Tag Archives: projects

A revelation of themes

Happy New Year everybody!

It is surprising what you discover about yourself as a writer when you take time out to organise things and make spreadsheets of all your projects and so forth!

I have done that during the Christmas period, I have put down only 26 writing projects I have into files and made a spreadsheet about them and I am surprised to see (outside of the vampires I write) what my main themes and tropes are!

My spreadsheet shows I am mostly a fantasy author and secondary dystopian author; I am more likely to write about angels and demons or mutants than anything else and I tend towards tropes of survival, redemption and isolation.  The main sceneries are cities and subterranean, as opposed to what I thought was a more of a forest like leaning, and I am more of a standalone novelist, rather than a series creator.

This is a huge revelation to me, because I thought that I mostly concentrated on forests and mountains, dragons and giants and themes of war and revelation – I felt that I was mostly a steampunk and horror author above everything else, but no, I am not.  I also felt that I was writing too many series and sagas, but again, no, it’s a small margin in comparison to the majority of my work.

I was also surprised at how many of my stories are in water based sceneries too, I never imagined that would be the case; it is astonishing, as I have never really felt I was a person who had such a big connection to water before.  But water scenes are very common in most of my stories and my main characters are most likely to be predominantly female.

I am also surprised at how diverse my characters are in comparison to the average books I read from other authors, this is not intentional, but it is a good thing to note and I am more prone to comedy in my stories thus far, than I had first thought.

What did I include in my spreadsheet?

Genre

Title of project

Main creature race

Main scene

Is this a series?

Main theme

Are the characters diverse?

Main character gender

I didn’t include any of my vampire novels in the spreadsheet, because I wanted to see what I am as an author outside of them.

I haven’t put every project into the spreadsheet because I only wanted to waste about half a day on this type of thing as I need more time to organise my files for revision.  I fully intend to send work to agents by the end of autumn of this year and I plan to send around four books out, before the winter and I am assessing which ones I feel are the best polished works.

I have done it this way quite deliberately; I have many alternative stories of most of the work I am proud of, so that I can test the water of each with any agent who sees me as a promising colleague.  If ever I have been called anything in the past by a lot of people who know me personally, they know me to be very time efficient, as well as flexible!

Thank you for reading!

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Crazy mind

My mind is above a joke lately.

I am getting so many new ideas for writing and art projects that it is affecting productivity in the past few weeks!

I have no idea what has happened to my brain, but today alone I have written down synopsises of nine new stories and I have too many ideas for artwork too!

But one thing is clear; I am becoming predominantly a science fiction and dark fantasy writer; if there is such a thing as dark science fiction, well I think I am that too!

I have only managed to write plans down in the past few weeks, because of intense pain and medical emergencies – the laboratories seem late in the results, I only hope there isn’t another laboratory accident as that would be the fourth one in the last five years, where I had have to have tests redone!

I have never known a hospital that is so accident prone!

Sitting at a desk is agony and the sofa is not that good either, but it is much better than the dining chair or office swivel chair.

I am trying to force myself to work on my writing and this is scaring Paul, because I am pushing myself a lot and I have been near collapse.

I am sedentary and yet I still can’t cope?  I don’t get it, I don’ know why the pain is getting so bad, but all I know is, it is getting worse every few days!

One of the stories came to me at 3:30am on Tuesday; a Christmas fantasy in Christmas tradition and that took me two hours to write by hand, the next day my hand was swollen.

I wrote three chapters since to that project, but I wouldn’t call it hard work, because the chapters are small for me. 

Usually I’d write 3k words in a day towards an interesting subject, this Christmas story is only around 1k at the moment, Paul reckons it looks like it could be a children’s book the way I am writing it, as it is very child friendly so far.

I love the story, but I am worried about how long it should be if it is deemed to be a children’s book?  I don’t know… I am not known for writing specifically for children!

Paul thinks it could be a slightly larger than average children’s picture book, because he would like to see a lot of pictures in this story – I am uncertain personally.

I know the story has the potential to be very popular, but I am not confident on how to market this.

Anyway, thank you for reading and if I don’t post before then, have a very merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

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A sleepy explanation

I have many projects on the go at once and so this category will get full quite quickly!

I tend to concentrate on up to three ideas at a time for bursts of up to one month, but I do still add to other projects outside of this.  I have a huge amount of unfinished ideas and some that are finished but are in storage for a later date when I will read them again with fresh eyes and determine if they need altering or not!

If a project is marked down as 1.2 or something like that, this means that this project is part of a series I am working on, I have some series I am working on but generally I prefer writing standalones.

My vampires are considered both series and standalones, because some vampire ideas are far removed from my main series or rather saga idea in the first place.

I am updating my categories along with my diary entries for Wednesdays that will start back up again, because I am determined to show people how much I do actually work towards my creativity, regardless of finished products!

To me it is lovely to have a final finished product that I can show an agent eventually, but right now that is neither my primary goal nor motivation!

My goal is to get into the swing of writing full-time – a set amount of words daily to a fixed project in order for me to feel like a real professional author.  To me that goal is to have one project that has had at least 3k words added per day consistently and not to write just a little each day to many projects.  Though added words per day to many projects is something I will never get out of, it is the focus on one particular project having 3k words per day that is my intended focus!

If you follow my drift?

I am exceedingly tired today so I may not make that much sense, because I didn’t sleep until 5am and I only had four hours of disturbed sleep and no access to caffeine for the past thirty hours!

So to break it down, my primary goal is to focus on adding 3k words to one story per day until it is finished without breaking that streak!  Once I manage to do this and finish a novel without breaking my daily streak, then I will feel like a professional author!

Though if I never accomplish that, do not fear – because this is has no basis on whether or not I approach an agent or a publisher first, no, no, no!  I will still do that, but I will not feel confident in my professionalism that is all!

Another thing that will add to me feeling professional will be the day I am actually writing 3k words to a project in an unbroken streak and also editing another finished project by at least three chapters per day – I am serious when I say I am trying to become full-time here!

Before the 11th November 2021 I would work approximately six hours per week towards my writing, that wasn’t my blog!  Since November 11th 2021, I am now writing or working towards my projects approximately four hours per day, broken up, so it is not full-time yet, to me!

I am forcing myself to do this, even when bed bound sick, I am taking work with me on the laptop in bed and with handwritten notes too!

I am determined to do this!

I think it is because my brain is so filled with so many ideas and unfinished projects that it is starting to taunt me, make me crazy a bit – so I need to get on with it!

I actually had a dream last night that various characters from my own stories were mocking and laughing at me because of my excuses, this was weird shit and I just don’t have time for that kind of thing in my dream time!

By and large this post was meant to tell you that I have so many ideas on the go and I do not struggle for ideas at all – but I am beating them off with a stick and I would like to share what those stories may contain without giving too much away! 

If you find an idea you like, let me know, it will really help to motivate me more to write it, if I feel someone out there likes the sound of it!

I will write it anyway, but at a slower pace, you have no idea how fast I can work when I feel like someone is waiting for it or there is a deadline set by someone outside of myself!

Honestly, I am a workaholic, especially if I know that my work pleases another!

I know I sound needy right now, but I am being honest, I work best when other people’s expectations are higher than my own regarding my work, I am like this in everything in my life!

As I think I have mentioned before, I live for others, I don’t live for myself!

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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Preparing for NaNoWriMo

For the past two weeks I am getting used to typing on my laptop on my adjustable table, it is slower than I would usually be however, but it is at least getting things done again.

Paul is not coping very well with shingles, so the move around of the rooms won’t be happening for a few weeks.  He has said come what may by my Birthday, which is the 3rd October, he had hoped to have done the living room at least – but I am not happy that he wants to try and push himself to do that, when he can barely do basic other things.

I may allow him to move things around his own birthday, if he is better, which is six weeks later – the 11th November.

I am planning on doing NaNoWriMo this year, but I may have to tolerate doing most of it on the laptop or by hand.

I have new ideas, which I really didn’t need, but they are dominating my thoughts at a huge scale lately. A subject too, which I ordinarily wouldn’t do… aliens.

The alien story is a comedy and it will be focused as such, as I have said before, I am trying to get out of my comfort zone and embrace the humour that’s within me.

This alien story has now made a total work in process of eleven stories, which will be called these things when referring to them on my blog…

Alien story

Giant story 1

Balloon story

Vampire story 1

Dragon story 1

Cat story

Boat story 1

Ship story 1

Historical fantasy 1

Warrior 1

Apocalypse 1

There are only four stories though that is being worked on more than the others.  Why did I add 1 to the story names?  Because in actuality I have ideas which far exceed the number eleven and many of them have those things as a main theme or character.  I sometimes think that I should name the stories for you; the name of the main character, but that won’t tell you much on the potential theme.

My main passions from the above are the Dragon story 1 – Apocalypse 1 – Warrior 1 and Vampire story 1.

Apocalypse 1 is the main reason for my religious studies. 

Warrior 1 makes me nervous to write when Henry is around because it is based on a character that does wrestling for a living in a war torn kind of world and he often wants to chip in and have more fight scenes than I can cope with!  He also doesn’t like the fact that the main character is female because of course; this story must be based on Henry!  But no, I don’t want to do that.

Dragon story 1 is currently going through its approximate thirtieth draft since it was first thought of in 2003!  Also around twenty original characters have been scrapped since the start of the project entirely and the whole story line has been completely remastered at least six times. 

In this current draft I have completed seventeen chapters and I am near the climax of the story, which I am sort of happy with so far, but the first three chapters may well get remastered again to suit the rest.

Vampire story 1 is the oldest project I have ever had!  This has only been remastered three times and I am struggling to decide if some major cultural aspect is doable or not and have been thinking for the first time in my history as a writer, in looking for beta readers… but not yet!  This idea has been with me since the 90s!

Which story will be the one I choose to focus on in NaNoWriMo this year?  Potentially Giant 1, this story has never got out of the extensive planning stage, so it would be good to give it a proper first draft.  As I am now embracing humour, this will be a fantasy comedy and to be honest, the humour will work well with the landscapes planned.  My main problem with the story is, should I write specifically for everyone and be family friendly?  Or should I have a no holds barred attitude on it? 

Happy reading and let me know your thoughts!

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Writers debt and credits

I have recently rekindled my love for writing, like I used to a few years back – I was losing it to be honest but now I think I have my mojo back!  I lost my love for writing back in 2017 after I burned myself out doing 50k towards NaNoWriMo by the 21st of November and ignored all other writing projects and art projects as I did so!

I read in a book somewhere a couple of weeks ago – forgot which one, it may have been a YouTube video now I come to think about it, that when you are a creator and you force yourself to work on one large project for a prolonged period of time, it can burn you out and make you resent creating in the future – I think that happened to me.  The way to ensure that never happens is to work harder for shorter periods of time or have more than one project on the go, or at least some other creative outlet such as painting or woodworking or even music.

During NaNoWriMo of 2017 I ignored everything else but that one main novel for the entire duration – the novel was a novel I had been ten years in planning!  After NaNoWriMo had finished, I hated the book and have never revised it since.

I didn’t draw, paint, write poetry, write anything new towards my blog other than WIP progresses and I didn’t practise any music, language learning or read any new books – just so I could focus on that one novel that I began to hate by November 17th.

To be honest, I have noticed this is a theme for a lot of writers who do that – they never want to write again sometimes after doing this and others can’t bring themselves to write that particular novel ever again or revise it – I am one of those.  But I am trying to get back into revising that novel, because it was a great idea and I loved it before that challenge and I really would love to have this published.  But I do feel that it will be hard in the first few days to revise.  I am planning to revise that book by the end of May.

I have a writing goal of 3k words per day, whether those words are towards a novel, towards the blog, towards an art journal or a poem – I don’t mind, I am just not committing myself to one project ever again like that.  I simply can’t!  I had to stop myself from doing it again the other day based on a suggestion an online friend gave me, but I just can’t do that again.

I am happily working on three novels at once, skipping between works whenever I feel myself getting lethargic on one, just so I get the word count I want by the end of the day.  Today for example, I am near the 4k words mark, seven times I have skipped between writing posts for my blog to schedule for later on in the week in between concentrating on just one of my vampire novels.  It is working so far.

I am also starting something new to spur me on to keeping to my own word count deadlines and that is doing something I call “Writers debt” and “writers credits”.  I make myself write 3k words per day, if I only did 2800 words today, then tomorrow I will have a writers debt and must aim for 3200 words before I finish tomorrow.  However, if tomorrow I write 4200 words, I am in credit by 1000 words the next day, so I don’t have to work as hard because I will only need to pump out 2000 words that day.

I feel it helps because it makes me accountable for my writing and it gets me used to potential publisher deadlines in the future!

Yesterday I was 965 words short of my daily goal, so today my goal has been 3965 words!  I am over that now and I will be in credit of approximately 300 words tomorrow!

Try it, it works great!

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Sunday Word Count 2

Sunday word count time!  Drum roll please…

14987

This is what I have accomplished since last Sunday, getting better, much better.

Here is how it has been broken down, day by day, with excuses in tow, even though there are no excuses really for bad days!

28th July – 2437 – good

29th July – 1456 – better than bad

30th July – 3039 – writing like my old self again

31st July – 3100 – Oh yes, I am back in the flow, just like my old self again for sure

1st August – 160 – what the blazes happened here?  4 hours sleep and a migraine, darlings.

2nd August – 4329 – Making up for lost time huh?  No, just an excellent day!

3rd August – 466 – what happened here?  Tired and was distracted by library books!

Notes for the week –

I am writing towards three novels at once because I get twitchy if I am forced to work on the same thing over and over, variety is the spice of life right?  I am going to name them for you as subject and number with main characters name because I don’t really know what the titles should be and I tend to write about the same subject a lot.  So my current projects are…

Vampire story 1 – Rhea

Fantasy adventure 1 – Maud

Horror 1 – Johnny

But in February I had a dream and you know what they say about authors who dream their story plots don’t you?  Well neither do I actually, but the ones who had written stories based on a dream tend to become classics – I doubt mine will, but I was surprised when the dream came to me.  The dream left me until Thursday night, when it came back with more details and then again last night, it doesn’t want to leave me alone, so I have been trying to fight the urge to add a fourth book to the list of working projects, but I am fighting a losing battle, I am going to have to include a fourth book in the works.

This book will be known as werewolf story 1.

I have put a mermaid story on the back bench as I have to fall in love with it again.

I am trying so hard to stick with three ideas, but if you want me to be completely honest with you, it is so hard, because I have too many ideas and sticking to just three is literally torture, so I do sometimes sneak in titbits of other stories.

Maud and Rhea are very nearly finished actually, so around Christmas they shouldn’t be a problem anymore, well Maud should be done in the least.  

Once a first draft is written I do what Stephen King suggests in his book “On Writing”, I put the story away for about three months and then come back to it with fresh eyes, it works wonders because you tend to forget what you’ve done – seriously, you do!  You get to read it as a reader, not the creator and you see more mistakes and weaknesses in your story if you do this.

Maud though is not a first draft, the draft I am working on is the fourth attempt and there will be probably be a fifth as I had noticed quite recently two characters which are following the main character around are adding literally nothing to the plot, so I have to write in more interesting stuff for them or just wipe them out from existence; which would be a shame because I really want those characters to work.

I must admit, all blog posts, poetry included are first drafts, I don’t bother polishing my work here, it is not that I don’t care about my blog, it is that I care more about my novels and stuff I want to send to publishers more.  If I became persnickety about my blog, the other stuff would never be done.

Further word count scores will be posted up every Sunday, I noticed it does motivate me to write as I don’t want to go the wall of shame like I should have last week – I will actually start doing that I think, if I write less than 10,000 words in a week, I will wall of shame myself. 

Could I bare the humiliation of another last week?

Good luck with your own writing!  But more importantly, make sure it is fun, if it is not fun for you it won’t be fun for your readers.

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