Return of the Writer

Once again, ladies and gents, you have my apologies. I had hoped to get back into the swing of things long before now but the book took a lot more out of me than I first thought. I really needed some time to recover – mentally more than anything – and to be able to look at all three books with a fresh mind.

Now, I feel like I’m finally at that stage. Oh, and I like puns. You should know this by now (and in case you didn’t get it – shame on you – that’s a Star Wars reference at the top. Can’t believe I explained that).

I’ve not been sitting idly by, however. Some things have been going on. So, my friends, join me on what, I’m sure you’ll agree, is a riveting tale. Maybe. Possibly. Okay, probably not but bear with me.

Where have I been?

I’ve been here and there, keeping busy without exhausting myself further. Or trying not to. I tried reading but that was a little too close to home and I found that even gaming wasn’t as appealing as I’d thought it would be. I did keep up with swimming, other than last week where I had other exercise plans (dodgeball – don’t ask but I do have a medal!). Hell, I even tried quitting smoking.

The one thing that is worth noting is that over the last couple of weeks is that it was the fifth Manchester Children’s Book Festival. I’ve volunteered at every single one to date and this year was no exception, although following the pattern of the previous two, I’m not as involved as previously but that doesn’t stop me enjoying it all the same.

It’s fantastic to see so many children getting involved with reading, writing, performances and much more – anything creative and wacky! It’s been a pleasure to see the festival grow since 2010 and I’m looking forward to next year already.

Expect a more detailed post on this in two weeks. I wouldn’t want to break tradition now, would I?

Finding motivation

One thing that I think has been really lacking for me is motivation. Since finishing the first draft of the most recent novel, I’ve been finding it hard to come back – for whatever reason. Life can work for or against us and we subconsciously associate that with actions, activities, emotions and such. I think when I’m not happy with something big in my life, it stops me from wanting to write as I feel that should be fixed first.

It doesn’t apply all the time but it does have an impact.

I also had a conversation with a friend about writer’s block, which I’m still not convinced actually exists as a thing but yet I’ve yet to encounter a writer who hasn’t used this term when they struggle. That seems to be more to do with ease – we all understand it, from varying sources – so it doesn’t need explanation. Despite that, why is it a thing and is it only a thing because we make it so? I don’t think I’ve had writer’s block as I write at work and generally. Hey, I’m writing a blog post right now! It’s an interesting thought, though.

Actually, I think this is a topic for a full blog post next month. Look out for that!

Putting together a plan

My manuscripts: one novella and two novels - not related to each other

My manuscripts: one novella and two novels – not related to each other

As I mentioned in a previous post, I have three projects to edit. The novella is first up, and I’ll be starting that at the weekend. I like it’s length but the ‘professional’ feedback (from agents and publishers) suggest it would work better as a novel. I’ll decide that as I go through the draft but I’m not convinced yet. There are other things that need to be fixed, however.

After that, I’ll start on one of the novels. The sci-fi project is up first, as it’s more recent and I think it needs less work. The story is well rounded, it just needs to be padded out in places, with a few more explanations and sub plots, supported by a little character development. That might sound a lot, but it won’t be as bad as you might think. Of course, after that comes the nit-picking of later drafts.

Finally, I’ll work on the fantasy novel. That needs a fair bit adding to it for me to be happy. The good thing is, I know what to add, the big question is where it should go. I have some ideas but the edit will help identify weaker areas and the plot holes that I know exist.

If I can get all that done over summer, I MIGHT just have one ready to send out by the end of the year.

If I’m lucky.

Advertisements

It’s time to…edit!

I hoped to post this last week but, according to my schedule, there are still two weeks until the next post so I’m safe (the glory of a five-week month) for now. I teased previously about why I’ve been so quiet lately, with a lot of things on the go and now I’m finally ready to show you what I’ve been working on.

So, here are my three babies manuscripts. Aren’t they pretty…?

My manuscripts: one novella and two novels - not related to each other

My manuscripts: one novella and two novels – not related to each other

What are they?

From left to right, there’s a novella in third draft, a novel in first draft and another novel in first draft (yes, that’s a long way of saying it but I’m enjoying my words. Hush). I feel like it shouldn’t have taken this long to get this far but then I remembered life easily gets in the way. That’s a whole different topic.

I hope they’re all published one day, obviously, but I’m proud of reaching this stage. I’ve covered fiction, fantasy and science fiction (in that order, respectively) so not completely in my comfort zone but trying something new is always harder than anything else. Maybe that’s why it’s only a novella right now, but who knows what could happen.

If you want to read them – tough! They’re not ready yet but when I’m looking for readers, I’ll let you know.

What’s next?

Editing! The novels are only in first draft and need a fair bit of work. There are plenty of inaccuracies and continuity errors – and that’s not counting the grammatical issues. Who said writing was easy? Then again, I like a challenge. I’ll distract myself with redrafting some short stories in between as there are plenty of competitions to enter. When I find them, I’ll put them up here as normal.

Blogging resumes as normal (I promise) in two weeks. Updates on the editing will come as and when there is something to report. Until next time!

2016: The Year of Editing

I’m back!

I took a little bit longer off than usual for this time of year but it’s been a busy couple of months. This is just a short post to let you know what to expect for 2016.

I have a new schedule so the second and last Tuesday of the month will see a new post on the blog, in the form of writing advice, tips, experiences, events and reviews. Occasionally I’ll get a guest in which will probably be an additional post for that month rather than a replacement. Every so often I’ll give you some new writing – again, as an extra.

Obviously, this is an exception as it’s not the second or fourth Tuesday but next week will be the first regular of the year.

So why the year of editing? Well, I’m finish the first draft of a novel project in the next couple of months and then it’s editing for the year. That project, another novel and the fabled novella could all do with some work so I want to make some real progress this year. I’ll still write short stories and any good competitions will be posted here too.

With so much to look forward to, you’d be crazy not to keep up with me and share with your friends too. Until next week!

Writing, Reading and more Writing

This is a bit of a non-post, so sorry in advance. I’ve been very busy with work and a fair few projects so I’m going to take some time to share this with you and give you an idea of what to expect in the coming months. I’ll try and come up with a proper blog post before the end of the month, but if not, this will do until we get into June.

My other blog

There is a link to this blog on this site, and you may well have seen me and my friends posting about it on our Facebook page or on other social channels but even if you haven’t, come on by and see what’s going on. From old to new, books to games, board games to films and so much more, we’re able to cover all sorts that you might be interested in – and we’re open to suggestions about what to do.

In the future, we’ll be looking for more people to join us so if you are interested, or know someone who might be, take a look and get in touch. World Hopping is just getting started and we’d love for you to be involved.

Book reviews

I’ve got a lot coming up for you guys. I’ve got two books that are from relatively unknown writers but I’m sure they have the potential to make it in this industry, and these reviews are hopefully going to convince you of that (just to point out, I’m not going into this blind, you’ll get honest opinions from me).

While I like writing about published books and authors, and will continue to do so, new and/or unknown writers have a lot to offer too and I’m open to reading a new book by a new writer looking to gain some awareness. If this is you, or you know someone or want to point me in the direction of someone you like, please do so!

Today, I came across a new book in a series I love – The Night Watch Series. I instantly bought the new book and another one from Simon Ings – never heard of him before but it intrigued me. In the past, I published a post for a series and while it’s a good overview, there’s a lot that gets missed.

As such, I have an idea. An overview of the series followed by more in-depth posts – either on each book or two or three posts that covers all books in that series. Each will have links to overview and each other. This means people can read an overview and if they want more, they can get it. This will come as one series per month and will accompany another post or two on writing in general.

I’m going to cover some series’ already done and go into detail, as well as new stuff. Here’s what to look out for – but there’ll be a lot more:

  • Number 5
  • Gid and the Arborinium Prophecy
  • The Night Watch Series
  • Chaos Walking Trilogy
  • The Dark Tower

Writing

Unfortunately, my writing outside of the blogs has been slow lately. No new stories or projects and my existing projects are taking longer than I’d hoped. My main goal is to get the first draft of my novella out of the way by the end of June. Then I can take a break by going back to another project for writing or editing or hunting out some more short story comps to enter.

If you know of any, please let me know.