Nearly winning

18, September,2013

Well I have had a productive period.

Setting a daily/weekly word limit worked and I have knocked out about 3,000 words a month.  It seems it’s better for me to have a low limit I can easily beat as opposed to an aspirational target which I can only reach occasionally. 

I stopped at 50,000.  I have the story basically complete including the ending, but because i write in very short bursts there are a lot of small gaps and a couple of clunky parts.  I have also concentrated on the story and dialog, and left out most of the descriptions.  I figure that fixing all that will bring me up to the 60,000 words. 

So at present I am doing a general plot review.  I’m using a hard copy so I can flick back and forward.  It seems to be working and I may be done by December.  It’s will be an odd length so I don’t think I’ll submit it anywhere, but I may put it up on  My sons are quite keen to get experience audio production so this could be a project we can all work on.



A solution of sorts

19, November,2011

I have come to a compromise.

I finished my outline and created notional chapter headings using yWriter.   When I was happy that the structure was pretty right  I exported the lot and loaded it into Evernote.  I have loaded Evernote on my computer and I use this when writing at home.  It syncs up with my iPad which I use on the train.

It’s a clunky way to get started but it seems to be working well now.

I’ve started again

1, February,2011

I have finally abandoned the morass of text that is my manuscript.

I started using Ywriter to try to organize all the dud sub plots and orphaned jokes. Instead of pulling it together I started doing a whole new series of ‘what it’s. What if I gave the secondary character his own sub plot, what if the hero used a slingshot to win the final battle, what if the dog was psychic, what if…WTF.

The whole thing needs to be re-plotted and rewritten. It has become a writing exercise. A 10 year, 120,000 word writing exercise.

So it’s time to send it to the trunk and trot out the next story.

This time I’m plotting the whole thing out. I’m going to have a plan for the boring bits that I don’t want to write, and the jokes will align with the plot (rather than the other way around). I want to get the whole thing done in 12 months. I’ve had my play, it’s time to have a serious crack at it. I’m not expecting to produce anything publishable, just something structured and competent – and finished.

I don’t think the million words are supposed to be all rewrites of the one story. Most published writers knock out 3 or 4 (or 5) unpublished novels before they get it right.

So, time to start number 2.

“A book of fairy tales created, handwritten and illustrated by J.K. Rowling sold for nearly $4 million at auction Thursday.” The money is going to a charity she set up. 

“The Children’s Voice campaigns for children’s rights across Europe, especially in Eastern Europe, where many children and teenagers grow up in institutions, often in what many activists regard as unacceptable conditions.”

Just mucking around

24, October,2007

 Here is another follow up image from Jennifer Fallon’s blog post

A cover with Jedi and Palm trees (and a ute to butch it up a bit).


Don’t get me wrong, I have had the “what does gay mean, dad?” chat with my sons.  And no, “some of my best friends” aren’t gay, but I worked as nurse for 15 years along side some pleasant and capable gay men & women (and some dickheads).  Let me also say, I enjoyed reading the Harry Potter series. 

What annoys me about JK’s revelation is the unsubstantiated, retrospective nature of her proclamation.  There is no evidence or suggestion of Dumbledore’s* homosexuality in the series.  (Ok, he’s an elderly, single, male teacher in a British private school, which may be cause for suspicion).  

It’s all good and well for her to take a political/moral stance, but she is taking the decision about introducing the subject of homosexuality out of the hands of millions of parents who have already, or are currently, reading the book to their kids. 

To me, it looks like a gratuitous act of politically correct grandstanding.  For f**ks sake, go wear a ribbon, make a donation, set up a foundation (she’s got the cash).   

As is my nature, let me also cynically point out that she didn’t make the announcement until after she had stuffed her duffle bag with cash from the proceeds.**  

If JRR Tolkien had said, “by the way, Sam had a bit of an unfulfilled ‘broke back’ inclination toward Frodo” I would have said “well ok, I can see that”.  I still would have been annoyed at the retrospectivity, but at least he could make a case for statement. 

Do it up front, or don’t do it at all.  Let parents know what they are getting into before they buy the bloody book. 

Actually remove the “I think” from the title, I am pissed with JK Rowling, and I not sure I’ll be buy any of her future books.  She doesn’t respect her readers and I don’t trust her.  

*Has anyone else noticed that “Dumbledore” is in the MS Word 2003 spell check dictionary, but Tolkien and Snape aren’t. 

**As an aside, this was also the case for John Newton who wrote Amazing Grace.  Despite his miraculous conversion, he kept on captaining slave ships.  His public anti-slaving stance only occurred after illness forced him to retire from the sea and out of the business.    

Jennifer Fallon offers this sage advice to writers.

“The one secret ingredient to ensure success, which came to me the other day, although I’m not sure why. Probably it was hanging around Supanova and seeing all those Jedi in costume. But I now know the secret to a bestselling cover.

You have to put a Jedi on it.”

Enid Blyton’s publishers are revising their covers as we speak.

 Jedi Noddy