Tag Archives: creative writing

The Dumfries Rain

Having never really edited a first draft before I’m wondering what the first step is going to be. The most likely route I’ll be going down is writing down all my chapters in numerical order with a one sentence line about what happens in each. Then I’ll have a general overview about what happens in the story, what needs fixed and what needs cut all together. The concern I have is that I planned out nineteen chapters but it’s ended up being thirty four.

My other big worry right now is that there are parts in which I’ll expand outwards with. I’ve always been of the impression that you had to cut down when editing. The whole point is that you’re cutting down all the fat.

Yet here I am, with entire sections that are basically ‘something happens here’ that’ll need fleshed out. What I have at the moment is the pencil outline, I’m adding the shades right now.

I have a wrestling article to finish and a game review for a website. After that the battle starts all over again.

In a side note, for those keeping score, I made the fourth attempt at home made sourdough yesterday at it turned out like a Frisbee.

400g flour.

300g of starter

About 300ml of water.

And 5g rock salt

Has given me something that should be thrown as a sport not eaten

Back to attempt number five soon then.

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Programming Goats

I’ve woken up this morning with a genuine clarity of mind. It has in turn made me feel really good within myself. I think it stems from the first draft being finished last night.

Often during the process of having I writing project on the go I’ll feel guilty about doing the stuff I enjoy. There is always the inner voice asking why I’m not hunched over the keyboard right this very minute. If I want to be a writer so bad and for that to be my main job then why am I not writing with every spare second I have free? It can get really miserable and means that I stress about going places or doing other stuff.

‘I’m getting older and need to crack this writing thing now!’ I will think to myself somehow of the strange belief that every newly published author is below 25.

After writing ‘The End’ last night I made a cup of coffee, laid out some biscuits and watched some wrestling on TV. I’ve done this before over the last eighteen months of this book project but that feeling of this act being frivolous vanished last night. It felt wonderful and probably contributed to the clear headed feeling I had this morning.

I’m off to Manchester this weekend for a Doctor Who fan convention. It’s been booked for a couple of months but I had the usual worry about it beforehand. Thinking about it this morning gave me a much more enjoyable angle on it.

Whilst the book certainly isn’t ‘finished’ it has passed that first major hurdle. Psychologically it’s been more beneficial than I ever thought it would be.

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Distress Beacons

School holidays are a really hard time to write. As much as I’d love to be blasting out one thousand words stretches each day it’s difficult to do that whilst my son is home. It would really feel like I was ignoring him.

Today we went shopping for second hand videogames (found some bargains too) and also stopped off to buy doughnuts. In less than two weeks he starts secondary school so he’s anxious as all hell right now.

I sat down to write after he had gone to bed but only managed 250 words. Not a great deal but 250 more than I had whilst I was eating a doughnut this morning.

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Library Paste

Another few hundred words. It doesn’t sound like a lot but as of now I’m over the 50,000 words mark. When I think back to how long it took me to grind through the 30-40k part (about the entire of last winter it seems) then I’m really happy that I’ve gone through 40-50 in the last couple of months. I’m about 5000 words away from wrapping up a first draft.

The chapter I’m currently on is suffering a bit from being a written story that was once going to be a film. There’s quite a lot going on visually and I feel I’m maybe skimming overĀ  character’s reactions and thought processes.

But this is what rewrites are for!

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A Dance Like Electrons

Being on holiday from my day job for the last ten days or so has meant I’ve assumed my natural sleeping pattern. This means that I’m finding myself staying up until around 1am and getting out of bed in the morning after 8am. It also means I’ve been starting writing session much later than usual. Usually, if it got beyond 10pm, I’d not really bother starting up my laptop and writing because it would be too late to late to get anything of significance done and I’d usually have work to get to early the next morning. Without that barrier I’m finding myself getting started at 11:30pm some night and still getting good chunks done. To be honest I think I might write better with moonlight.

1000 words done again tonight.

Getting closer.

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Hello To India

The plan this evening was to get another good few words done on ‘The One Who Left’. I opened by laptop to begin with a feeling like I was going to batter through this in next to no time. I was on the starting line and ready to go. Then that idea was suddenly put to the kerb.

‘Windows is updating, your computer may restart several times’.


With a heavy sigh I let my computer do its thing.

Maybe tomorrow.

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Music & Atmosphere

As part of my job I often spend a fair chunk of time talking to different types of people face to face (I dispense prescriptions for glasses and contact lenses if you’re desperate to know). It often means I get to hear a lot about what these people do for a living. I workmate was mid dispense with somebody yesterday and called me over as the fellow was a writer too.

He wrote war stories. I asked him if this took a lot of research to which he said it did but military history was part of his previous job.

He then told me that he tries to keep away from a computer as much as possible during the writing process. He always keeps a card file with his characters in and refers to that as he goes along typing. Apparently this helps him because he’s not searching through files on a hard drive when he’s wondering what each character would do.

Thinking about it that’s really good advice. This might be worth considering for book two if I get around to it.

We wished each other luck with our individual projects and I got back to work.

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National Writing Day

Upon checking my Twitter feed this morning as Scotland bubbles under uncharacteristically 28c heat I am told it’s National Writing Day. Whilst it’s not over yet it also isn’t looking like I’ll add more to my word count today. I have however written something and it’s extremely important. My book now has a title after the last 15 months of having a blank space at the start.

‘The One Who Left’.

It’s clicking into place now.

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Fret For Your Lawsuit

It’s probably a big mistake to start thinking about new projects before you’ve finished the current one but, as I get towards the end of this story, I’m doing exactly that.

Writing another book will really depend on how well this one goes. This entire blog was created at a time when I was writing a short play and U haven’t written another one since. I’m proud of giving it a go and happy it got performed but I’m not sure bothering a stage again is in the future.

Same goes with a short film. I wrote one, it got made and I have yet to return to the format.

Essentially I seem to be trying a hand at any given medium and seeing what sticks.

Next might be a game. A lovely, story driven downloadable game. We’ll see what shape that takes as the time comes.

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Fret For Your Contract

Everything must change.

I’m getting towards the end of this first draft and asking myself what exactly are the changes in each character’s outlook after the events that take place? How does rhus situation make them view the world differently?

For some it doesn’t seem that much. My police officer currently seems really passive. The story just seems to happen around him and he’s just three reacting to everything rather than any decision he makes driving things forward. It’s the main problem I’ve identified so far.

But maybe it’s a bad idea to get hung up on the process right now, not until U’ve been able to write THE END anyway.

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