Stepping Up A Gear: Research

Yesterday I wrote that I was planning to try and smash through these changes in last years NaNoWriMo piece, but as I began to work on it I found I got stuck very quickly and began seeing the problems I’ve had with it that I’ve struggled to correct. I’ve had a break from it for a few weeks due to personal life stuff and working on The Space Watch, and I was hoping that would have cleared my head a little with it but it didn’t.

I was on the verge of throwing in the towel, just giving up on this and consider it a trunk novel but I decided to have a chat with my friend and co-writer(on a different project) Chrystalyn and see what she thought. After a few messages she pointed out I needed to do some research to help my protagonists arc(the protagonist is the part I’m struggling with the most). Now, something so simple should be an obvious course of action for me, but my brain didn’t even come close to thinking I need to do that. So last night I began to do a little research. I’m still going to have to rewrite the entire begining of the story, but I had a laying-in-bed-trying-to-sleep idea that will help out the begining and give it a grounding that I think will be beneficial to the overall story.

With this turn of events and the realisation that I need to do more rewriting on this I’m not going to get it done by the time NaNo starts. I’ll be doing a half-arsed job and I’m trying not to do that. So I’m going to do the research and then figure out when I can work on it. I’ve got another couple of projects I’m getting excited by, but now I’m thinking both will need more research than I’d thought.

I’ve always known I’ve got to do better with research, now’s the time to step up a gear.

Rising From A Slump

Well, I’ve had a relatively productive week. I’ve managed to hit a thousand words a day this week, except for Thursday that is, and over the last couple of days I’ve felt like I’m getting back into the mindset I had at the start of the year. Writing is still quite difficult and isn’t feeling as natural as it has done, but the urge to write is stronger now than it has been for the last four or five months or so. I’m also feeling the creative juices beginning to flow again. While at work yesterday I was actually having ideas and having to scribble them down quickly in my notepad. That’s something that hasn’t happened like that in quite some time. I’ve had the odd idea but yesterday I was having ideas that sparked further thoughts which resulted in more notes being taken. What I think helped was that I sat in Costa for fifteen minutes before work and forced myself to work on some character details for a project I’m looking at working on next year.

Most of this week has been working on typing up my handwritten draft of The Space Watch, last night I finished that and have sent it off to Owen for his thoughts on it. I’ve stuck quite well to our outlines but I have deviated and added a POV which we hadn’t discussed but that I think adds a layer to the story and also fills in what I think would have been holes to the plot once the first draft was done. I’ve also changed the gender of an antagonist (it just kinda happened and has worked out well), and added a fair bit of minor world building details that we haven’t discussed but came out during the writing process. At the moment its at 14k words, and if I remember right we were looking at either a 30k or 50k target. I honestly can’t remember which, but I’m not sure how long it’s going to wrap up at. I’m thinking we’re about a third of the way through. My gut is saying 30k but we’ll have to wait and see how it goes as we work on it, which will probably be after NaNoWriMo.

With what I’ve gotten done of The Space Watch with Owen I’m going to focus on getting last years NaNoWriMo piece wrapped up. I’ve got a long way to go on it, but as it’s part editing and part adding a whole new character and his POV I’m hoping I can get a good pace going and be nearly done by the time NaNo starts.

Speaking of NaNo, I know what I’m doing this year. I’m going to type up a piece I wrote earlier in the year. I know that’s kind of cheating but I’d like to get it done and have a digital draft completed by the end of the year, and I think I’ll be able to get it done during NaNo. Next year I’m going to plan things out better, as I’m writing this I think I’ve just decided what to do for next years NaNo.

I can’t really remember the last time where I’ve had such a long period where writing has been as difficult as it has been this year. I think I know one of the reasons why it has been, and I’ve moved to sort that out, but I need to learn how to make sure I’m writing regardless of what’s going on around me. I know I can do it, and I’m much happier in myself when I am being productive. I just need to keep getting the work done. I’m not ignoring the buzz I got from Bristol Horror Con last weekend either. Meeting Cat and Lynx Raven for the first time after building up a great rapport with them online was a serious highlight of the year for me. But I also met some other fantastic people and just the feel of the event and the energy that was there was so infectious and has really rammed home a few things to me.

Good Morning, Monday!

Well, it’s back to normal today. Bristol Horror Con on Saturday really was fantastic. After the ups and downs of the year it was definitely a major highlight for me. Yesterday though, I cracked on with The Space Watch and managed just shy of 2000 words for the day. I also wrote a blog post about Bristol Horror Con (scroll down). Today I’m looking at getting myself into a routine with writing again, and getting some of the outlining work done as well. Especially as come January I’m planning on getting stuck into a story that’s got me quite excited and I need to get a lot more worked out on it.

I need to get this draft of last years NaNoWriMo done as well. I’d like to have it done before NaNo starts again, but I’ll have to see how things go timewise.

Right, I’m off to work now. Have an awesome day, everyone! 

Bristol Horror Con 2016

Yesterday my buddy Stefan and I drove to Bristol for Bristol Horror Con at the Future Inns in Bristol, and damn it was a lot of fun. It was quite a long drive from my home in Kent but I wanted to go because CL Raven were going to be there, and although I’ve know them for a couple of years we’ve never met. I like a little horror in my life as well, so I thought screw it! Let’s go! And I am so glad we did. Not only was it great to meet Cat and Lynx I met a bunch of other people who I found to be awesome and welcoming. The atmosphere was just so chilled out and relaxed, it was great just being there and soaking it all up.

Cat and Lynx Raven

We spent most of our time on the 6th floor of the hotel where all of the dealer tables where but went down to a Jazz Club below the bar for author readings, which Cat and Lynx were a part of. That, I found a lot of fun and very interesting. There was four people doing readings, including Cat and Lynx. The other two novelist were A K Benedict and Martyn Waites. Sitting and listening to all four reading excerpts or short stories was really thought provoking. Both in that once I actually get my butt into gear and get stories written, then I’ll be (hopefully) doing this sort of thing. But also in listening to writers whose work I hadn’t come across before. Obviously I’ve read a fair bit of Cat and Lynx’s work, but it was a lot of fun hearing it out loud, and they really aced the reading. Both A K Benedict and Martyn Waites are new to me but both rocked their readings and I’ll be checking their work out.

The Swag!

Needless to say I brought a load of books, six in all. As well as a couple of comics, a few key rings, CDs and a T-Shirt from the band Lesbian Bed Death, and a gorgeous skull paperweight. I could have brought a lot more, but managed to reign myself in.

Lesbian Bed Death was an awesome experience, I brought their first album years ago but like with all music I lost track of them and am seriously out of date. So I managed to pick up a couple of albums, including their latest and damn, it’s some good stuff!

The comics I got were Domeinion: A Threat From Within, and Dark Matter. Both are from Close2Immortality, and really caught my eye. Some very gorgeous artwork and the stories sound fantastic.

The skull paperweight I got is really cool and hopefully will be the first of a number of badass ornaments that I’ll gather over the next few years. Definitely check out the creator From The Shadows. He’s got some really sweet bits on his site.

Now, onto the books. I brought Deadly Reflections and The Malignant Dead by the aforementioned CL Raven. The Starblood Trilogy by Carmilla Voiez. A Tiding Of Magpies by Peter Sutton. Dead Cells by Adam Millard, and The Last Plague by Rich Hawkins.

Speaking to each of these fantastic authors was a lot of fun. All of them were very engaging and all of them seemed really nice and down to earth. It was very inspiring, speaking to people who are getting their words out into the world.

Everyone was so nice and welcoming. I can feel awkward at times, and not quite sure of myself, but at Bristol Horror Con, and DemonCon, I felt at ease in these groups of people. They’re there for the same reason I am, a love of horror and sci-fi and comics etc. My buddy Stefan, who is a big horror nut, loved it too. We’ve both pretty much deciding to go back again next year.

It was a highlight of the year for me.

The Morning After The Con

Good morning all! I am awake and just having a cup of tea before I crack on with some writing. I’m feeling really energised and pumped to get cracking after being at Bristol Horror Con yesterday. I’ll write out a more in-depth post about it later on, but for now I’m just going to say how awesome it was! Mainly because I finally got to meet the awesome duo CL Raven! Who are even more fantastic human beings in the flesh!

I met a number of awesome people in addition to the Raven sisters yesterday and generally had a great time, but like with DemonCon it’s gotten me pumped up to get cracking again. Probably more as I met Cat and Lynx Raven as they’ve been big supporters of mine and I find them both really inspiring(seriously check their work out, it’s awesome).

It’s come at a good time as the last few days I’ve been feeling the uncontrollable urge to write again. A feeling that I’ve not had in quite some time. I would have written when I got home last night, but being sat in traffic for an hour last night on the final stretch of the trip home (literally I was like twenty minutes from home) wiped that time out. So I wound down with a movie, ate and then slept. Today I’m going to smash my way through a fair bit of the Space Watch and really get my arse into gear.

Good Morning, Friday!

Yesterday I knocked out a huge 1200 words! Okay that may not seem that huge, but seeing as I’ve had a really bad year for writing I’m pretty chuffed with that tally.

I was working on doing first drafts longhand, but this was taking far too long and I was getting really frustrated with the process. I was lucky if I was getting 500 words done a day and if I want to write as productively as I think I can then I’m going to have to go back to doing first drafts straight to digital. So I’m typing up what I’d handwritten of The Space Watch, and then once I’ve typed up what I’ve got I’ll just carry on until done. Or when NaNoWriMo starts and Space Watch will go on hiatus for a month.

I’ve wasted a lot of time this year, and some time has been taken due to unforeseen circumstances. But I’m not going to try and play catch up and try to make up for all the words I haven’t written. I’m just going to write and (try to) make the most of the remaining few months of the year.
(I’ve not time to proof this post, apologies for typos etc.) 

It’s Been A While

So, the last few weeks have been a wee bit upside down. I’ve had family in and out of hospitals and that has brought a lot of stress with it. It has been tiring but that’s what life is. I have been writing though, even if it’s just a few hundred words a day, I’ve been writing.

This year as a whole, has been a very bad one for writing. Much of it is that I’ve been distracted and I need to re-focus. I’d like to think that I have done, and I’m determined to get stuck in and get more and more done this year.

The last quarter of the year will not be the same as the first three. NaNoWriMo begins in just a few weeks time. I’ve got the Space Watch re-write to carry on with, and I’ve got a story I’m looking forward to working on after The Space Watch is done.

So theres a lot of work I can do, I’ve just got to do it.


(I’ve not proof read this post, so please forgive any typos)