Yes, three exclamation marks! August can only mean one thing – the summer writing school at [ Swanwick ]. Check out the details on their website. It’s an amazing week. This will be my third year at Swanwick, and each year, I love it a little more! Many superb courses and workshops, fascinating and entertaining after-dinner speakers, and loads and loads of fun! Continue reading Swanwick!!!

Moan, moan, complain, complain …

Once again, I’m inclined to write about the ability (or otherwise) of writers to achieve commercial success and / or recognition for their writing. This follows complaints from some would-be authors: a) An indie author complains that their books aren’t selling enough to enable them to give up work and write full time. b) An unpublished author complains about continuing rejections from agents and publishers. Both complainants stated that they’d been working hard for some time to produce the best books they could, and they’d paid out for editing services – one of them, a considerable amount, well into four … Continue reading Moan, moan, complain, complain …

Hitting the wall

Hello. I’m Gerald, and I write. I write lots. In my Works In Progress spreadsheet, I have 36 titles. Yes, 36. Over 1.1 million words. But out of all those words and titles, I have only 4 finished first drafts containing just over 200,000 words. Really? Are you kidding me? What’s going on? You may well ask. A lot of those unfinished titles were written as part of NaNoWriMo. So, the big question is: why do I have so much trouble actually finishing off my novels? And the truth is: I don’t know. However … I’m not alone. I watched … Continue reading Hitting the wall

Hello, 2015!

No New Year Resolutions here. This is a resolution-free zone. Just some goals, smart targets, desires, that sort of thing. * I’d like to think I shall be writing at least a quarter of a million words this year. Last year, I wrote more than 276,000, but that was with very little editing, and no publishing. I now have an office, so I have no excuse (I actually have hundreds of excuses, but I’m keeping those for this time next year). With a scheduled two sessions of #100kwords100days and a #NaNoWriMo, there’s 250k right there. Of course, I’d like to … Continue reading Hello, 2015!

Goodbye, 2014

Everyone else is doing it, so why shouldn’t I? My wordcount for 2014 topped 276,000 words. Most of those were written during two editions of #100kwords100days (January and July) and NaNoWriMo. That’s quite a lot of words. More impressively (for me, anyway) that the total includes three completed works-in-progress – one to first draft stage (42k of dark horror), and two to draft zero stage (one at 70k, and one at 54k, both apocalyptic fiction). I’ve got several other works part-completed, too. I’ve got two crime stories standing at nearly 30k, which should be completed early in the new year. Publishing? … Continue reading Goodbye, 2014

NaNoWriMo – my Top Ten Tips. Part IV Tips 8-10b

TECHNIQUES Here are some techniques I use when actually writing my NaNo piece. 8. DO NOT DELETE Ha! Of course you wouldn’t delete some of your magic words. Would you? Yes. I’ve seen it done (or at least, I’ve been told about it on the forums). Someone deleted several chapters because they didn’t fit in with how the book was developing. Err … hello? This challenge is all about writing words, and is all about the word count at the end of the month. By all means, delete stuff on December 1st. Delete the whole damned novel if you wish. … Continue reading NaNoWriMo – my Top Ten Tips. Part IV Tips 8-10b

NaNoWriMo – my Top Ten Tips. Part III Tips 4-7

WRITING DURING NANOWRIMO 4. Get off to a good start  Oh yes. This is probably THE most important tip. Get off to a good start (there, I repeated it for you). Work hard and get that first 2,000 words in on the first day. I know, I know, it’s more than the 1,667 that you need, but believe me, you will want those words in the bank. If you can, write more! Don’t stop. I have seen the heartbreak posts so many times now. “I’m 1,000 words behind, but I’ll catch up at the weekend”. No you won’t. “I’ve had … Continue reading NaNoWriMo – my Top Ten Tips. Part III Tips 4-7

NaNoWriMo – my Top Ten Tips. Part II Tips 1-3

BEFORE NANOWRIMO 1. Write what interests you as a reader. There’s no point choosing a genre that you don’t enjoy and know nothing about. Some people like to choose books which might be ‘popular’ (e.g. sparkly vampires or very naughty businessmen with a penchant for violence). This is a recipe for disaster. There is an old saying” ‘Write what you know’. This is obviously not true in all cases, because there would be no science fiction. But you need to write with authority about a subject. I can’t write humour, and I can’t write romance. I’ve tried, but it just … Continue reading NaNoWriMo – my Top Ten Tips. Part II Tips 1-3

NaNoWriMo – my Top Ten Tips. Part I Introduction

Firstly, what is NaNoWriMo? It ’s an acronym for National Novel Writing Month. But it’s more international, rather than national (it was started in the USA), and what comes out of it is rarely a novel. So that’s what it isn’t. So what is it? It’s a challenge for writers and would-be writers. And the challenge is to write 50,000 new words of a novel between midnight on the 1st of November to midnight on the 30th November. Thirty days, to you and me. The mathematicians amongst you will be able to work out it’s 1,667 words per day. Sounds … Continue reading NaNoWriMo – my Top Ten Tips. Part I Introduction