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.

Outline Is Done

So I’ve finally finished the outline for the Project Delphi rewrite and I’m pretty sure I won’t be doing a chapter by chapter outline again anytime soon. It wasn’t something that I found a lot of fun. I think I’ll be okay with working on an overall outline, but not chapter by chapter. It has taken me far to long to get it done and it’s been a lot of time wasted.

Now, I’ve just got to get it typed up and off to Owen and we can get cracking on filling in any holes and making sure it’s nicely prepared.

I’m going to move onto getting a couple of the pieces that I’ve got written and need editing. For now though, I’m off to bed.

A State Of Play Post

I’ve not blogged much recently because I want to move away from posts where I’m just updating how my writing is going. Instead I may do a post like that once a week or so, and try to focus on posts where I’m putting more thought into them talk about the things that interest and excite me.

To the writing though; I’m making steady but slow progress on my WIP, last years NaNoWriMo novel. I’m in a position where I’m editing but I’m re-writing a lot and adding some totally new sections as I go. I’m still finding my tone a little with it in places but I think it’s getting there now.

I am working on a chapter by chapter outline of the Project Delphi re-write, although I feel like I’ve hit a little bit of a bump in that. So Owen’s going to have a look and hopefully point me back on track. I will need to have a good look at the treatment for it as well and see if that shakes anything loose.

I am working on my first piece of FanFic as well. This is something I’ve not really done before but am really enjoying it. I know it’ll probably never see the light of day but I’ve learnt a lot about writing, in particular structure and character motivations. It’s really shown me that I need to do more work developing my own characters and their motivations.

Right, that’s all for now. I’m off out to be social in a short while. Tomorrow though I’m aiming for a productive morning of work.

Enjoying The Writing Again

In the last few weeks I have felt a lot more direction in what I am doing with my writing. After many years me and Owen finally have a first draft of Project Apollo done. We have attempted to get this story off the ground for many years, its got to be at least six, closer to eight if I am honest. It has gone from being a novel to a radio play back to a novel again before we all but abandoned it a few years ago. Then Owen wrote a novella called The Space Watch, yes we announced this would be released on the 1st of January this year. Obviously we didn’t release it, that was for many reasons. Project Apollo was always going to be a comedy, as was The Space Watch(Project Delphi) but we felt that maybe this was why we had never gotten any of our ideas from this universe off of the ground. So we took the decision to make it into a more serious piece of work, with the odd comedic element within it. It’s worked. We now have a universe which has great depth to it where the only restrictions we have is that of our own minds.

I still have a few doubts about the ending on Project Apollo, but that may just be my own lack of confidence. Owen may love it, I’ll find out tomorrow.


I am also halfway through writing a short story which I’m quite excited about an I have almost finished a short story that I first wrote two, maybe three years ago. I did an out loud read through of it last night and I found more issues then I thought I was going to but it also served to remind me that it is a good story and once its through a last grammar check its done. Saying that though I am tempted to ask one last person to Beta read it and see what they think.


Writing is beginning to feel good again, for a long time it felt like I was severely swimming against the tide. The thought of actually publishing something, whether through submission or through self publishing seemed like an almost impossible achievement but now it actually seems like its within grasp. Maybe not this year but definitely next year.



It’s Good To Talk

Last night me and Owen had a phone conversation which rolled just over the hour mark. This is the first time we have spoken on the phone for that long in about five years. We need to do that more. We bounced ideas off of each other and made some amazing progress with Project Apollo.
A lot of serious world building details were talked through, giving us a much more confident feeling of our universe. I think we have significantly improved on one of our main characters back story as well. This is the character which I was having the most concern with, I’d gotten his voice down well but I wasn’t confident with what had gotten him to where he was in Project Apollo. Now I am and I am sure when we come to get cracking with it again he’s going to feeling more real.

We still have plenty of details to work out and the next step is to go through both Project Apollo and Project Delphi. Project Delphi to pick out any details of this joint universe that may be of importance and I’m going to do the same with Project Apollo. Well not quite the same, with this one I’m going to go through and list all the secondary characters and to find all the silly little errors and tidy them up.

Still a lot of work but we’ll trying to get set up properly so the story is as good as we can make it.

A Post About Collaboration

As some of you may know a lot of my writing I do is with my long time friend Owen. Now we are no the most efficient writing team ever but we’re working on that.

Once in a while I’ve been asked how we go about writing, now as I said we’re not that efficient but we are working on that. How we do things at the moment is one of us will write something and then the other will go through it before its either re-written or edited. This is a real pain in the backside way of doing things. Far too much time is wasted Re-writing so what we are trying to do now is when we have an idea is to write a synopsis of it, maybe with a few lines of the actual story in it too. We’re hoping this will help thrash out the ideas and work through the plot and character details as well as universe before we start the actual writing process.

The prime example of needing to change our process is our story The Space Watch(Project Delphi). Owen wrote a first draft, but we changed the style of the story, going from an all out comedy to a serious story with comedic elements. So when I looked at it I had to make these changes too as well as sorting out the elements of the story, characters and universe to make it all work.
Now since then we have made more changes to the wider universe so we’ll need to go back and tweak those elements too. This means we’ve made ourselves a lot of hard work. We had planned to get The Space Watch out at the start of this year and I’m actually glad that we did not because the universe that we are creating is quite big and complicated and we would have written ourselves into a corner too much if we had of thrown it out there. Since the start of the year me and Owen have talked a lot and the universe has benefitted from that.

We were planning to get at least one story out this year but I fear we won’t but if that means when we do get the work out then I think it will be stronger which means it’ll be worth the wait.

I started off talking about writing with a partner, and I’ve digressed, not done that for a while lol but here’s the link to the blog post that made me think of the topic

Please have a read if the post because it is a very interesting post.

A Glance At Universe Building.

I was talking to Owen tonight about the universe of Project Apollo and Project Delphi and each time we do we build the universe more. Which I guess is how a collaboration works but each time we talk it dawns on me on just how in-depth this universe is, well needs to be. We have different cultures, species, planets, technologies and well, you can imagine. Now we throw in the characters and various story lines that we are building along with the universe, its getting complicated. The trick is to make it uncomplicated for the reader. I like a story were I do not notice the world building, where it is woven into the story and the characters. I don’t want to read a segment on how an artillery piece works, I want to see it working, or not working and causing a problem.

Okay I feel like I’m rambling so I’m off to bed 🙂

Reading What We’re Writing

When I wrote a quick post about mine and Owen’s brainstorming session on Monday I forgot to mention that the cheeky sod gave me homework, homework!!!! He is very keen on one part of our Project Apollo universe having a strong tribal element so he’s given me a David Attenborough series about tribes. I am quite looking forward to watching it if I’m honest.

After Owen gave me this bit of homework I asked him what he thought of Battlestar Galactica, he gave me a guilty, sheepish smile, so no. I felt it would be helpful to him but he said he did not want to be influenced by other work that is similar. I can see what he means by that and I have heard other writers say the same, but I’ve also heard writers say that we need to read in our genre so we can see what other people are doing which will can inspire our own work. Ill admit I’m a big Galactica fan and seeing how the Galactica moves and how the Vipers and Raptors move has convinced me that’s the way to go with the space craft movement in this huge universe that Project Apollo and Project Delphi are set in. I think Battlestar Galactica did a lot of things right which has given me a lot to think about with some of the more background details.

I can see Owen’s point of view though. I’m dire it can be viewed as thieving ideas from others work but to me it is not. I think it’s a great way to thrash an idea out, and lets face it there is always something in one of our favourite books, TV shows, films etc. that we would change.

We are inspired and influenced by what fiction we’ve consumed. Owen is very highly influenced by The Lord Of The Rings, which is evident in what he writes. I think I’m influenced by Battlestar Galactica, Star Wars, Star Trek (mostly the later shows). These and other books, movies and shows do affect how I write. When I was watching Spartacus I found I was writing, dialogue in particular like how it is written in that show. The programme itself also gave me a very good idea for something of my own.

So I think we need to be exploring the genres we are working in, but caution is needed as none of us want to unintentionally steel from other writers (I know there is a specific word for that but of rather life of me I can’t remember what it is)



Yesterday me and Owen sat down and had a three-hour brainstorming session, and despite several digressions into pointless chatter we got a lot worked through. Yesterday was mainly focused on our Planetary Assembly universe. We have a few good stories but because we have them all tied into the same universe we needed to thrash out a number of details so we have some continuity throughout the universe. Already between The Space Watch (Project Delphi) and Project Apollo we had a number of contradictions so I’m happy we’ve got it all tidied up.

In theory we should find writing the universe easier now…..

The one thing that we did not get sorted out though is where I went wrong with Project Apollo.  I majorly ran out of steam with it and I’m hoping that when Owen re-reads it he’ll be able to find a path through my bad writing.

Some Free Time

This coming week I am off from the day job for some much-needed R&R. I’m quite lucky in the fact that I enjoy my day job a lot, work with a great group of lads and lasses and I have a great boss but I am really looking forward to taking this week and not having to think about the time I get to bed, or what time I get up.

It’s not all going to be sitting around and chilling though. Tomorrow (Monday) I’m off to Owen’s to work on Project Apollo, which in turn works on The Space Watch (Project Delphi). Hopefully we’ll be able to solve a problem we have with Project Apollo which is I ran out of steam just as I should have been smoothing the middle of the story out. I’m really hoping we can get it sorted so that once I am finished with my current, solo, WIP we can get Project Apollo finished and have a finished draft.

I would love to say that I will have my WIP finished by the end of the week, but I’m not going to say that. I don’t think I will be doing much writing this week if I am totally honest. I will be spending time with Tracie but also just relaxing. Feet up playing Xbox or watching a few movies (I might have a Battlestar Galactica marathon) Although saying that after talking to Owen tomorrow I may be inspired and get cracking with a new-found enthusiasm.

Mentioning Xbox just there, I was over my good friend Stefan’s ( last night and were spent the night killing aliens on Halo 4, which is a great game which I cannot wait to get for myself. The only aspect fo the game that I’m not a fan of is the Point Of View. It’s 1st person but I generally prefer the 3rd person POV you get with games like Gears Of War, but it doesnt put me off enough to stop playing 😉