December 11, 2015
book, half a million, NaNo, NaNoWriMo, novel, self published, short stories, short story, target, writer
Fifty-four short stories and a 60K First Draft later, I finally reached my target, with three weeks of 2015 still to go.
Entering NaNoWriMo for the first time this year probably helped me to hit the magic number a little earlier than I would have.
My average for the year to date was around 1,400 words per day (very much an average. Some days were noticeably better than others), and November’s average was a little over 1,700 per day. I would still have reached the half million, but the race would have been much closer to the wire.
The obvious question now hangs over me:
Can I do it again in 2016? Would I want to?
The answer would largely depend on how much work I can bring in. 2015 has been particularly fruitful for short story projects, keeping me busy for the entire year. If I work as hard as I did in 2015, half a million is possible.
Over the past few months, I’ve begun to wonder what the ‘normal’ output is for a writer, particularly someone who writes full time. For the record, I also have a full-time job. I was speaking to Sheila Quigley, another North-East (England) writer about my endeavours. When I told her about my target, she stared at me, then blew out a long breath.
I got the impression that 500k is not the norm.
My work / life balance means that I work away from home and have my evenings free from distractions as I write in my hotel room. When I’m not away, I find it tricky to concentrate with the TV on in the background much of the time.
So, what is everyone else producing over twelve months? I’d be interested in hearing from both full-time and part-time writers. How do you manage to keep up the pace when you work AND live with a family? What’s your routine?
September 22, 2015
A Construct of Angels, actor, angel, book, demon, movie, novel, paramedic, teaser trailer, trailer, writer, york
image courtesy of jaylopez at Stock Xchng, modified by Andrew Toynbee
In the past few days, I’ve released several teaser trailers for ‘A Construct of Angels,’ my live-action trailer.
Now here’s the full video, which has gone through many phases of editing, as well as a beta review by several friends.
A Construct of Angels (novel).
image courtesy of gianni testore at Stock Xchng
As with writing, it’s only once you embark on making something like this, do you realise how many people become involved. Creating something as complex as a novel or a short movie requires patience, dedication and a number of good friends, willing to lend a hand.
There were many other elements I wanted to add to this short trailer, but time, money (i.e. the lack of it) and a wish to see this released on September 16th, the day the first book begins, all led to the video being wrapped up in late August, with a few last-minute edits (inevitably).
I hope you like it. I’m not sure if I’ll ever have the time to make a sequel, but who knows? If the response is encouraging, then it would be worthwhile.
Until then, I endeavour to Write On…
December 1, 2014
first draft, illness, knee, Laptop, muse, notes, novel, Pink Camper van, self-publish, story, write, writer
Image courtesy of ba1969 at StockXchng
In an odd turn of events, I find myself incapacitated and stuck at home, exactly fifteen years after a similar event kick-started my writing.
Those who know my story might remember that a week-long illness gave me the time I needed to collate all my scattered notes onto my first-ever laptop. This was the start of my first ‘real’ writing project, the still-to-be-completed ‘Homeworld.’ (I will complete this one day, when I’ve cleared a few other projects.)
Now, after eight weeks immobilised, resting my crocked leg, my Muse crept up behind me, placed her hands over my eyes and whispered: “I have a great idea. Wanna hear it?”
And so she delivered an entire story, possibly an 80k novel, into my shell-like ear. I’m 99.8% certain (in life, there’s always room for a little doubt) the idea would never have come to me if I’d been working.
I’m optimistic that this new story has legs and will come together pretty quickly. It’s a quiet little British adventure story (provisionally titled ‘Pink Camper Van’) that made me smile as it unfolded. At the time of posting, I’ve already written 2,000 words, and I have a firm conclusion in mind, meaning this particular tale won’t end up as one of my infamous neverending stories.
As they say, watch this space. And as Monty Python might add: ‘And now for something completely different.’
August 13, 2014
book, introvert, Jenna Burtenshaw, retiring, Robin Hobb, shy, signing, Waterstones, writer
Many of us who are writing have probably dreamed about suddenly being catapulted to fame – the sort of fame now enjoyed (endured?) by Joanne Rowling.
But would such a thing be a triumph, or a terror?
For me, I would hate the idea; love the income, fear the price that comes with it.
As an introvert, I would far rather hide in the background and pay an accomplished actor to be ‘me,’ to press the flesh and face the flashes as a blizzard of questions are launched.
I’m happy to think, imagine, dream and type out my thoughts on my current keyboard, from wherever I happen to be in the world.
I have been to exactly two book signings in my life. One was for my fellow writer and Darlington-dweller, Jenna Burtenshaw, the other was for Robin Hobb, one of my favourite fantasy authors.
Although the attendance at Jenna’s signing was a little smaller than Robin’s, I still wondered what it would feel like to be on the opposite side of the table. It didn’t appeal. Although it would have been nice (I imagined) to speak to people who’d enjoyed my work, the idea of being placed in front of the public sent a cold shiver down my back. I would much rather communicate with an audience on-line than in real life.
Am I alone in this?
Do other writers fear the repercussions of their work achieving a measure of fame?
It’s a question raised by Ben Myers in The Guardian. In the twenty-first century, do writers now have a duty to the public?
If you ask me, I’d rather simply…
August 6, 2014
introvert, journalist, quiet, shy, thinker, writer
Continuing the theme of shy and introverted authors, I happened upon this article ThisDayLive.
It seems, and this is unlikely to surprise anyone, that introverted thinkers can often go on to become accomplished, or even great writers. The article’s author describes herself as ‘…an introvert. That is what I am wired to be, and to write..’
Can you relate to the issues described here? I certainly can!
The Huffington Post goes on to list sixteen famous faces who were (and still are) considered to be introverts. Some of them might surprise you.
In the meantime, shyness notwithstanding, I intend to: