September 2020

Hi everyone. Back again with a monthly update. Somehow another month has passed and we are near enough already a third of a way through the next one. It’s been a decent month writing wise. I’ve hit my target of 500 words a day on most days. On top of that I’ve also been writing short stories. I find that if I write my main story until I run out of steam, then I have no starting point the next day. I’ve come up with a system this month, where I write 500 words of The Vampire and then switch over to a short story and write until I can’t be bothered anymore. This way the next day I know where I’m starting with The Vampire.

So far, as of this morning, I’m at 29,000 words with The Vampire. The story is growing out of my control, in a good way. I thought I would be finished by now, but I feel I’ve barely started. Back in April, I thought I could get maybe 20,000 words done before October and release it as a Novella in time for Halloween. At the moment I think it’s going to hit aroud 65,000 words before I’m finished with it. I’m really proud of this one and I just hope that my ambitions translate to the page well. It will be early next year before it’s completely finished with editing and everything.

I released a shot story, The Roommate, a few weeks back and I’m pretty happy with the views it got and feedback that I received. If you haven’t already, please have a look and let me know what you think. I’ll leave a link for it here: https://ashleymanning.com/2020/08/19/the-roommate-short-story/ Please give it a go, if you haven’t already. It’s not very long and I don’t want to say anything about it that would give it away. Go and read it if you haven’t already, it won’t take long. I’ll wait.

The story was inspired by a spider that was living in the corner of my bathroom. It was quite small so I just left it, as much as I hate spiders. One night I went to brush my teeth and it was out half way along the wall. I went to bed, thinking there is something there I can write about. The next day I wrote it down. I do have a red mark on my arm that is still healing, not sure where it came from.

I wanted to write more short stories, it’s been a long time. I feel that it’s easier to upload short stories on here. Writing The Roommate led to another one called The Morning After. This one is slightly longer, running at around 4500 words. It was an idea I had a couple of months back. I’m reasonably happy with this one and feedback has been decent from the people who have read it so far. The plan is to publish it tomorrow on here.

That leads me to my next short story that I’m currently working on. This one is going to be ready for halloween, for sure. It’s more horror based than the previous short stories. I don’t have a title for it, but I’m already 800 words into it. I know where it’s going and I’m looking forward to writing it. Once I’ve finished writing this post, I’m going to do the washing up and then carry on with it for a bit. See where it goes. The Morning After changed halfway through, so maybe this one will as well.

When I was younger, back in school, there was always a question of what my back up plan should be, if I couldn’t be a writer. It was something teachers and my dad used to ask me a lot. It was a question I hated being asked simply because I am a writer, always have been and probably always will be. It doesn’t matter about anything else. This is the thing I enjoy doing more than anything else. When people asked I would always try to avoid the question, and would just come up with a rubbish answer off the top of my head.

My actual back up plan was to become a film critic. My first love is books. There is something about a 600 page book where you get under the skin of the characters that can’t be replicated in any other media, films comes a close second. With films, especially in a cinema, you can be taken away from the real world and nothing else matters for those 2 or so hours. It’s rollercoaster of emotion. Books are completely at my own pace. I read as fast or as slow as I feel, go back to double check names or events. I stop and start and the book becomes part of my life for those few days, weeks or longer. With films, it’s a set time carved out for it. I know you can pause films and come back to them at a later date, but that’s not the the way most films are intended to be watched. It’s usually one sitting without any pauses.

I’ve started uploading a more regular post, called The Watch List, speaking about films that I’ve watched over the previous week or so. I feel that to get better with writing about films, I just need to do it and ignore any pressing feeling that I don’t have a clue what I’m talking about. I enjoy talking about films and reading reviews and thoughts on films. It also allows me to publish regular posts on here. This along with The Book Pile, which is a regular post about books I’ve read. I’m no critic, but there’s only one way to learn. I hope you enjoy them and if you have any feedback, please leave a comment.

Speaking of films, I re-watched Tenet yesterday. The first time I was confused, mostly during a long section towards the end where I didn’t know what was going on. The score was so loud I couldn’t hear what was being said during a certain scene. This time, the sound was better. The first time, there was something off with the sound and the already loud soundtrack drowned out a lot of the speech and exposition. At the time I wasn’t sure if this was intentional or just a bad screening. We could have just been sitting in the wrong place for all I knew.

This time, I heard every word of a scene that was previously drowned out by the intimidating and overpowering score. It makes a lot more sense when you can hear people telling you what’s happening. I enjoyed the film even more the second time watching it. Even knowing what was happening it’s exciting and thrilling the whole way through. I actually think it works better the second time round, because you already know the mechanics of the world. It’s an added bonus that the final 20 miuntes work better when I heard the briefing before it. So far I think it’s defninitely one of my favourite films of the year. Top 5, which isn’t saying that much considering how many films have been delayed.

I will be back tomorrow with The Morning After, and then again on Friday with this weeks The Book Pile. Thanks for reading and until next time,

Ashley

About ashleymanningwriter

Young Adult Fiction writer. Horror and fantasy blended together.
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2 Responses to September 2020

  1. Kerry Manning says:

    I have been enjoying your film emails. You have mentioned films that I wouldn’t usually consider but have made me a lot more interested in viewing. Thank you

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