for Tom Webb’s Mega Games, a show with audience participation at its core.

As we entered the theatre, Tom greeted us before handing us a raffle ticket. Over the course of the evening, he would pull out two tickets and those two people would go head-to-head in a ‘mega game’. Admittedly, I wasn’t so keen on the audience participation aspect of the show (having a spotlight shined on me – with members of the audience all staring at me – can be a little nerve-wracking), but even if you weren’t selected, you could still get involved with the show.

For me, my type of audience participation is when I can blend in with the rest of the crowd. With games such as Mega Basketball and Appleships, those in the audience were given tasks such as creating a basketball hoop with their hands and revealing whether they own an Apple smartphone or not.Aside from the games itself, Tom Webb also did well to add to the silliness of the show itself. When ‘mega gamers’ made their way to the stage, Tom was quick to welcome them to the game and thank them for coming before delivering his own brand of comedy. With Tom creating jokes based on audience members, there was definitely a strong sense of involvement and audience participation – something which made the show interesting and unique.

Then, as the show reached its conclusion, Tom opened the games up to the entire audience by challenging us all to a game of Mega Rock, Paper, Scissors. The evening ended with the top scoring ‘mega gamers’ playing Human Hungry Hippos, where they had to be the first to eat a handful of Skittles out of another person’s hand – certainly a bizarre and silly end to a rather funny evening.

Combining witty humour with silly games and a little bit of nostalgia, Mega Games with Tom Webb is an immersive, mock comedy game show which promises a good laugh alongside light-hearted gaming. 

Rating: 4 out of 5

Liam

Musical Discovery: ‘Writing’s on the Wall’ by Sam Smith

Ahead of the release of the new Bomd film, Spectre, speculations and rumours circulated about the title song and who would sing it. Earlier this month, it was revealed that Sam Smith would be singing the track, entitled Writing’s on the Wall, for the movie. So, as a special Musical Discovery post, today I review the new Bond track for Spectre.

A music video has yet to be released for the song, but the artwork has been revealed. Source: @samsmithworld on Twitter

Opening with a powerful timpani roll before introducing horns and strings, the song already contains the stereotypical, grandiose style that constantly appears in classic Bond theme songs – plus a little bit of Harry Potter.

At this point, listeners can already make comparisons between Skyfall and Writing’s on the Wall. Both songs begin with a strong timpani introduction and slow, relaxed piano chords to ease in the vocals.

However, unlike Skyfall, the shift into the opening verse occurs more quickly. It is not long before Sam Smith’s vocals begin. Smith’s vocal style in the track fits the mellow chords of the piano perfectly, and the rhythm of the lyrics is different and intriguing.

Admittedly, I wasn’t expecting the chorus and the lack of a driving drum beat is disappointing. But, upon listening to the track once again, I feel as though the chorus’ dramatic fanfare is fitting for Smith’s vocals and the overall style of the piece. We also see Sam explore high notes which demonstrate his talents as a singer and cements the idea of him being ‘the male Adele’.

But as the song continues, it develops further to avoid a rigid song structure. Whilst the chorus lyrics are memorable, the verses remain unique, with new instrumental melodies being added and Smith exploring different vocal styles each time.

Overall, it is another great Bond theme which combines Sam Smith’s perfect vocals with typical Bond grandeur. Despite finding the lack of drums disappointing, the song works well without them. As well as this, listeners shouldn’t be too quick to judge, as we tend to find that the song replicates the tone of the movie well. Upon seeing the movie, reviewers can make a more informed decision.

But for now, Writing’s on the Wall fits the Bond style perfectly, and Sam Smith’s vocals bring powerful soul which is brilliant alongside atmospheric instrumentals.

What do you think of the track? Will you be seeing Spectre? Comment below!

Liam

Vlogging for the Camera-Shy

It’s needless to say that before I started my own YouTube channel last week, I used to – and still – watch a lot of YouTube videos. Those who have stopped by my blog regularly will know that I had a great time at the YouTube convention, Summer in the City, last month.

But there came a point where I wanted to start making videos on YouTube myself. The only problem, however, was that I am rather camera shy. Whilst YouTube’s community can be absolutely wonderful, there’s still a few trolls and just all-round mean people that like to judge people. For that reason, the fear of judgement – particularly in terms of how you come across on video – put me off of making videos for a while.

So instead I took to blogging and it went – and I hope it still is – going quite well!  However, no matter how satisfied I was with blogging, I still wanted to make videos. I did some video editing in the past and found that whilst most YouTubers today find the task too strenuous, I considered it to be quite fun anf appealed to my perfectionist attitude. So now, the only problem was dealing with the camera-shy aspect.

I did have a quick search on Google, but found that the main idea came to me almost straight-away. After arriving in Lincoln last week to study at university, I decided I would take my phone and video different views and scenery around Lincoln. It was perfect because I didn’t need to be on camera – the beautiful city of Lincoln was the focus.

This, after a very long but fun editing stage, led to my first ever vlog being uploaded to YouTube! You can watch it here (see above) or you can visit and subscribe to my channel here.

So what is next for the channel? Well, I definitely hope to do more scenic vlogs from different areas of the country. I’ll be going out and about very soon so hopefully I can capture some footage then. Otherwise, it may be little narrated videos. I do have an idea already for one of them, but I just need to write a script and then get the footage!

Already, after uploading the video, I’ve had lots of nice comments from the community. Thanks to Maeve and Bobby for the support, and do check out their YouTube channels!

Finally, if you are the same as me – you’re camera shy but want to make videos – do know that there are options available. You don’t have to be the thing that’s on camera, and there’s other ways to get your thoughts across in a video (such as narration, for example).

Do you have a YouTube channel? If so, link it below! Or perhaps you want to set one up? Either way, get involved in the comments!

Liam

Musical Discovery: ‘Can’t Feel My Face’ by The Weeknd

Now that I’ve moved into my university accommodation and have spent some of my spare time partying, it’s fair to say that I’ve stumbled across a lot of new music, both from people I’ve met, as well as music played at the freshers’ parties. In particular, this week’s track is a favourite amongst me and my flatmates. This week’s Musical Discovery is Can’t Feel My Face by The Weeknd.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KEI4qSrkPAs

With the track having light, sustained piano chords at the beginning, the listener is quickly drawn to vocals of The Weeknd (real name Abel Tesfaye). However, whilst the opening implies a more relaxed style of song, I was taken by surprise when the song develops into a upbeat funk chorus.

Although, that is not to say that this isn’t a good development for the song. From the chorus onwards, groovy and funky bass riffs along with a bouncy drum beat are introduced. We also see warped synth under-layers along with harmonic backing vocals as the song continues. For me, this constant development is unique and differs from other, more rigid structures in popular chart tracks.

Then, as Can’t Feel My Face concludes, the song quickly builds upon the funky bass riff which runs throughout the track. But unfortunately, whilst this would have made a great outro, this aspect of the song was cut short, in my opinion. Despite this, the song is soulful, atmospheric and funky – not to mention ridiculously catchy.

A song which combines atmospheric and funky styles with soulful, high-pitched vocals, Can’t Feel My Face is a smooth, laid-back track perfect for parties and clubbing.

Liam

 

Writing Update: University Productivity

For those who don’t know, I started studying Journalism at the University of Lincoln this week. It’s been busy, but I’ve had some time to get some more writing done and I’ve reached 10k words!

Whilst my days were full of lectures and talks, I had some time in the evening – after cooking dinner -that I spent writing. Now, I’m 10k words in and I’ve still got a fair bit to go.

Obviously this week has been particularly busy with Freshers’ Week, lectures and a bunch of extra curricular tasks, but hopefully over the next few weeks I’ll be able to read and write more. It’ll be tough, but the end-of-year target to finish the first draft may still happen!

I will keep you posted. But for now, here’s the exact word count at the moment!

Current Word Count: 10,810 words

Liam

P.S. In other news, I will be uploading my first ever vlog to YouTube. Be sure to subscribe to my channel so you know when it goes up!