Tag Archives: novel

Feb 1st 2022 update

I kept my promise, despite having an ear and headache to keeping to my plans that from the first of February this year, I will write a minimum of 1k words per day towards one set novel, rather than a bunch of them; because I am trying to live by “The One Thing” principle for a while to see how much of a difference it would make to my productivity as a writer.

Today I have written 1354 words towards the dragon fantasy novel, but instead of working for two solid hours like I had planned, I felt in order to prevent burn out – I would stop any time after 1k words if I felt I am getting bored or tired of being in this writing position.  Therefore I wrote 1354 words in just one hour and twenty minutes, with a ten minute toilet break in that, so it wasn’t completely tied to the chair.

I have moved in a different direction with this dragon story, focusing more on character development and even added a drama scene in there, which is not something I am known for.

But to me, it works and has made a vast improvement to the plot in general.  I feel this story has a firmer future than before because of it and it has given me more freedom to give the characters a future in other potential books.  With that being said, this is going to written as a standalone; in case the publishers feel that there shouldn’t be an extension to this story.

Basically what I am trying to say is, this story is going to be more complete by the time I have finished it, without any questions needing answering if the publisher decides that this book should not be a series.

Also, I have noticed that my chapters are shorter than usual because I have learned to condense down a lot over the past few months, which means that the size of the book I am writing will not be epic as I used to fear.

This has not affected the quality of the book negatively, but has improved it tremendously.

I do realise, even now, that there will be another draft, even though this is supposed to be the final draft, because after I had written the previous chapter, I realised there was a certain element I forgot to include in the story, a build-up, the tension was short, the backstory almost non-existent, this will just mean when I have finished this draft entirely  in a few weeks’ time, that I will need to add around three pages to make up for the little bits I missed out.

But I am making notes after I have written towards the draft, so I am not distracted from the writing process – this is another thing that is new to the way that I work on my novels.

I am still keeping a spreadsheet on how many words and minutes I write per day, this is excellent in showing me just how much I actually do, do.

I guessed at the end of January that I wrote around 5 to 8k and only for around ten days of the month, but as it turned out, I realised going back to the spreadsheet that I wrote 36k words all told and wrote for fourteen days throughout the month.

Much more than I realised, it is a confidence booster, it also shows me that there was a time where I thought I didn’t write for two days last month but it was actually five solid days where I didn’t even type one word!

It is a real eye opener!

So, with that being said, I will keep you updated day to day as I am writing.  But remember, I have Fridays and Saturdays as my weekend, where I do not intend to write anything and I have scheduled in holidays where I allow myself the time off from writing altogether, unless I feel otherwise.  My first holiday from writing will be the last week of February, because this is the time Henry has time off from school and I would like to dedicate my time to him.

Happy reading everyone!

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Category for current projects

This is a new category which will enable me to share more of what I am doing as a writer.

I will not tell vast details of the plots I am doing but I will talk about what kind of things are going to be in the story and if there are any major changes in any rewrites.

By doing this I am hoping that people who are interested in stories like the ones I will mention will cheer me on and spur me to write faster for them!

It is always nice to know that there are people out there who need a book I am writing!

I always do better when I feel that there are people out there who are genuinely interested in my work!

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1st, 2nd & 3rd drafts

In a discussion at the NaNoWriMo forum, somebody asked whether adding “what ifs” were something that people do when they are stuck on the event?

My reply was pretty long for a forum post, but nonetheless I hope it was helpful for them and I hope it would be helpful for you too – here is a more fleshed out answer to my response.

When I am writing a novel, my first draft is usually part of the ideas and planning process.

In the first draft I ask questions and try to answer them as strongly as I can to help me develop strong characters and scenes that make sense to the plot as a whole.

I ask questions such as, what is the relationship of this character to the main character.  How will this characters existence help move the plot along?  What vital actions would this character do to play a part in the plot of this story? 

I would also write alternative paths for the story as a whole as they come.  This is made easier by love for lists and random.org.  For example, if the story is a fantasy where people are going onto a journey, are the characters turning towards the forest, the farm or a shadowy path into a darkened valley?  This is usually done at times I feel stuck about how to progress – when this happens, for me it is important not to stop my flow of writing by overthinking it, but to get all possible ideas down on paper and then pick one later on, when you have run out of energy to do more for the day; or if you are truly desperate for a decision to move your story along, use random.org to force a decision for you and you will often come out with some surprising alternatives you’d never thought of originally for your story!

The second draft is all about the elimination of the stuff that didn’t survive your story in the first draft, then sewing all you have kept together as neatly as possible.  But, I am a psychopath, I have been known to write similar plot stories based on two to four alternatives, to see how I feel about them several months down the line, then I choose the best one to continue onto the third draft with!

The third draft is all about tidying things up and cutting scenes out or adding new ones, for me it is the preparation for polishing the finished product, because for me, it is rare that a story gets past a third draft.

It can be a nightmare trying to sift through the first draft in between the chunky messes that appear out of nowhere, but for me it is worth it and it is the only way I manage to stay productive without feeling frustrated or coming to a dead end.

I am a chaotic thinker, I understand this is not for everyone, but this system works for me. 

I think too many people try to make the first draft too pretty and polished immediately, novels don’t work like that.

I can be found in the UK, Leicester region of NaNoWriMo throughout this month.

Good luck in your writing ventures everybody!

Happy reading!

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Henry the creative researcher

My Henry is eleven years old and this post is going to be about him.

Henry has wanted to become a chef since he was eight years old, before that he wanted to be a doctor, he still wants to be a chef, but he also wants to be an artist and writer and understands that life as a creative can be hard so he will need to find a more stable job until his creative career takes off.

Henry has a love for learning, particularly culture and history.  Henry knows that his family history is rich and he loves to learn about it all, from the deepest darkest depths that we can find through the assistance of places such as GenesReunited etc.

Learning about family history has prompted Henry to want to write his own novel.  Henry wants to write a novel about the late Edwardian into early Windsor times (if that’s a time period?).  The only thing I am allowed to say about the novel is that it is about two friends who live in the countryside and have a love for trains and is surviving through the throes of the dreaded Spanish flu.

I have no idea what made Henry interested in writing such a book, but I am proud that he is doing it, complete with his own illustrations and is determined to get it published once finished.

He is obsessively learning about life from 1900 to 1925 as this is the era he is writing about.  This is an obsession I can live with, because before that, his obsession was what he calls “The golden era of professional wrestling”.  Now I love wrestling personally, but when my Henry gets an obsession, believe me, it is a total war type obsession!

Henry, working on his novel.

Henry has been telling me how the poorest of poor in those days ate mostly rabbit, he told me this whilst giving awkward glances to our house rabbit Ray, who was quick in thumping his foot at hearing this, which was both spooky, funny and very apt!

Henry’s art is really good and at school most of his house points come from the art class and design technology.  Henry’s school is attached to the performing arts college, so he has been doing a lot of art, dance and drama in this school.

Henry has been noted for having a natural talent for entertainment, but has recently refused an audition for Matilda, down to the fact that since he has been bullied, he is losing his confidence slightly.  He also feels that the jealousy could increase his risk of being bullied, if he were to be successfully accepted in a role.

I have noticed that Henry tends to write and do art more when he has visibly seen me do this in front of him myself – so it is my duty, as his role model, to work when he is around instead of avoiding him like I have done in the past.  Because I personally work better alone, but Henry is influenced by what I do, so as I said in previous posts, I have to get out of my comfort zone and do work, regardless of who is present with me at the time.  I have to work it out for Henry’s sake!

Happy reading everyone!

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My vampires love has rekindled ten fold!

My vampires have taken up a lot of my time this week; they have been pretty much neglected in the past seven years, only having me dib in at writing about them about once a month for half an hour on average – but I seem to be rediscovering my former passion for them.  I believe this rekindled passion for my vampires have come about because I have found a handful of author agents who are trying to revive the vampire craze with new fresh ideas and I feel that there may be hope for me yet!

A lot of my old vampire stuff has to be updated due to copyright theft from a family member who literally tore my heart to shreds when they sold my work behind my back for a few holidays and new extreme sport equipment!  You can’t trust even your own family regarding this matter but I won’t get into that here right now.  But I am in the process of gathering my old stuff for some legal poking around soon.

Meanwhile I have fresh ideas and new stories and new characters in the works – nothing will keep my love for my undead babies for too long.  I will always find a way.

I always suspected that relative from stealing my ideas from me – but it wasn’t proven entirely until I had a strange email from someone who asked me if I was related to such and such and I confirmed it and so… a new chapter in my life might be beginning.

Anyway – it was so exciting to find that there are some agents who have vampires on their MSWL (Manuscript wish lists).

So, I am aiming to produce my new work and get it off to one of these agents before the end of the year – I hope they still want it by then, but I won’t worry too much right now – it will get in the way of the work!

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Just couldn’t read more…

Because I found a certain sentence indigestible in one of my previous reading books, I had to stop reading it.  So, I added another to the reading pile and I hope that it will be finished by the 1st march too – the newly added book is called “The library of the dead” by T.L Huchu.

The book was “The Prophets”.  I was finding the book very enjoyable and had rated it 4 stars until I read just one simple sentence which I felt did nothing for the book or the writer other than causing racial provocation.

The whole book is racially provocative anyway, because the subject of slavery can’t get any more provocative than that, but in my mind – there is a fine line between what is acceptable to write and what is acceptable to keep to yourself.

Coming from an ancestry where my many times great grandmother was a slave in Boston USA, I can appreciate books like these, but I cannot endorse something which could talk of revenge killing an innocent baby – that is just not on.

My ancestor was raped by her master’s son and her daughter was raised by her white grandfather and educated, both he and she had problems within both communities, especially when my great great grandmother was being educated as a governess – nobody wanted a “mulatto” for a governess in Boston in the early 1800s.   So rejected by the American community my great great grandma moved to Gibraltar and a couple of years later met an English sailor who took her to London to be his wife, she had to live a life of pretence in London, pretending to be of Spanish descent just to fit in with the locals and they bought it. 

I just can’t visualise these people in my ancestry who could bring themselves to sneak murdering a white baby in cold blood, just because of their situation.  I just can’t.

This little rant of mine will probably fall on deaf ears because as the years has gone by the family have got whiter and whiter and I am white, but I have black slave ancestry too and that is something that some people don’t realise – they don’t realise that some white people have black ancestry too and quite recent!

The book definitely touched a nerve and I know it really should, because slavery is just horrible, it is more than that, it is utterly disgusting!  But still, there are some things that should be said and other things best unsaid to prevent further racial division in the world!

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WIP 1

My week of writing, Sunday to Sunday words in progress report.

Words towards blog posts           6414

Words towards novels                   9390

Words towards plans                     1837

Words towards poetry or songs                                0

Words towards essays                                   0

Words towards other unspecified            1087

Pretty quiet for me, because I have been getting incredibly tired lately.  I have also been very busy with cataloguing my books around the house and trying my best to do other things.  So therefore, this is not a glimpse at my average week, this week is not very productive at all for me.

I have only done one piece of art too; I have only done 1 scrapbooking background picture, which is hardly anything really.

Terrible when you consider how I usually aim for 3k words per day for a novel and at least 3 poems per week. 

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Types of stories I have finished or are working on

Types of work that I am currently doing;

I have mentioned in several posts that there are certain themes I am writing in my novels and there has been a question of just how many novels are you working on at the moment?  Personally, I don’t know!  I know that sounds really funny to some, but I have been writing loads of stories almost my whole life and I have never really sat back and wondered how many I am working on, because I just write what I feel like at the time.  Yes, there are many novels which are 100% finished now, but to me they could still be in redrafting stages and many have been redrafted umpteempth times since two years ago.  I only started redrafting my 30yrs of work two years ago, simply because I never thought it would be necessary and also because I was never sure if I could cope with writing as a career.

I think I am ready to say, I am now ready for this career, hence why a lot of my writing habits have changed recently.

I am totally self-taught, I have no formal education and I was home educated by a dyslexic parent throughout most of my childhood and pretty much neglected by social services to get on with it without too much interference.  As an adult I have been kept too busy to take up education, but even now, I am trying to teach myself.  I can’t afford even the cheapest monthly fee on skillshare yet, but I am hoping by the end of the year that I can do some of their courses to learn how to punctuate properly and use grammar and anything else I need to improve my writing for both my blog and my novels, before finally approaching that agent I want to.  I have found an agent I like, but whether or not they will like me this time next year is another matter!

This post is going to tell you the types of novels I am working on or that have been finished, without revealing too much of the plot; but the list is not conclusive, these are just stories I am willing to throw out into the world in the next couple of years, with any luck!

  1.  You all know how much I love my vampires; so it shouldn’t be a shock to tell you that I have twenty seven different stories already completed in both my mind and on paper, along with full encyclopaedias and fictional historical booklets based on that world.  I have been working on this massive project since I was ten years old, yes ten years old!  That’s a whopping twenty eight years!  However, there is a list of seventy eight other stories I haven’t even finished yet, not even once that has been on the go for years, some are new. 
  2. Recently you have learned my second favourite creature to write about are dragons and there are approximately five books I have been writing, three of which are near completion with hopefully their final drafts. 
  3. Pirates are another fantasy thing I like to write about regularly and there are three separate pirate books to date.  One of which is near its final draft and another is an off-shoot book to one of the dragon novels. 
  4. Gargoyles also have their own books with this author, I have six novels with those and in two of them they are the main characters.
  5. I have written two novels with phoenixes as the main theme too.
  6. I have a whole series based on a character that lives in a hot air balloon, this is currently five books long, but there are more being planned.
  7. There are seven books based on robots. Half of which are fantasy more than sci-fi.
  8. There is a big series about giants, that is almost ten books strong and again, they are off-shoots of a dragon novel I have.
  9. There are loads of mermaid novels I have and various other new sea creatures, I haven’t actually counted those, but I do know that there are at least six finished.  These are standalone novels, not a series.
  10. I have four separate series of werewolves, one of which I am very passionate about and spend a lot of time on.
  11. There is a demon erotica series I have been working on for the past eight years; the series is actually nearly complete now.
  12. There are three zombie books that are both standalone novels, too, two of which are more fantasy than horror and very comedic.
  13. There are five separate afterlife series I am working on, some are fantasy, some are horror and some are dystopian.
  14. There are fourteen dystopian series I am working on too, two of which are based on religious ideologies.
  15. There is a series of fairy stories for children too, which is approximately seven books and I regard as novellas.
  16. There are four Christmas themed books I have written too.
  17. There are four comics too, or, I think one of them is actually graphic novel rather than comic – this is dystopian and steam punk in style.
  18. I also have two ghost stories.
  19. I have a selection of horror too, which could be considered a series, but they are all standalones really.
  20. I know I have 777 poems on this blog, but there are at least 5000 off the blog that have never been published online anywhere.
  21. I have nine musical compositions as well, that has never been published anywhere.
  22. I have six operas written too as well as musicals for theatre, but I am so not confident about those right now.
  23. I have a series about little people that were inspired by Land of the giants and the borrowers. 

There are probably more I haven’t mentioned yet, but these are the only things that come to mind right now for me.  I do have a lot of work here, but I just haven’t had the confidence about really throwing myself out there.  I am terrified of the consequences.  I don’t want fame, I want my work to be enjoyed and I really want to see them as movies, but I don’t want to have a famous face.  But I am getting used to the idea that maybe I will have no choice someday?  I can’t keep my work hidden forever, I didn’t write it for it to be hidden and forgotten – those novels are like little people to me, they are like creatures that need to be nurtured and their only food is recognition.  Their only source of nourishment is to be enjoyed and read, it keeps them alive!  I believe in BIG MAGIC, I believe ideas are alive!

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Weekly Prompt 3

This week’s prompts are – Blacksmith – Phoenix – City – An Illness – Snow 

Interesting prompts giving me a lot of ideas for a large story, possibly another novel, not something I really need at the moment considering the back log of ideas I have but there you go!

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Sunday Word Count 6

Sunday word count time!

Unfortunately I hit “The Wall of Shame” again with this amount of words done towards a novel this week.

7896 words

Well at least it is better than last weeks!

Here is how it is broken down.

25th August – 1564 words – not bad considering the week before I hardly wrote a thing per day.

26th August – 867 words – quite low about two pages.

27th August – 2919 words – excellent, I should have more days like this!

28th August – 832 words – hmm, low again.

29th August – 879 words – I am not happy with the way the novel is going if I have to be honest – which I do!

30th August – 835 words – low again, getting bored with this particular novel, so I probably may be like this for some time until this draft is complete then start again for the 6th attempt!

31st August – nothing – well I was getting bored and sometimes it’s best to step away if this happens for a small while and then get back to it at a later date.  But I had other ideas I was working on, so this day and the other low days really should have been filled up doing the other novels, not just concentrating on just this one and thinking about my new musical instrument all day!

So the summary is this, quite low word count with quite low quality writing for much of the week!

My excuses are;

There are no excuses for such poor quality word counts and writing other than the fact that I was bored with the one particular story I was working towards!  So, I should have moved onto another story that I am writing which captivates me better – which I did not do!

Why?

A new musical instrument entered the house on the 28th August and I fell in love with it.  I have never seriously learned an instrument before and this is one where I intend to seriously learn it – I have done approximately fourteen hours of self-taught (via YouTube) lessons since, this averages to three hours per day; plus I am trying to learn music theory and notation, something which I have never done before, trying to learn the names of the notes I am playing and how to read music so that I can eventually write music!

I have always had this desire in my life and it was never as strong as it is now. 

I thought if I don’t learn to read and write music now, then I probably never will and so I decided that never is NEVER going to happen! 

I write a lot of poetry, but I also write a lot of songs, the songs I rarely post on my blog and my brain has always taunted me with music that should go with the songs – it is getting torturous lately, to say the least, so this is why I have to learn music professionally.

I have always been like this with music, so it is astounding why my brain has to literally send me loopy in order to get me started on taking music more seriously.  I suppose I always used my left hand disability as an excuse?  “I can’t because my left hand, what if they want me to demonstrate the music”?  Whine, whine, and whine!

I started to practise by ear only when I was very small on my grandmother’s piano around the same time I started to learn to read and write – so music has been with me for a very long time, if not longer than writing!

I am excited by learning musical notation because I have learned that each musical instrument has the same basis and therefore once I learn where the notes are for each instrument I have previously played I could in fact learn the same tunes on every instrument.  I don’t know musical jargon yet, but I am getting there!

The types of music that are in my head vary in genre from mostly classical, jazz and rock but especially classical!  I hear so often these days that “classical music has no future” and I really want to stick my middle finger up at people who say that!  I believe it does and if anything it is hearing this regularly which has spurred on my insanity to prove them bloody wrong!

In fact I am under exaggerating here, I am practically getting psychotic about showing people they are wrong about classical music becoming a dying force in the world.

I do have some music still available from my old floppy disks from 2000 that I composed by ear on Cubase with my keyboard, I don’t know if my computer or modern technology can upload it here on the blog successfully, but I think I will try!

I think I will upload my storm music.  Or try.

Unfortunately it doesn’t work here, sorry – I tried.  MP3 floppy 20yrs old, don’t know how to convert that, can anyone comment below if they know how – please?  

Also and I don’t mean to pick on the poor chap, but Henry doesn’t go back to school until the 3rd of September, so perhaps my writing will improve from then onwards?  If it doesn’t then I am a rotten mother who uses her kid as an excuse, which I think I am that anyway!  Talking of which Henry been trying to get me to become music teacher for him, despite it being the lame leading the lame at the moment, lol.  He hasn’t the patience to learn for more than 15 to 30 minutes a day like I do.  He is too addicted to Robot Wars, Ryan’s toy review and now WWE wrestling!

I wanted to say that the writing I am clocking up every week is purely towards novels I am working on, it is not research notes, synopsises, plans, blog posts, daily pages like 750words.com or anything else that I might be working on – so I don’t have lazy writer syndrome, if you are interested in seeing just how much I do write per day, let me know in the comments below and I will give you an entire summary of all my work in just one week and one week only! 

Anyway, those are my excuses for this week and I am sticking to them!

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