Writing Shade (Contains spoilers)

#Writing the second draft of the first scene

This post is about editing a first draft. Anyway, about the way I do it. You can compare the product of the first edit (this post) with the unedited first draft (last post). Note: as with any of my other posts in this section of my blog, it may contain spoilers to my writing. So proceed at your own risk. In my last post I discussed my routine of reading

#Writing the draft of the first back story scene

I now tend to write scene by scene rather than chapter by chapter. I imagine each scene as something from a television show or film. What is cohesive? What sticks? What camera angles? Who do I focus upon? When do I shift focus? These thoughts tumble into a rough plan in my head. I play with this plan, not yet having started to type. When I do eventually type I

Backstory to Darius Hakim for LK Weir @lkweirauthor

#writers #writing It was one of those twitter discussions. I was asking about using characters in short stories as a means for discovering their viability for a novel. (Don’t ask me what that means; it made more sense at the time). Author L K Weir responded along with Katheryn Bigelow,  Simone Green, Benedict, Randall Garcia, Alexander Boukal, Rob Dearsley and A S Akkalon. I’ve added links to them as a

How not to plot - dissecting my first attempt at a novel

From 2013 to 2015 I wrote a science fiction / fantasy novel called Tempting in Shade. I sent it to Beta Readers who were very kind. Then I sat back and reread it. In doing so I came to several conclusions, the dominant one being that the novel was unpublishable. This post examines my decision from the perspective of four years later. It focuses upon how I mangled the plot.

Why? Why? Why? The why behind my plot.

Many years ago I was identified as a possible Public Service leader of the future. Well, it didn’t pan out, but for a year the government did pay for me to have a personal mentor. This man taught me a lot about leadership and motivating people. One of the big lessons revolved around “why?”. Why should your staff care? Why should your bosses care? Why should your customers give a

Plummeting towards the drawing board  #writing

So I am writing. Typing away furiously. I’ve just hit 180,000 words. And then it all comes crashing down with a  single realisation – I’ve stuffed a part of my world-building. So how did I do this? I’ll try to answer that in a spoiler-free manner,  just in case I ever finish this novel or you ever read it. I have a race of magic users (well, kind of). They

Writing progress and thoughts

During my months of vision impairment I spent a lot of time frustrated by my inability to write each day. During that time, now many months past, I found myself listening to podcasts on the topic of writing. All these months later a few things stand out. Firstly, a lecture by Stephen King. Oh – I listened to lots of his lectures and talks and interview – but yes, one stood out. In it

#Writing: changing a character's gender to improve a scene

For each chapter I write little notes beforehand, telling me what I am trying to achieve. Then I write to fulfil this goal. So I have a chapter. It’s intended to introduce a character named John Sutton. My note reads: Meet ex-mercenary John Sutton. He has just made camp with the rest of the expedition. There is tension between Sutton and Lord Trickett, whom he suspects is up to no

Today I deliberately deleted several chapters of my novel

It was painful, but I finally listened to advice provided by many writers upon writing – I deleted several chapters of my novel. Well, technically I just cut and paste them into another document, but it still hurt. The problem was not that the chapters were no good. I actually felt that they were fine. It’s just that they did not take my characters on the journey that I finally

Teasers and travel preparations

Short one tonight. But before I get to the purpose of the post, let me just say that the “boob flashing” incident of Tuesday is still haunting my life. Today my wife told everyone in her woman’s group about it. The thing you need to realise is that most people in that group have known me since at least my early 20s (I am about to turn 51 – so yes

Teenage sexuality - as father and as author

Today I realised that in a few years I would need a shotgun and a rocking chair. I subconsciously practiced the phrase “Son, what are your intentions with my daughter?” So what caused this train of thought? Well, today Rhiannon competed in a dance competition. She’s now 11, but since the age of 3 has been learning ballet, tap and contemporary dance at the local EDTA (Education in Dance and

More novel revision, next artwork and dreaming of European holiday

OK folks, today’s self-indulgent post will cover my: progress on my novel revision plans for a daring new art work (well, daring for me) countdown to Europe (yippee!!!!) Novel Revision Every day at work at least one person will ask me how the novel is going. So far its been going almost two years. Eeeeek. I had intended to write it in six months and be a world famous author within

Character review: Pari Azar

A big thanks to those people who responded to my request for help regarding my sixteen year old female character. Based upon those responses and some thought I have built a profile. I also thought back all those years to a few teenage girls whom I had “Deep and Meaningfuls” with when I was a young man.  So here it is, below the picture I created of her some months

Question regarding one of my characters - a teenage girl

My novel, Tempting in Shade (like the way I keep repeating its title? Marketing LOL), follows several characters. You’ve already been introduced to the wizard Verdant Pèlerin, the Pilot responsible for the portal or Lock that people use for entering the domain of Shade. Another character that I follow is Pari Azar, a 16 year old “witch” going on her initiation (her Tempting) among the people of Shade. In reviewing

Progress on novel revision plus MissBee

  NOTE: this is a bit of a “what am I up to” post, so don’t expect fireworks :) My revision is underway. Man it is a tough task. I find myself constantly second-guessing my readers and doubting myself. Chapter two, originally my first chapter, proved fairly easy to revise/edit. It had been through the process several times before and I felt reasonably confident about it.  This is where I

Revision progress and first chapter of Tempting in Shade

  Well the revision process is now properly underway. Perhaps some of you more experienced authors out there can tell me how long this is likely to take. I currently have around 150k words and its taken me the best part of a week to do one chapter, albeit a lot of new writing in it. Hopefully I will have it finished by the time I fly off to the

Leaving Scrivener and requesting your opinion on writing style

This is just a brief post. Today I gave up on Scrivener. I have loved that program for so long, but it stopped working on my Windows 7 machine for reasons unknown and the support was less than helpful. So I used it on an ancient laptop to export my draft novel into MS Word and there it shall remain. These things said, I have been experimenting with writing style.

Next art work "Desert Crash" plus some thoughts on my writing

Hi all, today I will submit a progress report on my writing and also my plans for my next work of art. My next art work I feel that I now have a very simplistic understanding of the Unreal Engine. So nothing is stopping me from having a go at my first work of art in it :) I envision a few scenes, but am not sure which I will

Our ways - a response as me and one about my villain

Over at the Pursuit of Happiness blog my blogging mate gave a challenge called Our Ways. Among the questions that could be addressed were the following: Does each of us know what she or he wants to do? Do we have realistic plans? Do we work hard to carry them out? At the time that I noticed this I was performing a bit of a personality deconstruction of my villain.

Introducing my psychopathic villain Kerphulu

As you know I am writing a short story about a key moment in the life of my chief villain: Kerphulu. I thought that I would create an image of him with one of his victims in this story. I hoped that this would give me a better sense for the man. It did. Here it is: I took the Hare psychopath scale into account as I designed him (see