Tuesday, 25 November 2014

3rd Edit complete!

Yay! Finally I've finished editing the 3rd draft of my manuscript!

It's down to about 75,300 words now, so have dropped a fair chunk (was 81,000) out of the book. There are some bits I would have liked to have kept in, or expanded on, but I think I need to listen to my publisher on this (being my first book and all) and keep the work count lower.

I've clearly got some material that could be used as "Bonus material" on the website once the book is released, so maybe have to think about that in the future.

Beta Readers

I'm still looking for beta readers and have just put a post on GoodReads in their Beta Readers groups to see if anyone is interested. Would be good to have someone other than a friend read it, they would be much more likely to give me honest feedback/criticism. If you're reading this and want to read the 3rd draft, get in touch at my website.

Once I've had a little feedback, it's off to the editors for their review and then we start the final stages of publication. Eeeek, it's scary now. Still about 9 months away from publication, but that will fly by!

Tuesday, 11 November 2014

The Cover Design

A huge thanks to my publisher Rowanvale Books and Alex Paise for the cover design that is ready for my novel, due for release sometime in the middle of 2015 (as long as I get my edits done before XMas!).

I just need to finish my second round of edits and rewrites, work out some Blurb text for the back cover and get this off to the editors!

If you're interested in being a BETA reader, please use the contact form and then I'll randomly pick someone to get a copy of the manuscript for feedback soon.

Ah yes, the book title. You can see now that it is:



Benjamin Sorrow: One for Sorrow

So the sub-title says something doesn't it?


Tuesday, 14 October 2014

Second Edit

I'm not enjoying the editing process as much as I did the writing process, but it's all new so still exciting in its own way.

My wife has read my first edit and added her own comments, suggestions and feedback. It was certainly a worthwhile exercise, as it highlighted a thinking issue (of mine) that I hadn't really thought about before (pun intended?). There are things I've written about in the manuscript that I assume the reader knows about, purely because "I" know about it and hadn't written it down for them to consume yet.

These aren't major things, but it's just a thing I needed to learn about my writing style. Some inconsistencies need to be addressed, apparently my tense is a little here and there. So I'm now trying to find time to go through all my wife's notes and begin the second edit proper. I've got the afternoon off work tomorrow (catching up on time owed from working at the weekend) to progress as much as I can.

Once that is done, then my wife wants to read it again without thinking about editing, she seemed to quite enjoy the book! I noticed there were whole chapters that had no notes or edits on, those were the ones with all the action. Maybe I'm better at writing action than dialog? Which is something else I need to work on. I've discovered that dialog is difficult to write for one of my characters, the rest seem fine. This one seems to be a muddle of structure and language. I think I need to have a conversation with him and see how he really speaks.

Once that edit is done and re-read, it's off to the editors. Then it'll be a waiting game to get that back and go through their edits and suggestions!

Anyway, things are going well. The cover artwork is being finalized and I hope to get that back this week or next. I'll update the site and Blog it when I have it back and finished.

Thursday, 2 October 2014

What's wrong with people?

Spoiler Alert - We had a great holiday!

A couple of weeks ago the family and I were on holiday out Great Yarmouth way, heading for a day boating on the river. Both kids were in the back of the car, one asleep (3 months old) and the other gagging to get on to the boat (2 years old).

We were travelling along the A149, a fairly unremarkable road, not overly busy. Up ahead there was a triangle junction on my left, with about five or six cars between it and me in front of me. There were a handful of cars, maybe four or five at the junction waiting to merge onto the A149.

Boom, a small Toyota (or similar make) was shunted from behind by a small grey (not brown!) car that had not seen the car in front yield for traffic. The blue car was forced into the road and managed to roll to a stop, half on-half off the road in a junction that immediately followed the junction they had been pushed out of.

Now, like I said, there were five or six cars in front of me that SAW the accident and carried on (I saw/heard it from a way off, so they would have). There were another four or five cars BEHIND the grey car that just carried on their way, having to pull out around the grey car to continue on.

NO ONE STOPPED!

We had to drive past them as we couldn't pull in at that point, but turned around about 100 meters down the road and came back to help.

STILL NO ONE HAD STOPPED

The two cars were in the main carriageway more or less, in between two junctions and cars were going around them and not even slowing down. We'd seen that the lady in the blue car was slumped over her steering wheel and made a beeline to get to her and the woman from the grey car as quickly as possible. I pulled through the still incoming traffic and put our car up on the verge well away from the main road.

STILL NO ONE WAS STOPPING

The front of the grey car was a mess, the rear of the blue car was a mess. I suspect there had been about three to four minutes between the collision and us getting to a safe place to assist. Not a SINGLE person had stopped or attempted to help. That's dozens of cars driving past thinking "I've not got time to do this" or "I don't know what to do".

The collision probably didn't happen at more than 15-20 mph but the cars' bodywork did their job and deformed beautifully. The lady in the grey car was up and about but extremely shaken. She'd gotten out into traffic in a bit of a daze and gone to the other car and back again. I dealt with her, my wife dealt with the woman in the blue car.

First job was to get (lets call her Mary) out of the grey car, put her hazards on (she was so shaken she couldn't remember how), and to a safe place away from the traffic. She gave me her phone and I spoke to her son, who was about thirty minutes away, explained the situation and told him that his mum was uninjured (nothing serious I could determine at this point) but very shaken and upset. I sat her in the front of our car so she could take stock and be out of harms way. He would be there as soon as he could.

STILL NO ONE STOPPING TO HELP

My wife called the emergency services, as the woman in the front car was complaining that her back was painful and her neck was sore. She made sure (lets call her Julie) stayed still and didn't move, as she was mostly out of the line of oncoming traffic, she was in a less precarious position than Mary was. We needed Police assistance anyway as traffic was becoming a problem.

As my wife was on the phone calling the incident in, a Police car went by in the opposite direction to us ... and didn't stop. It wasn't on blues-twos, wasn't in a hurry, driver didn't even look. There was a serious risk to the grey car getting hit from two traffic flows now, so I made the decision to put it backwards onto the junction, away from the main A149 traffic flow.  I'd had some training in the past, I knew there would be idiots not paying attention, but made a judgement call to get that car out the way, so it didn't get shunted into everyone else by someone not paying attention to the road. It happens!

I waited for a suitable gap in traffic, and facing oncoming traffic I could see each car approaching. A lady in a fat-bottomed Megane was approaching and not even slowing down (I think we'd literally just entered a 40mph zone, she she probably wasn't doing 40). Instinct got my arm out of the door and my hand up in her face to tell her to slow down. Wishing I'd got hi-vis on at that point!

She did slow down considerably, thankfully, but didn't stop to give me time to move the car, just drove around us. I'm not a Police officer directing traffic, but if there's an accident in front of you and someone is giving you instructions, does it really take more than a couple of brain cells to think, "Ok, I'll wait for a moment to let them get out of the way", apparently it did.

Fortunately, the person behind her did stop, holding up traffic for the 10 seconds I needed to push the car a few meters out of the way. I felt much happier now there wasn't a missile pointed at us.

Anyway, about ten minutes later a Fire & Rescue truck rocked up on blues and stopped traffic, put out "Police Slow" signs and started attending to Julie. All the time, my 2 year old is getting excited because there were "nee-nah's" arriving, and my 3 month old was mostly asleep.

I gave Mary something to do by getting her details for Julie and talking to her to try and calm her down. My initial thoughts were, "The F&R was just closer than an ambulance," and then they started unpacking almost everything. Hoses came out, chocks, jaws of life, then I thought "Ah training exercise". Realising after getting an update from my wife that there might be neck injuries, so the F&R were going by the book.

I don't know if they actually lifted the lid, but they took every precaution as standard; disconnected the battery, chocked the body so it couldn't move etc. The ambulance turned up next, followed by about three Police cars, another Fire Engine and then another Ambulance.  My 2 year old was so excited! Fortunately there was no panic in the back of our car.

I spoke to one of the officers and gave him an account for the accident book, even though he decided that the grey car was actually brown. Soon corrected that and initialed the crap out of his form :) We did what we could, then we were just in the way, so off we went. The Police stopped traffic and let us out past the appliances, although the Fire Chief was trying to get himself run over, I'm sure of it.

Cut to two hours later, after a nice meander down the river and a stop for lunch and a walk. My mobile rings in the middle of a field (what was it doing there you ask ... bad joke). It was a bit windy, so all I heard to start with was something about the accident earlier, so thought it was the Police wanting more info. Turns out it was the husband of Julie (the blue car up front) calling us to thank us profusely for helping her and taking care of her until help arrived. She was at home now, feeling much better and calming down with a nice glass of Brandy.

That single phone call made my day!  Turns out, Julie's phone had no credit so my wife used my phone to call her husband so she could talk to him, so that's how he had my number. Little things like that can make a big difference to someone who is scared and frightened.

Sorry, had to get that off my chest. There are people who don't care, won't care, couldn't give a shit. Then there are the rest of us who actually feel some sort of responsibility to our fellow man to do something to help them.

I urge anyone reading this thinking, "I wouldn't have stopped," to ask yourself why? Too busy to put your plans on hold to help someone, even just a little? To scared that you wouldn't know what to do? Just making a call to 999 would be a start. Thinking, "What if they're hurt, I couldn't help them"?

Get yourself on a basic First Aid course, it will give you confidence to give even the most basic assistance, to potentially saving a life. I've used what I've been taught on more than one occasion, so has my wife. It literally could save a life.



Saturday, 13 September 2014

Wish I Was Here - Backers' Premier

Well, made it to London and the Cineworld O2 last night for the UK backers premier of Wish I Was Here. Firstly I just need to say, GO SEE THIS FILM!  It opens across the UK next Friday, 20th September.

I, and I'm sure all the other 46,520 backers, are proud and privileged to have been a part of this whole experience.

I wanted to take lots of pictures of Zach as he did the Q&A at the end of the film, but didn't. Why didn't I?  Two reasons.

Reason 1

I have a crap camera on my phone and sitting at the back of a 700 seat cinema screen gave no chance of taking any decent pics. I got one of the title page with the hashtag #WishIWasHere, but that's it.

Reason 2

I realised that we spend far too much time looking through the screen of a camera or view finder instead of enjoying the moment. Actually, there is a part of the film that talks about epiphanies and I think I actually had one when Zach came out at the end of the screening. Yes, I was there and I could have taken hundreds of pictures of Zach Braff, the auditorium, the other backers and posted them saying "Look who I saw!".

You know what, I saw him and listened to him talking passionately about his film, that, had I been trying to take pictures the whole time, I would have missed the reality of it all. I will remember that event and it's in my head forever. There were a few empty seats at the VERY front of the theatre, but I suspect I would have missed half of the film from nausea craning my neck to watch it through.

The people on the very front row were in for a treat, especially the lady who had Zach's crotch in her face whilst he strained to listen to questions being thrown at him, I suspect she has some AWESOME pictures to post on her Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, MySpace and Tumblr accounts (MySpace is still a thing isn't it?).

The Film

Well it certainly doesn't disappoint. Zach said in the Q&A afterwards, that much of the subject material would have been cut or toned right down had he not funded the film through KickStarter. The original financial backers wanted him to concede so many parts of the process, not filming in LA, not using the delicate subject matter, changing the cast, so I believe he was right to do what he did. I would say that the KickStarter backers would agree whole heartedly.

The pace of the film was perfect. The humour was well balanced against the moments you wanted to cry your eyes out, with lots of those moments feeling far more real in this film than many I have seen. Not ashamed to admit I welled up several times throughout. It made me think about my kids, family and aspirations. My current dream of being an Author slotted in well with the feelings and emotions Zach and cast portrayed brilliantly.

Only having Mandy Patankin for 4 days of the 25 days filming, and getting such an emotive performance was just genius. Mandy is an amazing actor anyway, in fact everyone in the film was just amazing. Even the young cast made it feel like they had been in front of a camera for years.

The music, new and old is perfect for this film and Chris Martin put together an amazing track for the film. Zach certainly has many good friends.

I urge you to see Garden State and Wish I Was Here and continue to fund film makers who want to make something that isn't just Hollywood dross. The film was a 15 (UK) which was refreshing. Too many blockbuster films are being watered down to 12A just to get a young audience dragging parents to the cinema to spend more and more money on throw away films.

My hat's off to Zach and the rest of his crew for pulling off an amazing venture with class and dignity (especially with the subject matter).

Thank you Zach

Monday, 8 September 2014

First Draft Edited

I had plenty of spare time this weekend, around mowing the lawns, walking the dog and catching up with my old buddy (see below), to edit the first draft. It didn't take as long as I thought it would, which does worry me a little.

This first edit was purely to pick out the major grammar errors (missing , or . a the end of dialogue mostly), check the continuity (may still have issues with references to the time of day) of events, make sure the spelling of character and place names are correct and remove a couple of chapters that aren't really needed.

I had done quite a bit of "editing" as I was going, which is maybe why I didn't feel the need to rip this draft apart too much. Something to remember for next time perhaps? I could have spent more time writing the draft than editing it and left the editing to the "editing phase". What do I know, it's a whole new experience!

The word could started off at 81,371 and after I'd finished this edit, it is now down to 77,656 words. A 3,715 word reduction, but still needs a bit more trimming. Not sure where this is going to come from yet, as the story read pretty well as I went through it, but then I was focusing on the editing. I need to read it without making any changes to see where else it can be trimmed.

I have printed off a copy for my wife to read (she'll read it in a few hours at the rate she goes, she read Brandon Sanderson's 1088 page, Words of Radiance in about 4 days!). Then, after answering all her questions that may highlight other issues in the story, there may be more edits. But hopefully in the next few weeks, I'll be at that scary moment I hear other authors talk about ... hovering over the "Send" button in my mail client and parting with my manuscript, sending it on it's way to the editors!

The Centre for Computing History

Phil and I went to a gig at the Centre for Computing History in Cambridge on Saturday night, which consisted of the rapper MCI Pod, The British IBM (a band) and Capcom's own in-house rapper Mega Ran and Mr Miranda. To say I had no idea what to expect from a gig inside a computer museum was an understatement, but we actually had a great time!

We got to play with some old computer's, relived my school days, coding a BBC Micro, an Amstrad PCW and flipping switches on some awesome Altair and IMSAI boxes, all the while there is a gig going on around you!

Definitely a place I'm supporting and going back to when my boys are a little older. If you love all the history of computers and actually want to get HANDS ON, then this is the place to go.



Thursday, 4 September 2014

Cover design update

Well, the concept art for the cover has been selected and is now with the designer to polish and produce the final cover! Am very excited to see this in all it's glory and as soon as it has been finished I'll post it for you to see.

Or maybe I'll keep it secret.

Maybe I'll post it ...

Editing

The editing is coming along steadily. I'm re-reading the book as I go which is reminding me of things I introduced months and months ago that need to be removed, polished, burned and buried. It's giving me an insight as to what you guys will read and my red pen is getting a good work out.

Additional material

I've already cut a couple of chapters of exposition out that aren't really necessary for the book, but they were useful bits of information. I may build a Wiki of sorts on the website for some of this, as it might be of interest for those that actually like the novel (I hope there's at least one person) and want to know more about the lore and history after reading it.

In case you missed it 

(or ICYMI as the cool kids say)

There is a feature on the website to let you search for well known books that are similar to your word counts. Go and have a play, it's at www.benjamin-sorrow.com/wordcount.




Wednesday, 27 August 2014

I'm Editing!!

**pop**

(That was the sound of the Champagne cork letting fly)

That's about as far as that goes as I can't stand the fizzy white stuff, it can just bubble about and go flat! Besides that, the sentiment is there. I finished my first draft yesterday afternoon, during the very wet British bank holiday.

I've ended up with 81,500 glorious words (glorious, maybe?). I've now got the pleasure of my first edit to whittle the word could down to between 70,000 and 75,000. I've also got to make sure the story makes sense, as I think I mentioned before that there was a change of direction, which I think I covered up successfully, but need to re-read it to make sure. There's also the issue of continuity, I have a feeling there will be bits that make no sense.

That's what first edits are for ... right?  I can't remember where I read this quote, I think it might have been Terry Pratchett:
"The first draft is just you telling yourself the story"
Hmmm, I hope I like reading it!

Final Word Count Going Up

This will be the last word count chart with the numbers increasing, the next ones will have fewer words and negative Word Change values.


I printed out the first draft at work (thanks to my boss for letting me use the office printer!). So now I can sit and read it, edit it, throw it in the bin etc.


(Yes the subtitle is covered over for a more dramatic reveal later)

Wednesday, 20 August 2014

ALS #Icebucket Challenge

Wow, what an amazing amount of coverage this charity has been getting recently! It is fantastic to see so many people taking up the challenge, especially the celebrities and to see how many donations have been made to their charity. If you haven't come across this yet, you know for those of you living on Mars or in a cave with no Internet, check it out below:

 ALS Icebucket Challenge

I have to say I've been entertained by some of the videos that are doing the rounds, I'm looking at you Chris Pratt and Donald Faison (hell pretty much everyone doing it). I say pretty much everyone, as some have just done the Ice Bucket dunk with no mention of the charity or the illness they are raising money for, just for some publicity of their own. Thankfully there are plenty of others (about 160,000+ others) who have donated, including me!

I didn't get "called out", why would I, no one knows who I am! Doesn't stop me from donating to a worthwhile charity. Now, I don't know anyone with ALS, but I have seen the impact on those that do have it and like many other worthwhile charities it's just one I've donated to.

Happy dunking everyone!

Thursday, 14 August 2014

Aiming High (unintentionally)

Well besides having a pretty crappy end to last week and a sleepless weekend, this week is looking very "up". I had a yo-yo temperature on Friday night and a pretty sore throat, which followed throughout the weekend, followed by bouts of meh and sleeping lots. Finally started feeling normal again Monday, but what a waste of a weekend a bug can be!

Word Counts

Anyway, I had a bit of a revelation yesterday when emailing my publisher. Somehow I had a word count stuck in my head from before I started properly down the publishing highway and it now seems I've been aiming a little high (certainly as an unknown author)!

I'd researched average word counts and for Sci-Fi (which is where I'd put my novel originally) "they" say a word count of around 110k is good (between 90-125k), as there are lots of details to elaborate in a fictional world. Even a Fantasy book is around 90-100k words.

Quote: *
  • Science-Fiction: 90,000 to 125,000 – Encompassing many sub-genres results in a flexibility across the genre that is not often given to the others. Many publishers will accept works in the higher bracket and even beyond. While literary agents are open to submissions far below 90K, they will usually lean more towards those within the requirements because they know the devoted readers of this genre do not mind an epic read. 
My publisher has put my novel into the Dystopian Thriller genre, which is a burgeoning one and not overly mainstream, which I don't mind. I hadn't, however, rethought my original research on the matter and was still aiming for the lofty Sci-fi heights.

Turns out I need to be aiming for 70-75k words for my first novel, for various reasons, which all make sense. You don't know me! I could be writing about the joys of discovering 2 ply toilet paper in a Victorian noir romp (Spoiler: I'm not, but hey, there's an idea!)

The "Up" in all this, is that I'm at around 73k words already, so my "Christmas" target for completing the first draft (and aiming for all those extra words) has suddenly become Thursday Next (ah now there's a book that I'd read 125k words in).

OK, so not quite next Thursday, but I can begin to wrap things up, which I was beginning to wonder how I was going to keep going for another 30-40k words! I'm no longer "aiming" for a word count, the words that go down now will be because they have to be there. All the ones I've written already are pretty good words in themselves and in a pretty readable order too, but there's a cull coming.

(* See a genre word count reference here, by no means definitive!)


First Edit

This will be happening sooner than I thought as well, so will be time to sweet talk my boss into letting me print about 130 A4 pages in the office one afternoon, OZONE anyone?  If I get to around 80k, I can edit that down and I already know of one bit I was never happy with, so that can go.

Does anyone have any tips for a First Edit? I "plan" to consume some trees, use copious amounts of coloured pens and small post-it notes to scribble and draw on the draft. I had thought about just sitting in front of Word and editing as I went, but I think my issue there will be distraction. If it's on paper (I remember doing this at college many moons ago) I can visually see where I've "been" and not keep rehashing the same bit, adding a word, removing one etc. Ideas welcome!

Saying all this, the original target was for February 2015 release, which if I get my arse into gear and edit this nearly completed first draft, might still be on the cards.  It was always flexible, but I was beginning to think at the rate I was working, it would be middle to late 2015.

Anyway, I'm suddenly feeling like the cat that got the cream, but also aware that I need to figure this damn ending out ... and quick!


Friday, 8 August 2014

Website Update

I felt I needed to do a bit of webby stuff yesterday, so have added a cool new feature that allows you to find some famous/well known books with similar word counts to your book or manuscript. At the moment I'm sandwiched between "The Adventures of Tom Sawyer" at about 69,066 words and "The Woman Warrior" at about 70,957 words.

You can find it by going to my website and looking under the "Fun Stuff" menu, or following this link.

Disclaimer: The list or word counts has been collected from various sources across the Internet and comprises 166 titles. I don't know if these word counts are actual individual words or a calculation based on pages, average words per page etc.  Either way, it's just a bit of fun!

Oh and my thighs still ache from the bull riding at the weekend!!!!

Tuesday, 5 August 2014

I've found my stall speed

It happens from time to time. Other family things that need dealing with, work, having a family break, they all need doing once in a while. So I've not had a massive progression of the manuscript for Benjamin Sorrow in the last week or so.  It seems like I melted my brain when I was away for my writing weekend.

I have crept forward to 70k words though and am now trying to work out the big "reveal" introducing the main protagonist proper and all that guff.

This weekend was fun though, we went to the Ramsey Steam and Vintage weekend and our 2 year old was beside him self when he saw the steam trains and engines. Got a future in Steampunk and sci-fi all lined up for him :)  For the first time in my life (now I know why I'd not done it before) I went on a mechanical bull! "Grip with your thighs" the woman said. "There are muscles there?" I said the next morning!

I managed a whole 23 seconds the first time, then 25 seconds the second time. Dead proud for a first time, even if I knew deep down that it was a poor time. I held the daily record for all of about 30 minutes. We walked past the machine later and someone had done 77 seconds, so, meh.

Ooh, I had the cover design concepts back from the designer last week. Got a bit of work to do on them, so as soon as I've settled on the design I'll let you have a sneak preview (that's assuming anyone is actually reading this blog?).

A Word Count Update

I did an update on the word count chart after I came back from my writers retreat, but forgot to upload it anywhere.  So here it is:

Saturday, 12 July 2014

Going great guns

So far so good. I managed about 3000 words yesterday afternoon in about 3 and a bit hours. I had to have a break for dinner!

It turns out that there is a wedding reception here today (Saturday) and the main hall is set out for the evening disco. The Baronial hall, which is where I got married and had our wedding breakfast is all set out for the happy couple today ... who I have no idea about.

I've been told they will be arriving from about 2pm onwards, so guess there'll be plenty of people to chat to later (probably not the best thing for writing!). So I apologise in advance for the crashing of the party tonight if it's your wedding!

I did have a slight issue with the room, but as always the staff here are more than helpful. I had been given one of the rooms in the main building, which shows it's age in the decoration and creaking floor boards. But they have character and it's nice. Unfortunately when I walked into the room yesterday to unpack, it was REALLY warm in there. I opened all the windows and spotted two floor standing fans ... a sign maybe?

Anyway, I ventilated the room as much as I could but there was no airflow (even with the fans). Come bed time, it was just as hot even though outside was cooling down quickly. 4am came around before I managed to get to sleep when the room cooled off enough to be comfy.  I hate fans blowing on me in the night and they aren't new Dyson jobbies, but old noisy caged beasts, so that didn't help.

I spoke to the staff this morning and they moved me to one of the modern rooms further away from the main house ... with air conditioning!! Awesome!  The room is cooler anyway, so probably won't need it. It is smaller but I don't need a huge room anyway, so am a happy camper again.

We're forcast for thunder and lightning today, but at the moment it is a beautiful day outside, and a bit too bright to see the laptop screen, so am back in the lounge drinking coffee.

Oh, I had a chat with the Manager this morning, who was the manager on the weekend that we got married here. I remembered him, but (not surprisingly) he didn't remember me. We had a chat about books and writing, and wished me luck with the novel. Must remember to send Paul Williamson a signed copy when I get them :)

Right, break over, back to those pesky airships!

Friday, 11 July 2014

An exciting weekend ahead ...

... and a very busy one. I've got my writers retreat (not an officially sponsored event, just like to call it that) starting this afternoon at Highgate House in Northamptonshire. I said goodbye to the family this morning, come to work for half a day ... then off I go!

I've just about hit 60,000 words and am looking to get another 10k+ words done between now and Sunday afternoon. As I'm quickly discovering, even the best laid plans for sitting down and writing don't always turn out very productively. I spent a little time yesterday just going over my scrawl laying out the connections of all the characters, just to make sure my plot works. Didn't want to get there today and think "Erm, what am I going to write about" or "How the f**k did that happen" as I sit down to write.

Twitter

I've also been slowly gaining Twitter followers, so thanks to all those who are actively following me. I've deliberately not followed those just looking for follow-backs, you know the ones:

  1. THEY find you in an app they've bought
  2. THEY follow you
  3. THEY send you a randomised and generic "Hey, your stuff looks great. Follow me back?"
  4. I check their stats - as many followers as they are following
  5. I don't follow them back
  6. I get an Unfollow a couple of days later
I'd rather follow people that are interesting, in the same line of work as me (actual work or writing) and don't spam the hell out of my feed daily for the sake of posting tweets. I'm sure there are books and guides out there about maximising your Twitter presence and fair play to those that take the time to manually increase their Twitter-base, but those bots just annoy me (and not just me).

I've got (a whole) 81 followers at the moment and these are people that I hope ACTUALLY want to follow me. Once I start the marketing process for the book later in the year/next year, hopefully these followers will actually be interested and Retweet my work. No point having lots of accounts following me, because I'm following them and getting nothing from it.

It's like these ads you get for "Buy genuine Likes and follows on Facebook/Twitter", why? OK, so when someone looks at your page they see a vast number of followers or Likes, but how many people look at that figure and think "Hmmm, something isn't right here." OK, so they say it makes your page look better and more authoritative on the subject, because ALL these people follow you, but it's just bull .... isn't it?

I understand that celebrities have lots of followers and for good reason. People like to feel close to people they see on TV or in the Movies, and Twitter has become a great place to get a little peek inside their daily lives (unless the account is run by their agent). Don't get me wrong, I follow a certain amount of celebrities. 

Take Robert Downey Jr for example. He only set up a Twitter account in April and because he is who he is, has 2 million followers and he follows 46 people. The power of celebrity.

I follow quite a few accounts who are in the Fantasy genre community and one, for example, Mythic Scribes (currently) follows 16k users and has 17k followers. Which just says to me "Follow me, follow you". As this is a community Twitter account, it's understandable. For an author, I'm not so sure. Jasper Fforde for another example, well loved author, has 17.9k followers and follows 59! That sounds more like someone I would want to follow for a start. If he followed me, then it probably MEANS something, rather than the "He's followed me because I followed him" feeling I'm increasingly experiencing.

Ah well, I was one of those people who signed up to Twitter way back in the early days and said it would never catch on!

Wednesday, 9 July 2014

Propeller Heads & Anoraks

Disclaimer

I found this content that I used to use extensively when testing our internal mailing engine this morning. I cannot for the life of me remember where it came from originally, but it was at least 8 years ago or more that I started using it (I think). Anyway, if this is your content, no copyright infringement was intended, but it is a nice explanation of the difference between Propeller Heads & Anoraks.

Friday, 4 July 2014

An update or two

Eating far too much

Myself and several colleagues (and one now ex-colleague) went out for a meal to send him off last night. Bye James. We went to a restaurant floating (half beached) on the River Nene and lots of food was had by all. Their set menus provided us with full bellies last night and aching bellies this morning (well for me anyway). It has been a long time since I was last there, but the food was still as amazing as ever. I can't get enough of their 'nana Fritters and ice cream. Anyway, if you're in Peterborough (the UK one not the Canadian or Australian ones) I'd recommend a visit to East, you won't be disappointed. Should get a free meal for the plug. No? OK then.

Cover Design Concepts

I spoke to my publisher and the design concepts should be ready around the end of the month, which will be cool. I'm intrigued to see what Alex comes up with based on my ideas and thoughts. I did my best to describe what I can see in my minds eye, but we'll see if she can get that onto paper.

Manuscript Progress

Well, it's not quick at the moment. Family stuff still taking priority (and last night's feast), but have made some progress. Am now at just over 56,200 words and expect to maybe get to 60k before my weekend away next Friday, where I want to see just how much I can do when I'm not distracted.

Tuesday, 24 June 2014

The Writers Toolbox

I got a copy of The Writers Toolbox for my birthday, as a way to help my creative mind. So, as I thought I needed a bit of a break (kids, wife and dog are asleep) I'd give it a go.

It's just what came out and onto "paper"! I've not edited it, tidied up or made it flow nicely.  It kind of does, but it would need work to make real sense. It's actually given me a great idea for a story!

FS = First Sentence (highlighted in bold)
NS = Non-sequitur (highlighted in bold)
LS = Last Straw (highlighted in bold)
SS = Sixth sense, supposed to bring out feelings

PS. This is copyright now, so don't go getting any ideas! ;-)

FS

    He swore on his mother's grave, but then he swore on just about everything. Max looked intently at Karen.
    "I promise! If swearing isn't enough, what else is there?" he said.
    "I guess there's nothing but to take your word for it then," Karen said gritting her teeth and wincing at the thought of what was about to happen.
    "Now what ever you do, don't let go."
    "Yeah, cos that's the first thing that comes to mind!" she said.
    Max gripped Karen firmly by the hand and stepped from the ledge overlooking the Hoover dam below them. Karen squeezed his hand hard and shut her eyes as tight as they would possibly go. Her faith in Max's promise was justified. Rather than falling to their deaths, they were lifted as though feathers on the breeze.
    "Shit!" Karen cried as she opened her eyes and looked down on the river and rushing water far below them.
    "See I told you," he said smugly.
    "You couldn't have just shown me that you could fly, you had to make me crap myself!"

NS

    She may be young, but she's not stupid, Max thought. Karen had followed him around at school like a lost puppy. She knew there was something about him that she just couldn't work out and she had to know what it was. The way Max seemed to move, his effortless motion, that was what drew her to him. At first Max was annoyed, some young girl doting on him. Then it became sweet. Eventually they spent time talking and became the best of friends.
    "I wish you had shown me this sooner," Karen said over the sound of rushing air. Max had taken them higher and the valley view below was spectacular. Karen had been in a helicopter before, her father being a pilot in the army had taken her up in the past. Being in the air without the sound or vibration of the helicopter engines was an indescribable feeling.
    "What do you think?" Max asked. Having finally given in to his personal trepidation about anyone knowing about his ability, he felt more relaxed and himself than ever before in his life.
    "It is amazing. Scary as fuck, but amazing!"

NS

    She was standing behind the counter, giving him this root beer-float kind of smile.
    "Hey Max," Karen said beaming from ear to ear. "The usual?"
    "Sure, whipped cream too if there is any," Max said.
    Karen had not stopped smiling since their trip down the Hoover dam yesterday. She hardly slept all night, writing in her journal about the amazing man that Max was. He had pleaded with her not to tell anyone, for fear of what might happen to him. Everything Hollywood had told him about people with super-powers scared him out of his wits. If it wasn't the secret identity, or the persecution of those with abilities, it was the sheer terror that he would have to find a purpose in all of this and do something with it.
    I'm just a kid, he'd told himself. Can't I just be a kid and deal with this later?
    Karen set the root beer-float down on the counter in front of him, snapping him out of his daydream.
    "So where are we going tonight?" she asked him.
    "Shhh, keep your voice down," Max replied sternly.
    "Why, don't people go out these days?"
    "Sorry, I thought you meant - you know," and indicated towards the ceiling with his eyes.

NS

    "He was skating on thin ice - that's all I can say," said a large built man dressed in a army uniform to a colleague as they walked in the door of the diner.
    "Hey dad," Karen said to her father when she saw him.
    "Hi sweetheart," he replied. He turned and addressed his colleague, "See to it that you find out exactly what they saw. And keep it quite for Christ's sake."
    "Yes General," the soldier replied, saluted and took his leave.
    General Taylor walked over to the counter in front of his daughter and put his hat down. She leant over to give him a kiss, but her father wasn't overly keen on public displays of affection. He reluctantly leant over, as Karen stood on tip toes waiting and kissed her on the cheek.
    "Doesn't that feel better," she said, knowing full well it embarrassed him. A two star general, being embarrassed, she thought it was hilarious.
    "Dad, this is Max. He's a friend from school. He's been helping me with my math,"
    "Sir," Max said straightening up and putting out his had to shake.
    The General stood and looked at him with a dead-straight face, no sign of emotion at all. Max swallowed hard and started to sweat. Did he know something about him? Did he make people who got close to his daughter disappear?
    Panic.
    Terror.

LS

    The General was thinking, "Does he know about the thing she did to the brakes on the Honda?" He decided that he'd made him stew long enough and shook Max's hand. Max visibly relaxed and started breathing again. There was no evidence, but the General suspected that Karen had tampered with the brakes on the Honda belonging to Jake, a fellow student who had been harassing her at school. She had reported it of course, but nothing had been done about it for months.
    One day, Karen confronted Jake at school when he was being particularly unpleasant towards her and people say she made some threat about him dying horribly in his penis-mobile, that was what a lot of people called his Honda.
    He was found dead at the bottom of a gorge the next morning. The investigation say the brakes failed, but apart from some wild accusations, nothing was proved. The General had kept an eye on Karen since, and for a whole year she seemed to have been fixated on the teenager who now stood in front of him. Max.
    "So Max, I appreciate you helping Karen with her studies. You are in your final year aren't you?"
    "Yes sir, I am."
    Karen wondered how her father knew anything about Max at all, as they'd only just met.
    "Dad, can I have a word with you for a minute?"
    "Sure thing sweetheart - Max," he said fixing Max with a quick stare before walking towards the end of the counter where Karen was waiting for him.
    "You've been spying on me haven't you," she exclaimed as loudly and as quietly as she could.
    "For your own protection sweetheart. Since the thing with Jake -"
    "There was no thing with Jake. I didn't do anything to the bloody car!" She said this a little loudly towards the end and drew the looks of a few people sitting in booths eating breakfast.

SS (the smell of fresh mint)

    She looked around at those eating and for a moment lost herself in the smells from the kitchen. Pancakes with cinnamon, iced teas with mint that reminded her of her mothers garden. She missed her mother so much. Karen was only eight when her mother died, killed by a drunk driver. The one smell that reminded her so much of her mother, oddly, was mint. The summer herb garden was always fresh with it. Normal mint, lemon mint and some other kind that just became mint in her memory.

SS (someone's red leather journal)

    For a moment she found herself standing outside her own body, looking back at herself arguing with her father. Although she could see what was happening, she realised everything was in an almost perfect balance of black and white. Like looking at an old silent movie.
    She looked around, lost in the lightness she felt from the detachment of her mind and body; someone sitting at the counter drinking coffee, Max pretending not to listen to her fighting with her father.
    And as if from nowhere a dash of colour dazzled her, not in its brightness, but in its bold intense redness. A booth at the far end of the room stood out and she could now see the book or perhaps a journal laying on the table in front of the man enjoying his morning coffee.

SS (the sound of the dishwasher)

    Hurriedly walking towards the beacon of colour, she felt as if she was loosing a grip on this reality. As unreal as this view of her world seemed, the reality she felt herself being drawn back to now felt as equally unreal. It felt like she was dreaming, walking through treacle to get to that damn journal. Sounds started to bleed back into her mind, the drone of the dishwasher, the clinking of glasses and cups. The horrible prrftt noise the coffee machine makes when you froth the milk.

NS

    She found him in the Terminal Bar and Grill. He was sober, for a change. In the year since Karen and Max had run away together, things had become strained between them. Their relationship blossomed, initially. Passion and romance gave way to confusion and fear.
    Max had started to drink, for reasons a plenty. They had discovered that Karen's father had been keeping very close tabs on both Karen and Max since they met. They were convinced that it had something to do with Max's ability, but they found it hard to accept at first.
    "Why did you leave like that last night?" she asked him, sitting next to him and putting her hand on his.
    "You know why. You promised you wouldn't do it again," he said staring at a scotch on the rocks in front of him.
    Karen removed her hand slowly and looked down at it. "I can't always control it. You know that."
    "But you are aware when you start, you can stop if you try. At least try," he pleaded without looking up from his untouched scotch.
    "I wish it were as simple. You can control your ability, mine is - it's not me, at least that's what it feels like," she tried to explain again. They had had the conversation before, it never makes much sense.

NS

    "Can I get you a drink miss," said the tall bar man as he wiped the bar top in front of them.
    Can I get you out of that top and into my - The bar man froze and locked eyes with Karen. His mind was suddenly not his own and he was very aware that he was bearing down on his subconscious for the comment she was not supposed to hear. It was tucked away inside his mind after all.
    They were all the same, she decided. Men were men, they all had the same primordial thoughts. She could just see them now. Just like Max had kept his ability hidden from the world, Karen had begun to discover a secret she had not realised she was keeping until that morning in the diner with her father.
    The black and white world she witnessed, was an amalgamation of peoples thoughts and feelings projected into a reality that she could move around in and later discover, manipulate to some degree.
    The bar man was released from Karen's mind, berated suitably and came back with her lemonade and lime moments later.
    "See, you did it again didn't you?" Max said. "What did he think? Or did you just plant the idea of your drink in his mind for fun?" Max picked up his drink and took a large swig.

LS
 
Note: To late to write any more but I got "the day Lillian learned to drive"


A Couple of updates

Film Stuff

I got an email last night from Zach Braff (yeah he emailed me personally*) about the advance screening of Wish I Were Here in London. Looks like this is happening on the 12th September, but the venue has yet to be confirmed. Am looking forward to it and the Q&A with him afterwards.


Book Stuff

I've done another info-graphic of the word count for my manuscript. Am now just over 53 thousand words. Such a long way to go! Just worked in the first major plot twist, I hope it makes sense. Felt like the right thing to do, although I think in the first edit, it may need a little work to make it sound more plausible. I like the idea though, so it stays :)


I've got a long weekend away in a few weeks to shut myself away from everything and crack on. Hopefully I can get 6,000-10,000 words done ... or I'll drink my body-weight in coffee, either way it will be a good weekend.

*That bing-bing-bing you heard in the background was your bullshit detector going ape!

Monday, 23 June 2014

A new toy

I purchased a refurbed ASUS MeMO 7" tablet to do all my Social Media stuff on. My old HTC One phone does everything I need a phone to do, but I'm not spending hundreds of pounds on a new one when this one works fine. Remember when a phone had buttons, actual real buttons? Anyway, I use WiFi where ever I am rather than data on my phone contract, and that costs me about £9 per month for the privilege (rather than £30 to £40 for a contact with new phone). If I do need to use data, I can use the WiFi hotspot on the phone for the tablet.

But I digress. The tablet is actually not bad at all. Some of the reviews said that it lacked power in the higher end 3d games, but as I don't play games, it's plenty fast enough for the UI and it's nice, smooth and responsive.  I saved about £50 getting a refurbished model, although it does have some cosmetic scratches on the back (which I'll only add too), it's fine otherwise.

The basic spec:

  • 1280x800 pixel IPS Screen
  • Quad-core 1.3Ghz Mediatek MT1825 CPU
  • 1GB RAM
  • 16GB Internal Storage
  • microSD Card slot
  • Android 4.2
It's not as powerful as many other models, but for the price it's not half bad.  It's nice to hold and I agree with the plasticy feel, but I don't mind that at all. It has a decent weight to it, not too light or too heavy, but I've not used many 7" tablets, so others would probably have a different opinion.

I just need to make a sleeve for it now and have a few ideas about that. I purchased a box of leather off-cuts a couple of years ago for some Steampunk stuff I was going to create. I never did. So I have lots of really nice leather that I'll make a sleeve for the tablet, make it a bit unique.  Although it may take me a while to find some time to squeeze that into my schedule!

Bonus Book Update

I've managed to squeeze a bit of writing into my paternity leave and have now got to 52k words in my manuscript. Getting to some good bits now, twists and turns a plenty. 

Thursday, 19 June 2014

39 is the new 38

Well, brushing that fact aside and a Happy coming-out-of-your-mothers-vagnina day to me, it's about time I wrote another blog entry.

(That all sounded like an intro to a sitcom episode in my head)

So, what's happened in the last year (a reflection?)

It's been a long year, but no longer than any other (I don't think it was a leap year?). Another orbit around the sun, another 365 days of everyday-ness.

The highlights of the last year though, obviously have to be the birth of baby number 2, who is a couple of weeks old now and eating like a trooper; deciding to write a novel, finding a publisher and avoiding any planet destroying comets (well we all did that one).

I lost touch with a few old friends (I think "unfriend" is the word the cool kids use these days) and kept in touch with a few others. I've avoided politics, the media's persistent coverage of hacking (would we really qualify guessing PIN numbers "Hacking"?  I guess I'm just old fashioned) and most of the Royal stuff, although Philip still makes me laugh.

We were a rest-bite for relatives escaping the floods and helped our Newfoundland dog through her knee surgery. She now has as much energy as she did when she was 2 years old (she's 4 now, in case you wondered). She had a Tibial Tuberosity Advancement (TTA), go look it up, it's amazing!  Would certainly recommend it if you have a dog with a Cruciate Ligament that has gone walkies (best make sure your insurance covers it though, it ain't cheep!).

I've submitted my cover design ideas to my publisher, so am waiting now for some preliminary concepts. Very exciting stuff, but think they'll be saying "I wish he'd stop emailing" before too long. I can be an impatient person when I'm excited about something. I've been waiting for a KickStarter item to be delivered for nearly a year now. One was a gift for last September, then Christmas, then Valentines ... might get it for this Christmas at this rate. I know the product will be unique and well made, it's just the waiting ... arrgghhh!

I'm also very excited about the release of Zach Braff's new movie Wish I Was Here, which I sponsored and "Helped make". Looking forward to the UK screening later this year in London and the meet afterwards. The website is here if you haven't seen it yet. I'd also recommend seeing Garden State if you haven't as well. From what I've read, it went down really well at Sundance and is getting some pretty good reviews already.

I'm just enjoying the last couple of days of paternity leave (well holiday, as Statutory Paternity Pay SUCKS). Back to work on Monday and a bit more of a regular routine.

Oh, I'm up to 51,100 words now in my manuscript, so things are progressing nicely. I'm about halfway through, although I'm not sure how the second half will pan out just yet. I'm sure something else will blow up and someone else will die ... we'll have to see.

Anyway, that'll do for this recap of the last 8,760 hours and I'll start posting regular ... posts now that I'm heading back to work.

Tuesday, 27 May 2014

Weekly Ramblings

Our New (Still pending) Arrival

Only a week to go until Son number two should make an appearance. If he has his Grannies timekeeping skills, we'll see him sometime in July! Things feel a lot more relaxed this time around, all our bags are packed and in the car; the car seat is in ready and MP3s loaded on to the generic MP3 player, hospital on speed dial. Son number one said baby this morning and pointed at mummy's tummy. Well he's not quite two, but knows where the new baby is at least. We've got his present from his new brother to wrap and put in the car yet, so he doesn't feel pushed out when his little bro starts getting lots of mummy's attention.

Book Progress

I'm up to 46,472 words as of today! We had a lovely Bank Holiday weekend, even though the weather forecast was for rain and clouds, we actually had lots of sunshine and a bit of a sprinkling here and there. I managed to finish a chapter or two and evolved a big part of the plot, so am happy.

Other ramblings

Since our in-laws dog demolished our chicken run fence last week (and part of a chicken) I've had to put up a more substantial fence in it's place. We had one of the Omlet fences up, which is fine for our Newfoundland who couldn't care less about the chickens, but her sister decided chicken was for dinner and stripped it of most of its chest feathers. They're designed to keep chickens IN not dogs OUT. Fortunately, apart from a traumatized chicken or two, they're fine. We now have a nice chicken wire fence with a proper gate, which just makes life easier.

Future Niceties

My amazing and fantastic wife, apart from giving me another son in the forthcoming weeks, has also told me what she's getting for my birthday next month. A weekend away from her and the kids!! It's actually a good idea and very generous of her. I'm going to go to Highgate House, the place we were married, for two nights to get on and write my novel without distraction. It's a very comfortable environment to sit and work. They have plenty of rooms in different styles, a lovely garden and all the free hot drinks and WiFi I can consume. They also have a great menu in their restaurant, full English breakfast and a bar. We have been there several times since getting married, so hope the staff don't wonder why I'm there by myself!

Monday, 19 May 2014

Fun chat with a Bot on Skype this morning

My week is never complete without a random bot trying to get into my pants on Skype. It amuses me to see how unsophisticated they really are and I often have a "Chat" with them. You never know, the guy who writes the scripts for the bot may actually go through a few and read them.

Here's the transcript from this mornings bit of fun:

[07:57:24] pink.chapstick93: Hello! Please add me to your Contact list.
[10:55:03] BeakZ: Why?
[10:55:33] pink.chapstick93: Yay someone to speak to :) !! how r you?   
[10:55:44] BeakZ: Do I know you?
[10:56:14] pink.chapstick93: I'm awesome  thanks for chattin with me I found your name in the online members search :) what u up to?
[10:56:31] BeakZ: Oh god here we go again. Another sex-bot selling services
[10:56:49] pink.chapstick93: Ok, now you really lost me?? bot???
[10:57:07] BeakZ: Oh the standard "What is a bot?" Bot reply
[10:57:39] pink.chapstick93: I'm not too into exchanging pics .. I'd much rather see each other, you can see the real thing on my cam... u want to?
[10:58:42] BeakZ: Go on then, send me a link to the high-priced service that will infect my PC with malware and charge me a lot of money to see some not very nice naked women
[10:59:00] pink.chapstick93: you forgot it? lol its http://KpSWJtNz.invitealerts.com
[10:59:33] BeakZ: Forgot it? I've never "spoken" to you before. Whoever programmed this bot needs to get their script sorted out
[11:00:02] pink.chapstick93: Click http://TnAZ8ENt2i.invitealerts.com it's a more secure site with my videocam u will have to verify your age so I'm not showing my boobies to a minor ;), i had to do it too but dont worry its 100% FREE and its alot of fun once u get in ;)
[11:01:24] BeakZ: 100% free apart from the credit card details your company will then use to make fraudlent transactions, hoping that the unsuspecting persons giving their details won't go to the Police because they're embarrased to say "I put my details into a porn website". I hope the bot owner is reading this
[11:01:54] pink.chapstick93: hahaha!  call em! and tell them you are reporting a felony...  YOUR HAIRSTYLE!!  You might wanna get that looked at!
[11:02:46] BeakZ: Oh wow, an insult from a bot, I'm going to be so depressed for the rest of the day! I'm glad they scripted a "Police" response into your code
[11:03:10] pink.chapstick93: make sure you acccept Invite on the left, click it k?
[11:03:18] BeakZ: Ok done
[11:03:48] pink.chapstick93: ok, fill out your information, first and last name, make sure you put your correct b-day ok?
[11:04:24 | Edited 11:04:30] BeakZ: Ok, done that
[11:04:53] pink.chapstick93: Credit card is just to verify your age hun, your card will NOT be charged just verified see where it says that? like i said it's FREE... cant show pussy and privates to minors..you know? ;)
[11:05:12] BeakZ: Ah you mean I can't do this if I'm 12?
[11:05:32] pink.chapstick93: I'm oncam waiting for you.
[11:05:46] BeakZ: But I'm only 12, how can I see?
[11:05:58] pink.chapstick93: u in??
[11:06:04] BeakZ: Oh yeah baby
[11:06:18] BeakZ: All the way in, mmm good

Monday, 12 May 2014

Typical British Weather

If the weather reports on the BBC had been more accurate, I would have been outside more this weekend. As it happens, the forecast was for rain, our outdoor plans changed, so had time to write more than usual.

The climb to 50,000 words is feeling like a mountain at the moment, but I have a history of getting over the virtual "hill" and then being even more productive.  So here's hoping the trend continues!

Here's an updated chart with the current word count. I've also added the "Change" in red so you can see the words written on each interval.

Note: The same day appears more than once, that's just when I've submitted a revision twice in one day (paranoia anyone?).


Friday, 9 May 2014

Fourty Thousand Words ...

... that is all.

Oh and a big f**k yeah!

Wednesday, 7 May 2014

I have a publisher!

Woo hoo!  It feels like something is really happening now. I know, I know, I've got to finish the manuscript first, but to have the support as a first time author really does feel like a warm comfortable blanket wrapped around me.

I'll post more details as the process continues, I think it's worth sharing the pitfalls and rewards as a first time author.

Friday, 2 May 2014

A couple of productive days

Well, it looks like taking two days off work to get on with the book worked. Is 8,000 words in two days good?

Wednesday

I didn't get the early starts I was hoping for. Up at 6am with the little man, childcare by 8am, had to tackle the lawns, done by 10am. A lot of today was spent talking out loud to myself, going over the plot and interactions of my characters. A whiteboard helped! Turns out, I had a couple of issues with where characters were going and that took a few hours to work out.

I think I have a more cohesive flow of plot devices and stories now. Time will tell.

Thursday

Again, didn't start as early as planned. Had to take our dog to the vets for a check up after her knee surgery, so managed to get a bit done from 0800 to 0830, but didn't get cracking properly until 0930. Still, better than yesterday!

The words seemed to flow easier today, the conversation with myself yesterday certainly helped things along a huge amount.

Tip of the day

I was struggling to work out the next chapter that should follow on from where I left off. It was bugging the hell out of me. I knew where I wanted to go, but couldn't figure out how to get there. I found an article somewhere (I've lost the link, sorry!) that basically said, "Write a chapter of your book. It doesn't matter if it's the NEXT chapter, as that can leave you wanting."

Anyway, I paraphrased that A LOT. I was having a hard time thinking of what logically followed the chapter I had just written, but then read this article and wrote another chapter that came later. I knew I needed to write it, it just didn't follow on. Having done that, the block I had went away and the missing chapter manifested itself nicely.

This is a tip I'll remember and would recommend.

Word count update

I pulled out the various versions of the Novel from March (when I started properly again) and scripted the word counts. Here's a chart, 'cos who doesn't love a good chart!



Friday, 25 April 2014

Wow, It's been a long time!

Hi all,

It looks like my last blog post was almost 2 years ago. I was waiting to take my wife to hospital for the birth of our first child.

We're almost in the same place, waiting on the birth of number 2 (so far nameless). Got a month to go this time though, so thought it was about time to resurrect the blog.

Writing

I've been pushing my writing a lot more recently and am about a third of the way through my first draft of my Novel manuscript. What a steep climb this hill is!  It's a fun and enjoyable process, building a fantasy world, creating characters, finding a publisher etc.

I've built up a relationship with Rowanvale Books who are based in Swansea and will be using them for publishing when I get to that stage. I think I've got about another 60-80K words write yet, but I am sure this will vary a little when I get farther down the road.

I've now got the website registered (well have had it registered for a while) and a site up now. You can find this at:

Benjamin Sorrow

There is a contact form on there which will enable me to update you directly when the book is ready. Also, if you'd like to be considered for a Beta Reader, you can register your interest here too. The site isn't much to look at yet, but will have more stuff and goodies added as the process gets closer to publish date.

Well, that's all for now. I'll be posting more articles on Blogger in the coming months, so keep an eye out (although I can't promise they'll be that exciting!).

Paul