Month: October 2014

As NaNoWriMo approaches I get ready to dodge it.



As you probably know NaNoWriMo is just around the corner. Now, I would usually take part like I have done for the past two years but this year I’m going to do something different. Instead of writing 50,000 words, I’m going to edit them.

Well, it might turn out to be more than that but I intend to edit much if not all of the novel I started to write during my first NaNoWriMo back in 2012. That story’s first draft was finished the following May and I’ve recently began to edit it as you may know. It then occurred to me that I could get the first edit done by the end of 2014 or even the end of November if I dedicate myself to it like I have done to NaNoWriMo 2012 and 2013.

The rate I’m currently editing my story could be quicker I admit. Sometimes I just want to lounge about and do nothing and that but as I have been lounging about I’ve thought that this edit isn’t going at a bad pace. I’m managing to edit four pages or half a chapter each time I do it. If I did this each day for November, I could come close to, if not completely finish, the first edit. I’m thinking I can easily do it now.

But wait. I know I’ll have to do some research during this time to help flesh out a main part of the plot and to write out the complete back story for a support character whose story directly effects our hero. I could do that in December actually. Wait, looks like I have a plan. Edit for all of November and research and write back story for part of December and probably into January.

Would you look at that? An actual plan I can stick to. It’s a shame that there isn’t a website dedicated to a National Novel Editing Month. Maybe there is but I don’t need to fish it out, I’m committed to this now all on my own.

To those of you attempting NaNoWriMo, good luck and all the best. If it’s your first go, make sure you have a good seating position whilst typing. My back was killing me after I did my first attempt. Worth it though.

Good bye


Somehow….I didn’t get much done really. Or did I?



Looking back over my last post I realise I’ve only partially stuck to my new routine over the past week.

The writing part of my routine has moved as slowly as ever. This is due in no small part to working over-time on Saturday, wanting to chill on Sunday, and starting back on the weights again Monday through till Today. Now, I don’t lift a crazy amount of weights but after 6 months of not using them at all, it’s made me pretty tired and lacking in the energy to write. Though I know this will change once exercise is as much a part of my routine as writing, reading and editing, I’m hoping it will come sooner rather than later. I’m feeling tired now as I write this post. I have managed to write a character profile for the hero of my time travel piece. Once I get my internet sorted, as in unlimited and not with a cap on it, I’m looking forward to going head long into time travel research. Who knows what I’ll come out with or even if my mind can handle it.

The editing part of the routine is going along as always. I’ve just finished Chapter 7 as it goes. It ended pretty poorly and I noticed how I’m very aware of the style of my story. My hero was on a hunt when he got distracted by his would be love interest. I added this in because it’s happened to me before. Not the hunt thing the distracted by love interest thing. I’m glad this is in as I hope it gets across how normal my seemingly abnormal hero can be. Like I said, the chapter ended pretty poorly and when I edited it, I removed three lines and put in one new one. I’ve read enough about having to be ruthless whilst editing and to make sure everything left in is useful to the story and I think I’m getting the hang of it.

The reading part of the routine is coming along nicely. Along with moving onto the latest edition of Writing Magazine, which has an interesting article regarding how Amazon could help authors instead of hindering them that was pretty interesting (thank you Tom Ellis author of the Parish & Richards crime series) I have been moving on with my current book to read, Seven Deadly Sins: Settling the Argument by Corey Taylor. As in, the lead singer of Slipknot and Stone Sour aka The Great Big Mouth. Now, I picked this up because I’ve heard a lot about how tough and diverse his upbringing was and listened to how he has used it to help his song writing but my curiosity wanted to know more. And so far I’ve not been disappointed. Some of things he’s gotten up to so far, I’m up to chapter about Sloth if you’ve read it before, are…well…all over the place, which is how I like my reading to be. He does this with structure and he writes so well I’m glad I forked out the money for it. To think I forgot I had it until I came across it when I last moved house.

Ok. That’s me for the time being. Have a good week.


Getting a routine going.



How do I get a routine going? Do I just start doing stuff and hope it all falls into place or do I stick to a plan and never waver from it whatsoever?

I’m not sure really. After a week of trying to stick to a routine which encompassed doing three things every evening I’m having a mixed time of it.

Firstly, the routine in question. I decided, after going back to my parents’ house for a weekend and finding two Writing Magazine’s for October and November and having not finished reading September’s, I needed to crack on. I didn’t want to rush for obvious reasons but I did need to get to the reading and that. So it was that I said to myself I will read some of my magazine every evening. I will also edit a few pages of my story and start to write another one.

I’m not doing too badly so far. I’m reading the magazine more frequently and getting, as usual, all kinds of helpful hints and tips from the articles and reader’s letters. One letter had me re editing something I’d only ten minutes prior edited. I pretty much slagged off a venue in Manchester and remembered, if I sell copies of my book someday, that I can’t do that unless I’d liked to get sued. Thankfully it was a quick edit to change from a negative to a neutral stand point on the particular place. This shows me that at least one part of my routine is working.

So far as editing goes, that’s moving along as well but not as fast as I’d like. It’s all my fault but what can I say, life keeps getting in the way. I didn’t sleep very well last night so I got to bed early the next, I played on my Xbox all night, I was drinking at a beer festival all day Sunday and was hung over all day Monday, you know the drill. I’m hoping to catch up with my editing this weekend and am looking forward to my own, made up, NaEdMo (National Editing Month) extravaganza. More on NaEdMo closer to the time.

The writing has gone even slower. I’ve started to make notes, which has led to having to do plan to do extensive research on time travel in the future, for a sci-fi story I’ve wanted write for a while. I’m not going to mention anything about it but for anyone who’s written a story with time travel in it, it does seem to be a bit of a mess. I’m sure whatever I come up with will be ripe for someone to pick holes in. Most time travel stories are whether they are air tight with their logic or not.

Right I’m done. Thanks for reading. Have a good week.

My first Manchester Literature Festival experience: Cory Doctorow ‘Information doesn’t want to be free’. 07.10.2014.


I just wanted to let you know about the great talk I recently witnessed as part of this year’s Manchester Literature Festival.

I received the booklet which explained all the MLF events and this one stood out for me. I hadn’t heard of Cory Doctorow before but what his talk was about, which covered the choices you make about your digital creativity resonating throughout the internet and three laws to abide by when doing so, sparked my interest. I’ve read plenty regarding copyright laws and what rights writers have when they decide to self-publish or are lucky enough to be signed up by a major publishing house and what they want when you sign a contract but hearing an expert talk about it was something I wanted to hear.

The first law covered the locks that are put in place on something you own, mainly the thing you’ve created, and how it’s not really there for your benefit. As far as I was concerned before hearing this, I thought these locks are there to help. Digital Rights Management (DRM) is one lock that you would click before publishing with Amazon for example that would protect your creative product. Cory explained how easy these things are to unlock by saying that such locks were on DVD’s when they first came out and it was broken within 24 hours to allow any DVD to be pirated. Once the lock is in place as well, only the company that put the lock on can remove it. Not even the author can remove it once they agree to it. That sounds pretty scary to me. The Hachette Vs Amazon barnstormer battle came up and he explained how, with Hachette refusing to agree a new deal with Amazon re: sale of their products and such, Amazon have refused to sell any of Hachette’s stuff, which accounts for 40% of their annual turnover. Hachette has mandatory DRM on their products and some websites have this auto-selected when really, by the sounds of things, you shouldn’t use it. It’s akin to having armour round you work like wet tissue paper.

The second law was that publishers will make you rich as long as you are already famous. I’ve read many stories whereby an author will be rejected by publishers, self-publish and sell a lot of books, and then make a deal with a publisher but make it tailored to their needs because they can live without the publisher. It does seem to me like trying to go it on your own is the better option and probably the more satisfying one.

The third law was that information doesn’t want to be free. Information always seems to have some kind of cost to it. When it is put onto the internet, which is the Nervous system of the 21st century as Cory put it wonderfully (if you’ve heard that before, fair enough. But I haven’t so it was a wonder to me at the time) then it does seem like it would be easier to encourage people to freely share parts of their work which would in turn help the sales of the book in the future. This is something that Cory has done very well for many years. He explained as well about how computers seem to be everywhere nowadays. You carry a computer in your pocket (mobile phone) or an iPod or any number of things which can have its contents accessed by anyone if they tried hard enough. He said that in the future everything will run through the internet and that it was evitable.

In conclusion I did enjoy the talk very much, even buying a book of his and getting a picture with him, and would advise anyone who wants to know more about copyright laws to seek out Cory Doctorow and his musings ( and amongst many) . To finish, here are a couple of pictures from the night. Thanks for reading.

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The art of moving forward without actually moving forward.



Well, it has been a while hasn’t it. Two weeks by my watch but I don’t wear one so it might be longer than that. As I mentioned last time out I had been packing for mine and my girlfriend’s move from her flat into a rented house.

Moving takes up a hell of a lot of time. This is the first time I’ve moved on a bigger scale than ‘just my own stuff’ from one flat to another. You don’t realise how much stuff you have until you move do you? I don’t anyway. Bags of this, bags of that. Where did it all come from? Happily the guys we hired to help with the move were efficient and friendly so the day went well. Although it would’ve gone a lot better if I hadn’t developed a cold the night before. I had the same problem once before when I contracted a cold just before a move. Maybe I’m allergic to it? Or it could just be hard work. Anyway, the moves done and we’re all settled in.

The week after this was spent setting up new bills and getting everything sorted re: the new house and that. Houses can be big places can’t they? My girlfriend is working nights this week so when I spent my first night alone, it was eerie. Every bump was a person breaking in and I didn’t manage to get much work done. This soon passed thankfully when I realised how daft I was being and how thin the walls are, which meant I could hear both sides as they went up their respective stair cases. Thankfully that’s all I’ve heard so far. No rude noises or anything. I did however hear an argument outside next door which was intriguing. Something about a multimillionaire and not seeing someone in ages? I daren’t poke my head through the blinds to watch but I really wanted to. So far, so good really on the hole though all this has stopped my edit from moving forward.

See? Moving forward without moving forward? Moving forward in my relationship but not moving forward with my writing? You probably got it straight away but I think I only worked it out at the end of the last paragraph. With regards to my edit, I have managed to finish up to the end of chapter 6. The last part I edited was a fight scene which, only being brief as the demon Aaron is hunting/searching for only wants to deliver a message and nothing else, still reminded me how much I enjoy writing action. Dare I write a full story of just action? Doubt that’s possible but we’ll see.

Ok. I can feel my editing muscles flexing and begging to be used so, I’ll tip my hat to you wish you a very fine rest of the evening.