Tag Archives: write

Combat sports and feminine culture

Combat sports is another big influence in my stories; being a former judoka from the age of ten, I was just six weeks shy of the Commonwealth games trials of 1998 when I was rushed into A&E with a serious mastoid infection that literally ended my career before it could even begin, because I couldn’t do any kind of self-care for two years after the life-saving surgery I had to undergo.

This devastated me totally on a mental health level, because I used judo as a means to train my body for the hard knocks I was preparing it for as a professional wrestler, when I left school for college.  My grandfather was a backyard wrestler in the early 40s and 50s and he was a huge wrestling fan and I wanted to make him proud of me as he looked down from heaven and saw his “little cocker” as he called me, as world women’s champion!

But that was never meant to be, because my surgery meant that I had lost certain bones at the back of the right side of my head, which meant any future impact could be life threatening, so all dreams of combative sports had to end right there and then!

I love combat sports of all kinds, judo, karate, cage fighting, boxing, you name it, and I love it.

A lot of the various gimmicks in professional wrestling and other forms of fighting, whether it is combative entertainment or real, had influenced a lot of my characters and sceneries in some of my books – particularly those of the dystopian and cyberpunk genres.

I have a lot of background knowledge in fighting terminologies that can help with understanding the jargon, but I do know that a lot of my readers will not be au fait with the sport jargon that could be in the books, so I have honed in my skills as a very good describer of action scenes – of which a former English tutor is rather impressed with and says is a rare talent.

Along with my love for combat sports, I have a massive love for war history and battle games such as Rome total war, Warhammer, Medal of Honour and such the likes.

Back in 2004 I became an online player of Rome Total War’s original game that was based on my favourite TV show “Time Commanders”, as an avid devourer of history books, this was a massive thing for me and I soon became one the top five best generals in the world on their game leader board for two years!  Under the name Raven Warrior!

More recently I follow the artist Jazza which lead me to finding his brother’s channel of which I enjoy immensely “Shadiversity” which talks about the history of weapons and how good they are or not.  This is another tool which has helped me a lot in writing action scenes and accurate war scenes in my books.

You will find that there is a lot of fighting in my stories usually, but it is not constant mindless violence, I hope you will agree someday.

I’ve never been a girly girl and seeing ultra-feminine and helpless women in fiction is rather irritating for me, my characters tend to be female lead, strong-minded and independent women that save themselves because of hard times dragging them through into survival mode; usually they don’t have time to sit back and daydream of their perfect love life, they are usually dreaming about freedom and where the next meal is coming from! 

Thanks for reading!

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A wry smile to judgemental people

How many stories did you choose not to write because you felt you weren’t original enough, because you have found something similar during writing your story?

I wager it happens almost on a constant basis and you feel you can’t win, you can’t be original and guess what… you’re partly right… you can’t!

But then again no one can, all stories, movies etc are from borrowed ideas, the thing is, they were not written by you, in the exact way you want to write it, so in a roundabout way, it is original.

There have been hundreds of stories I gave up over the years because I felt defeated over their content, it was like the world was taunting me with “it’s already been done you fraud”. 

But if you read a lot of non-fiction, particularly biographies of other writers and even book and film reviews etc, you will find that you are not alone and you are not a fraud.  Around 2015 I nearly gave up writing altogether, because I had a hundred ideas and all of them were taking several times over in some way or another.

Even Harry Potter has been done multiple times and there are two similar stories where the main character is called Harry Potter!  A very low budget 1980s horror movie called Troll had a main character called Harry Potter who didn’t realise that his neighbour was a witch battling an evil wizard who kidnapped and possessed his sister in the basement after turning into a troll.

Even if you want to be so unique writing fantasy, the chances are, your unique conglomerate of a name may have already been done somewhere, either as fiction or a foreign cultural mythos.  I was caught with this a few years ago, I thought I had a wonderfully unique name for two characters in my fantasy story, Shannara and Melissandra… two of the biggest fantasy works out there had already used those names and I didn’t know until a friend asked me who I was trying to kid!

I thought nobody would be silly enough to write about man-eating rabbits and guess what they have and from what I read in Danse Macabre by Stephen King it was a jolly good horror movie as well!  Then, I felt the world was testing me again, because a year after my idea the movie “Curse of the were-rabbit” came out, but thankfully it was nothing like the thing I wanted to write (which for your information I decided against).

I also felt like a fraud when I wanted to put pen to paper to write a story where all the childhood heroes, Santa, Easter Bunny etc would team up together in another world because something happened to the children on Earth – but again I gave up that idea because of a movie which came out that was similar – a movie by the way that I love and is a family favourite nowadays!

I had this idea of a post-apocalyptic world where the only survivors lived on a permanently mobile train to survive because leaving the train was too dangerous… Hello snowpiercer!  I worked on this novel for five years whilst I was learning the science behind the stuff I wanted to do in this book – after seeing the movie I had a three year sulk, the book may still get written but it definitely won’t be because of climate change now!

The main heartbreaks happen when you realise that you don’t know your subject well enough that this and that has happened before – vampires my dears, my vampires have been done so much before the world has become bored and complacent over them – that is heart wrenching, but when you discover you worked hard for three decades on something and find a big corporation older than you have done half of your ideas, you get to feel like you shouldn’t bother anymore!

I got to the point about a year ago where even a novel title would get my heart racing for all the wrong reasons, because oh my god, it is another thing that is going to prove to me I am wasting my time as a writer!

I force myself to read and watch reviews of similar things lately and even read or watch them, just to make sure if I am panicking for no reason… Paul assures me my ideas are similar but so far removed that it won’t be considered a copycat.  I am still nervous nonetheless.

I am also nervous about the fact that around a third of my books I consider comedy, not all of them, just around a third and that some of my ideas may come across as cameos of works that have already been done by other people and may be received with criticism, because they think I am being critical of them!  Yes, I know I am a worry wart, but it is something to consider!

The thing about me is that I like comedy, but I also like to be considered serious in other works.  I don’t know how to balance that out if I were to become a published and known author.

I have thought about making it uniquely refined by choosing two pseudonyms, one which concentrates on family comedic fantasy and the other which is for my darker and more serious themes in horror and dystopian fiction.

But as the world grows ever more sensitive to the content of fiction, it also raises concerns in whether or not I might actually be too taboo for my readers?  I worry about the state of the world in that people are developing such horrific sensitivities about bad things in life, that they want to hide it all, thus making it go further underground and making it lost to history so that history will eventually and inevitably repeat itself, because it is just too god awful to be shown and be remembered!

Rape, suicide, racism etc are really awful things and I do nothing to glamorise it, but because I write it, it doesn’t mean I enjoy or partake in those things, it just shows my experiences in life and that this is life in all its cold and horrifying ways!  Why hide it?  Why criticise it to the extent it can’t be written anymore?  Most of my novels are not set in contemporary times; they are set in the past or the distant post-apocalyptic future.  You want realism and yet you can’t stomach it?

Grow a thicker skin for the sake of your children, because they need to know this stuff goes on eventually, so they don’t repeat the horrors of the past!

For me, writers block doesn’t exist – what throws me off writing is all the judgemental ass-hats out there who think that uniqueness comes ten a penny, when in actuality, it doesn’t exist!  What throws me off, is trying to please the masses by making my writing so passive and politically correct, you won’t want to read it because it’s too damned boring and unrealistic!  We can’t all skip around in daisy fields, kissing strangers and pretending we’re all care bears my dears, if we did that, you’d say we’re all a load of pot heads!

I have offended so many people with this post, no doubt you’re going to sweep me under the carpet and forget me and unsubscribe because I hit a nerve or I caused some kind of trigger in you… but hey, that’s life, trying to go around all the time pleasing everyone will send you mad and I am not even going to try anymore!

I am what I am and I write what I write, like it or dump it!

But know that regardless of what you choose to do right now, I love you, because we’re all cousins and you stood up for what you believed in by unsubscribing from this awfully mislead and evil person!

Happy reading!

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flaw clean

I have written 1277 words towards the novel today, but I have to say I am unhappy to continue without going back and finishing up the flaws I can see in the plot thus far.  Therefore tomorrow, I am unlikely to continue going forwards in this novel because I need to go back to the first chapter and add a few scenes that I feel will make the current scenes seem more complete. 

I am unhappy to just write the entire draft and then edit afterwards in a few weeks’ time, I am seeing flaws now and it is eating away at me and grating.

So I am still writing the 1k a day towards the same project, but I really need to be able to go back and add things, rather than just waiting and moving forwards.

This draft is meant to be completed with as few flaws if any by the end of it, because I want to polish it up and look for an agent for representation by autumn.  I know I can finish a whole draft in three to six weeks, but I like the story to stew before review for a month or two.

So with that being said, I hope that this story will be done and dusted by the end of June, I know however, that agents and publishers may require yet another draft overhaul and I am more than prepared for that – I am no idiot and research intensely everything I do, I am a bore and stickler about perfection and professionalism.

Along with all of this I am also trying to hone new skills in comic book writing and graphic novelisation – I am not confident in this yet, but I am hoping to gain in confidence shortly.

At the moment, the main idea I have for a comic is currently being written as a novel, just to get it out there and written and then I can adjust the whole thing for a comic.  I know it’s a long way around, but I am doing things how I know to do them for now.

Happy reading everyone!

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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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Formatting my life

I have concocted a plan (it is not a resolution for the New Year, I never go in for that sort of commitment each year, it can be demoralising at times), but the plan is a sort of schedule of a kind of commitment to my writing; specific writing, not just any old writing – this is a new technique I am starting as from the 1st February 2022.

From the 1st of February 2022 I will allocate Friday and Saturday as a weekend for me, as those days work best as a weekend for me than any other day, because those are my busiest family and shopping days, when I could get out and about.  I have also allocated the time slot between Sunday and Thursday where I know I am least likely to be interrupted by the household on a day to day basis, which is 1pm to 3pm.  This 1pm to 3pm time slot is my time block for working solely on one specific novel only.

I have chosen to write a minimum of 1k words during this time per day, with the goal to finish 5k words in one week and 20k words in one month.  If I do not manage to write 1k in two hours of writing (which will be very unlikely), then I will work over that time until I do!

Normally, when I set out to write my stories, I tend to write an average of 500 to 750 words every fifteen minutes, if the story has been rigorous planned beforehand.

By forcing myself to use the regular time slot of 1 to 3pm each day, I hope to eventually build a habit, where my mind will trick itself into focusing on one single project at that particular time of the day and therefore I should become more productive.

I am doing this because I would like to be the sort of author that can finish at least three books per year.  I have always worked best with a schedule and deadline and unfortunately Paul is not very good at keeping to timetables and so forth, so he is not the person who will help push me… I have to learn to figure it out for myself until I develop professional relationships that will do that for me eventually.

I have pinned messages on walls around the house to remind me on what I should be focusing on.  All of this was advice from a book I borrowed from the local library called “The One Thing” by Gary Keller; the messages I have pinned around the house are “UNTIL MY WRITING IS DONE… EVERYTHING ELSE IS A DISTRACTION!” and I have also made another message which says “1K WORDS PER DAY IS 5 BOOKS A YEAR”!

1k words per day are very doable, but it wasn’t focused on anything in particular. 

I spent the whole of January trying to figure out my writing habits and typing them up on a spreadsheet to see what projects and things I am likely to write day to day, how many words per project I do each time and how long each time I spend writing towards them;  The spreadsheet was a revelation.

I spread myself around nine different projects and most of those projects are years old!  I write an average of 1500 words per subject and approximately 90 minutes per day.  However, I mostly focus on future blog writing, diary entries, journal entries and research notes, more than I do my actual novel writing.  Using a pie chart, I learned that the average time I spent adding towards a novel was around 20 minutes every 3 days and just under 1500 words each time.  In other words, I spent a lot of my writing time, not writing towards stories, but just playing around with ideas.

I felt there has to be a change in order for me to become productive.

As from the 1st February 2022 I will use the time slot of 1pm to 3pm to write towards one specific project daily until it is complete, then I will store it away for six weeks and look at it with fresh eyes to edit.  But during the maturing process as I will call it, I will immediately start on a new piece of work and so on and so on.

Any research papers, journaling, diary entries and blogging must be done outside of the hours of 1pm and 3pm, or else things will never change.

During writing the story, I will not interject ideas into the story as I am doing the first drafts either, it should be following the direction of the plan that I have laid out beforehand.  If my brain does another direction, then so be it, but it must be written like it is intended to be the final draft, though it won’t be.

I feel this is how I am going to get things done.

I am so dedicated to this new system starting on the 1st February, that I am not even making myself feel bad about not completing anything right now.  I seeing it as a sort of holiday – Paul thinks I need to do this too, he felt that I needed to have days off and I was always very angry at the idea of that – primarily because my imagination has never had a day off in its entire existence.  But I think, doing the actual work, does need to have days where I can allow myself time to relax from it.

I have made a holiday schedule for myself of days I won’t force myself to write at all, those weekend days, Friday and Saturday, but also bigger blocks of time where I can guiltlessly do other things if I want to.  I have allowed myself time blocks for Henry’s school holidays and other days in the year which are typically busy for me, though the six weeks summer holiday I have only blocked out three weeks, because I feel six weeks is just too long a time.

I can write if I want to, outside of those hours, but I am not going to be unkind to myself if I don’t!

I know all told I have blocked out 136 days a year, more than anyone would in normal jobs, but I do know that I push myself when I know I am expected to and I know I tend to do so much all at once that I easily burn out. 

I don’t know if any of you remember that a few years ago, I think it was 2017, not sure, that I did NaNoWriMo and I did 60k words by the 19th November and I completely wore myself out creatively for over two years because of it.  I came to the computer with dread of revisiting the project and writing any novel at all.  It was a really hard hurdle to get over.

I can’t go there again.

But I do know, at my writing speed and rigorous planning habit, that I will be able to produce three books per year by doing this new method.

I never said it is going to be easy, but I do know my limitations and I understand that keeping to two hours per day will be a doddle for me.  But, I do know this is not a perfect world and most of my hospital appointments are usually around 12 to 2pm, on those particular days I will have to force myself to do my 2 hours later in the day or try to reschedule the appointments.

Happy reading everyone!

P.S I know I said 1k per day is 5 books per year, but my aim is only 3 and I won’t be working every single one of the 365 days of the year!

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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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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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Increased productivity

Since learning that ideas and character names cannot be copyright protected and that generally creative license as long as your idea is as unique it can be is unlimited in reality, I have found that I am starting to write at my old pace again.

This is exciting, because I used to be a workaholic in regards to my daily word count and the amount of projects that I used to do!

In the past eight to ten years I have been very stunted as far as creativity goes, because of false information that was given to me from non-professional sources.  I have in that time been unable to produce more than say, twelve thousand words per week and I could only concentrate on around three ideas at a time and I completely gave up the idea of short stories and articles because of this!

Now, I am back to my old self again and it has only been two days now!

I am now writing towards a vast array of projects once again and I am thinking about restarting my short stories for my blog again soon and I may even start up my online magazine articles again!

I used to write a lot for online magazines and article websites a decade ago, but due to fear of coming across as a rip off from similar subjects by other people I stopped!  I never outwardly copied another person, but the subject matter may have been similar.  For example, back in 2009 I read an article about the increasing population of wildlife in urban areas and I did an article based on foxes in urban areas in particular.  This had no backlash, but I was riddled with guilt for a while over it and a friend back then, suggested that I was copying too many themes from others (not theirs)!

I told them that although wildlife in urban places is a shared theme, it was not a direct copy because our subject focuses within our articles were very different, but she made me feel that it was too obvious and noticeable, though it was only in our minds at the time, for nobody else suggested otherwise.

I should have listened to an older friend of mine, who is more professional in the article writing industry that what she said was nonsense and there was a defined difference between each of our articles and that it was clear to him! 

These articles were non-profit anyway, but my female friend made such a do about it, that I decided to stop.

She even affected my ability to produce wildlife photographs too, because again, she claimed that my wildlife images, although I took them myself with my own camera, looked too much alike to other professional photographers that I would be in the same situation even there!  That in her opinion, I would find it very difficult to prove that my photograph is not the same as their photograph.

Paul being a professional photographer in the past said to me this is utter tosh and that I can of course prove it because of the time stamp on my camera and on the memory chip!  My friend retorted and suggested that those things can be easily faked or photo shopped!

Paul didn’t want me to give up my photography and articles, but I did anyway, as I was getting a bit too stressed out by all of it and other personal things in my life at the time!

But now, because these things are now confirmed or dismissed by professional friends I have been making it has lifted a huge burden from my creative shoulders.

Honestly, overnight my depression has lifted by at least 50%!  The tension in my back is much less; it is so weird how some kind of belief like this can actually physically manifest itself on your body like this!  I am beginning to wonder if some of my health may actually improve now, because of this too?

Hope so!

So it has only been around two days since I learned this and my writing amount has increased dramatically.  In the past two days I have written approximately 6k of words towards projects, a nearly a 5k increase to my usual amount when trying to work hard, from how I have been for the last five years in particular! 

Anyway, Happy reading all!

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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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The fear is lifted

I am glad I have spoken to certain people via DM on twitter recently and I have been taught few things about the writing industry that I was oblivious to before now.

November right through till the second week in January is really not an ideal time to go looking for an agent for representation because it is their busiest time of the year, let’s just get that out there right now!

But the main thing that I was taught is the thing that has given me the most confidence to get on with my work and this little revelation has actually lifted me out of depression by at least 50% since learning of it.

I have been often attacked verbally by people who proclaim that my ideas are not original, in fact in some cases they feel that it is a plagiarism, even though the stories are not actually a direct rip off of other people’s work.  Fan fiction is in fact perfectly fine to write on your blog as long as you haven’t ripped off too much from the originator.  What cannot be copyrighted are the names of characters and ideas.  But don’t let that get to your head, because there is one thing that professional and successful writers have in common and that is a deep respect and understanding for those who wrote before them!

A person is perfectly within their right to include characters from other people’s work, such as Mina from Dracula mingling with the invisible man in the league of extraordinary gentlemen comics, if their story comes across as unique!

This has made me feel a lot better about some of my work, because there were times where I was struggling to find the name of a nightclub that didn’t actually exist to include it in my story, through the sheer fear that I might end up in a lawsuit somewhere down the line.  I was worried that if I named a character something completely different but gave them the exact description and personality of a known character such as Sauron from the lord of the rings, that this would be frowned upon heavily, even though a person like Sauron has been depicted a hundred times in as many novels by as many other authors already!  For some reason or another I believed there was this niche little club where people could only get away with that sort of thing, if they were part of this little club or something – but no! 

You can get away with this, there is no law against creativity and ideas and so therefore, as long as you don’t completely rewrite the lord of the rings with this character and make your own story and stance to a similar idea, you should be fine!

Saying that you need to understand that all readers are smart and they read a genre and they will know it very, very well and if your idea is not fresh and new, you will bore them with what they feel is a repeat story but done in a different style, if this makes sense?

It is impossible to be completely original, but at least try to be as unique as you can and experiment with ideas.

It is vital that if you want to write a genre, you need to first read a lot in that genre or at least the top fifty recommendations of that genre to get a taste of what might have already have been done or overdone in that genre first!

I read mostly horror, fantasy and science fiction.

I read a huge amount of short story anthologies in those genres, and in fact I am more likely to read short stories than lengthy novels; because in my opinion, reading condensed stories like this teaches me how to compose a novel in an interesting fast pace way, without the risk of coming into too many digressions and needless descriptive waffle.

I am now more confident to pursue some of my older ideas, because I was afraid that mentioning Dracula in some of my vampire novels as a passing conversation could get me into a lawsuit, that having a scene where a character collects Hellraiser novelties could be jumped on and that sort of thing and when you live in fear of this sort of thing, you find that your creativity gets crushed.

You find it hard to move on from the scene in your head, because you are sitting there worried that some boogie man lawyer is going to jump out at you from the ether and start suing your poverty ridden pants off!

Well it was like that for me.  I never used to care and when I started to care – because I had so-called helpful people advising me, that I became stunted creatively. 

Funnily enough I had learned that those so-called advisors were not actually successful in their ventures themselves, in fact some of them had no intention of being more than just a hobby writer – so do make sure that whoever you listen to, have had professional experience in the industry first or have spoken to real people that they know in the industry, before you listen to them!

I have learned what I have learned recently through a real literary agent on twitter and a successful writer friend.

I do not currently have a literary agent, because I have no intention of publishing a book until the end of next year, due to personal reasons.  This following year is going to be quite full of hospital appointments for me and I am tired easily because of my illness, so until the appointments wane off a bit, I can’t dedicate myself to the professional side of my craft just yet!

When the medications that I need are assessed properly and decided, perhaps this will help with my problems a lot more and I can function a bit better, but until then, I can’t waste peoples time in the industry until I am sure that – A I am going to be alive this time next year and B that I have a name for the neurological problem that I seem to have.

Until then, happy reading everyone and if you too are a writer, happy writing and write with confidence now you know what I know!

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