5th of September 2020

Good evening folks, I got 548 words written on a short story this morning before work. I didn’t have much time as I overslept but I think I’m getting close to having this story done, and I’m worried I’ve made the main character too much of an arsehole, but I’m gonna have to wait and see what Beta readers say.

With short stories beginning to get close to being wrapped up I’ve looked at an anthology listing and am trying to get the gears turning on it but I’m not getting anything yet. I’ll think it over for a couple of days and see if something sparks.

I know I need to get back on track. I’m looking at my work rota next week and looking at what I can do and when. I’m slowly getting my head round when I can write I’m regards to the hours I’m working each day and I think it’s slowly coming together.

For now, I’m off to bed. Have a good one folks, and never let someone crap on your dreams.

Today’s random photo is of Max as he anxious watched one of his toys being repaired.

Zero Words Saturday

Yesterday I wrote nothing aside from a few random notes for different projects. Saturdays are quite often a miss day for me when it comes to writing. Between work, cleaning out the henhouse, going out or staying in and blitzing a few movies or a boxset I just don’t seem to be able to get myself into a mindset to write on a Saturday. As I think about it I really need to do something about that. In On Writing by Stephen King, King says that he writes every day and that is something that I’m working on. Even if I can just write 250 words (my daily minimum) then that is words written.

On to today though. This morning, in about fifteen minutes, I’ll be off down to Owen’s so we can go through The Space Watch re-write outline. We’ve also got to skim through some Beta Readers note on two short stories from this universe as well. Then I’m going to get that minimum word count done for the day and then I’d like to say I’ll be starting the next draft of last years NaNoWriMo, but I’m not holding my breath on that one. I think It’s more likely I’ll start the early outlining process for what could be the next story after The Space Watch.

A story idea that has been circling my grey matter is one which I was using as a bit of a frustration exercise where I was writing my frustrations with a few of life’s elements into this story. My friend and writing partner Chrystalyn recommended it, but after a few thousand words the story sizzled out and I left it. It’s coming back though, I’m seeing ways to expand it, I’m seeing more of the characters and the background setting its in. I’m at the point now where I think I’m going to have to create a file to be putting notes in. I’m thinking this’ll be my second to next solo piece I work on.

That’s me done rambling for now. I’m not proof reading this as I haven’t got time, so feel free to point out the typos, and have a great day everyone!

Another Update

I finally finished the second (might technically be third) draft of last years NaNoWriMo novella. I’m pretty much going to dive straight into the next draft as I want to try and have it done in decent time.

There’s three main points that I’ve got to work on. Adding a new character to the mix; continuing a storyline that kinda of got forgotten about; and adding some more depth to my protagonist. There’s a couple of seeds I want to plant in the story for storylines down the line, and a couple of other tweaks that need to be added. I’m sure I’ll find more to work on while I’m working my way through.

I got some Beta notes back in the week on a story that Owen and I have put together, and finally had a look at them today. I’m looking forward to getting stuck into them in the next week or so.

Reading wise I’m about halfway through Wool by Hugh Howey. I’m enjoying this novel, and have been surprised by some of the twists and turns in the story. Sometimes I’ll think I’ve got it sussed out, and then Howey takes it in a direction that I didn’t see coming.

The comic I’m reading is volume one of Wilds End by Dan Abnett (writer) and I.N.J. Culbard (illustration). This is a comic with anthropomorphic animals in the countryside of 1930’s Britain. So far the story is pretty captivating, and growing at a nice and steady pace. The artwork has got a beautiful look to it. At my first glance I found it beautiful for its simplicity but as I’ve looked more at it I’m really admiring how well Culbard has managed to put so much heart and character into these characters.

I’ve just started listening to No Worse Enemy by Christopher G. Nuttall. This is the second book in Nuttall’s The Empire’s Corps series. I’m about ninety minutes into it so I’m not fully engaged into it yet, but I thoroughly enjoyed the first book in the series and I’ve got high expectations for No Worse Enemy.


State Of Play

This last week has been a washout when it comes to writing. A combination of the heatwave we’re in the middle of here in the UK and being a man down at work has meant that I’ve been wiped out when I’ve finished work.

I’ve knocked out a few words on a short story but nothing to write home about. This kind of sums up my summer; not a lot written. I’ve progressed well with the editing of last years NaNoWriMo novel, and I’ve done a moderate amount of outlining and brainstorming but I’ve not done anywhere near as much as I could have done. I’m really dreading adding in my word counts for the last few months because they’re next to nothing. I keep telling myself that I am editing, I am planning and preparing for future pieces but there is no reason why I can’t be still writing a few words each day. What I’ve written recently is a short story that isn’t outlined at all but has been thought out quite well. Even if I just write during my lunch breaks at work, I can still be knocking out a couple of hundred words a day as I’m editing and outlining of an evening.

The urge to do that hasn’t really been in me for a while now, but that urge is returning. I’m having ideas and getting notes down, I am working on a new short story. I’ve also had some fantastic feedback on a couple of short stories from Beta readers. The two stories are in the universe that Owen and I have been working on for many years, and the part of the feedback that has really excited Owen and myself is that the Beta readers found the stories ‘intriguing’ and ‘would like to see more’. Now this is huge for Owen and I as we’ve spent a lot of time working and developing this universe and for that reaction from the first people outside of Owen and me to respond like that, really has meant the world to us and has fired us up somewhat to get moving forward with these stories.

Today I’m not expecting to get a huge amount down, I’ve got some things going on today but tomorrow I’m planning to smash through the last third or so of these edit notes and I’d really like to get stuck into a bit more outlining for a project I’m planning on starting next year. Owen and I are at a very advanced stage of the planning for the rewrite of The Space Watch (Project Delphi). We were planning to start rewriting this one early next year, but I’m thinking it might be sooner than that. Owen is looking over the outline and we’ve got a meeting next week to work on it (and other pieces in this universe), so hopefully we’re getting close to having this one underway as well.

I’m truly not sure what I’m going to do for NaNoWriMo this year. I’m not to keen on doing first drafts straight onto computer anymore. I like writing a first drat by hand and I think this is the way for me to go. I do have a fan fiction piece I’ve got that needs typing up that I may do. I know that’s cheating but for me it’s still NaNoWriMo as words will be put down and I won’t be going back to edit anything until the draft is done.

Right, thats enough of me rambling. I’m off to make a start on my day, I hope everyone here in the UK has a great Bank Holiday weekend. For the rest of the world, have a good Sunday.

Good Morning, Monday!

Right! It’s the start of a new week and I’d like it to be a productive one. I’m working on the Avoiding The Game rewrite and that’s in longhand so I’m not going to get any huge word counts but I’ve got a minimum I’m going to be aiming for this week. I think I’m past the halfway point in the novel now, and I’ve passed what has been a difficult emotional scene to write, so it does feel like I’ve got the ending on the horizon.

I’d also like to start making Beta Reader suggested tweaks on my Vampire collection. I spent a little time yesterday creating a Scrivener file for the project, one which suits the layout of the book better then just the standard one I’d been using, and I’d like to be a quarter of the way through the edits by the end of the week.

I’m trying to get back into the swing of things here, the last few weeks have been very testing for me and it’s time I got my head back on the job once more.

Lost Thoughts

I sat down tonight to write a post and as soon as I opened up WordPress I lost what I was planning to write. Whatever I was goinng to write about has just vanished and I haven’t even got a vague idea of what I was going to talk about, so this post may end up as one big ramble 😛 

Writing wise I wrote 3100 words on Monday and then read through some Beta readers notes for my vampire collection. Last night I didn’t have much time to get any words down and only ended up with about 300 words down. Tonight I was at a write in, but we didn’t get any writing done. It was with my Kent NaNoWriMo group and one of our fantastic liasons is moving away in a couple of months so a dozen or so of us invaded Costa and Bluewater and we had a fun evening. The group isn’t going to be the same without Elizabeth at our write-ins but thanks to the glory of the internet and Facebook she’s still going to be around 🙂

Right, now I’m going to watch the end of Shaun of the Dead and then bed. Tomorrow evening I’m going to have a productive evening 🙂

A Productive Day

Despite what I wrote here yesterday I didn’t do any writing at all. I spent the day playing Football Manager and watching the score lines from the final day of the premier league season coming in.

Yes, I felt bad and very lazy about this.

Today though, I wrote 3100 words by about 1pm and then this afternoon I read through some Beta Reader notes for my vampire collection.

I emailed the latest, completed chapter off to Owen and I’m eagerly waiting to see what he thinks.

Now, as I said yesterday I think I’m only going to be able to work on Project Apollo when I have access to the Scrivener files, so why I’m on my lunch breaks at work I’m going to get back to working on the Avoiding The Game rewrite and I’m going to try and write on Project Apollo in the evenings. At worst I’m going to try and get a few thousand words done on Sundays.

But I’ll see how that goes 🙂

Monday 2nd March

I managed to get some words written both during my lunch break and this evening. In total I wrote about 680 for the day. I’ve dropped my daily goal down to 500 words, for two reasons: 1- I’m writing longhand and its slower for me than it is to type. 2- With how disillusioned I’ve been feeling recently, and being hampered by a stubborn head cold, I decided to drop the target from the 1000 word mark to something that I feel is a lot more attainable for how I am right now.

I finally thought up a title for a short story that I’m planning on sending out to the magazines for submission soon. Titles are a pain in the backside as I don’t find them easy to think up, but when I do I tend to like them and this one I think suits the story really well. One of my Beta readers agrees as well. I’ve sent that story to another Beta reader today and once I get those thoughts back and made decisions on whether changes need to be made I’ll be sending it off to try and find a home.

I did also send a copy of the Earth, After Liberation re-write to Owen to get his thoughts on it. I’d like to hear what he says and decide from then what I’m going to do with the story. I’ve invested a lot into that story and I don’t like the thought that it’s dead in the water, but we’ll see. No matter what I don’t think I’ll be working on it again this year in any real way.

I’ve felt pretty good today, much like what I think of myself to be. This surprised me a little as I got a late night (damn you Game Of Thrones 😉 ) but the day has been pretty good and I’ve felt a lot like my old self again. I’m all but over this cold, although I am going to take cold capsules for the next couple of days just to be sure. And after talking to Owen on Saturday about the short story I mentioned earlier (he liked it a lot) I’m feeling better about writing. I did also have a friend on Friday give me some moral support. I needed to hear what she had to say, just a little moral support and belief in me.

Looking Back at January

I think this January just gone is going to be one that I have mixed emotions about. Before adding in the hand written words I’ve done this last week I’ve written about 17,000 words this month. All of those on Earth, After Liberation. A story that as I wrote more and more of it I felt that it was getting worse with each word. That’s one of the reasons why I’ve stuck it in a draw for a few months before going back to it. I’ve tired to start red-penning it but I was just getting more and more disillusioned with it as I went and that tells me that it’s not anywhere near good enough. I think it’s lost its identity and I think some of that may have been the way I was writing it. At times it felt very robotic and I don’t know if that was because I’m trying to stick to an outline top closely or that it’s where I’m typing it as opposed to writing it with a pen and paper; I simply don’t know. It doesn’t feel like the same story that I began writing how ever long ago it was. Where I’m writing on the Avoiding The Game re-write with a pen and paper, and without an outline aside from the original draft I wrote, it’s coming out quite well even if it is a bit more of a slower process.

Something that has been a bit too much of a distraction this month has been me thinking about how many things I want to get published this year. I think that has taken too much of my attention away from the actual craft of writing and at this stage in my writing I need to be focusing on the writing and not all the other bits and pieces about self-publishing or submitting to magazines. If I can get the writing quality as good as I’m able to and the stories right, then I can look more at the publishing side of things.

I mentioned submitting to magazines in the last paragraph and I have still only made one submission, which I need to change this year. I’ve got a short story that is almost there. I’ve got some grammar edits to make before sending it off to a couple more Beta’s before I do submit it. I have high hopes for this one as I think it’s quite a good little story 🙂

So despite it feeling like January has been a bit of a let down for me I’m looking at the positives and learning the lessons. The main one is that just having an outline doesn’t mean it’ll be a piece of cake to get a good draft done.

A Productive Day

I almost wrote 1400 words tonight, a lot of them felt pretty good as well. I seemed to be getting back into the rhythm pretty well now, although I fear I’ll have a lot of work to do on earlier parts of the book which are a little bare bones in comparison to what I’m producing now.

I also have had a good look through notes from Beta’s on a short story I wrote many months ago. Overall their notes focused on grammar, and I know this is an issue for me. Sometimes I’m a slow learning, but I am getting there. Grammar is something I mainly fix on the second draft but I’m slowly making myself get it right on the first draft. This is part of my aim to make my first drafts a lot cleaner than they have been in the past.

Something that has happened today also has been that I’ve had a number of ideas about current projects. Mainly for my work with Owen and what we’re looking at doing with the Project Apollo and it’s extending universe. Mostly it’s little, but important details.

Overall it’s been a pretty good day 🙂