This is the year the Witford Market Mysteries gets released! Oh yes! Book One is in first edit, Book Two (part-written for NaNoWriMo last year) is about quarter written, Book Three is planned, and Book Four might be the Christmas episode I’ve written and abandoned several times. The problem has been that I want the Christmas episode to come out just before… Christmas. I know. Crazy, huh? So the Christmas story has been the first, then the second, then the first again, and now it’s going to be 3rd or 4th. The problem is that in the first book, you are introducing your characters for the first time. So there’s more back story exposition, the relationships between the characters is different, and the conflict and tensions are different. So yeah.
I’ve emptied the well of short fiction I have, and I’m unlikely to write sufficient quantities to make another collection anytime soon.
For some reason, I didn’t do a review and a forward plan last year. I can only think I was reviewing the purpose of blogs and newsletters and so on. There was some discussion that blogs are fairly self-indulgent, and only serve the person writing it.
The same applies to vlogs and YouTube videos, too. I’m watching vids which point out “no one cares about you, no one’s interested in your life.” And I can get onboard with that, a little.
SO WHY AM I WRITING THIS BLOG?
Probably a good question. And the answer? I want to record what I’m doing, how I’m thinking, what has been good – and bad – about 2023, and what I should be looking forward to in 2024.
Here’s a confession. I have written no fiction for several months.
No, it’s not writers’ block, or me being lazy. Being a full-time author means, for the most part, making a living from other, writing-related pursuits. Contract work for other authors is one thing; running courses and workshops for other authors is another. But you can’t just turn up for a course without doing some preparation. The prep for a course sometimes takes many times the work required to actually run the course.
I’m not complaining. I’m very fortunate to be able to sustain myself (with a little help from small, occupational pensions, and being a partner to another full-time author).
Are you interested in progressing your writing career, attracting more readers and increasing your royalties?
If I told you that I had developed a process to create and publish a new commercial fiction novel every 3 months, which gains me readership and increases my sales, would you be interested? Do you have any questions which might stop you signing up?
Do you dream of sitting in your study, looking out on a beautiful landscape, crafting wonderful novels which sell in their thousands to sustain your comfortable lifestyle?
I know I’ve had this pipedream for many years. I know a lot of us do, and although the second sentence is, for most of us, a flight of fancy, it IS possible to give up your full-time job and write for a living.
But the question is: how much are you prepared to do to make that dream a reality? Are you prepared to take a long, hard look at what you write, and how you write? If you could make a few small changes to your writing life, would it be worth doing it to have a shot at becoming that full-time author you’ve always wanted to be?
The climax signifies the final moments of the story’s overarching conflict.
2019: After that meeting with my friends, I now had a focus. A strong pointer to where I needed to be. And I was able to join up my story structure subplot. I started using Save The Cat to outline my rewrite of a political conspiracy story, which would become “Deceit” (https://gerald-hornsby.com/deceit/) Before that, I went back to basics and used the first part of The Snowflake Method https://www.advancedfictionwriting.com/articles/snowflake-method/ because it nicely mirrored a technique I’d learned from writing software, back in the day – the need to break down a huge project into smaller-sized, individual, mini-projects.
Reader – I tore through that story. I broke it down from first principles – Single Sentence Summary, Two Sentence Premise, and ending with a Five Paragraph Summary. Stepping stones to creating a great story. From there, it was another step to producing the 15 ‘beats’ of the Save The Cat method, and then another step to creating the 40+ scenes which go to make up my full novel, scene-by-scene plan. At each stage, the work had strong links to the previous stage. At no point did it feel like I was going out on a limb, not knowing where I was going to end up.
Typically the longest of all three sections: Act Two usually comprises the second and third quarters of the story.
The protagonist gets to know their new surroundings and starts to understand the challenges that lay before them.
2012: Using both NaNoWriMo and 100k100days, I start to think about the stories that I want to write. I’m excited by this new decision, and over the next few years, I create more and better stories. But at the back of my mind, there’s a niggling thought – I’m just working hard to create more and more wasted words.
Act One is all about setting the stage: readers should get an idea of who your protagonist is, what their everyday life is like, and what’s important to them.
2003: I stepped down from a very stressful and time-consuming job as a director of a medium-sized company, and became a computer technician in primary schools. As a by-product of this, I now had the time and ‘head space’ to be able to seriously think about my writing again. I had dabbled in the years before, but my prime focus was on developing my career and earning money
Hello. Yes, I know I’m late for *your* New Year, but March is my New Year.
Let me explain. Where we live there is a stipulation that we need to spend the month of February away. It’s no big deal, and we knew before we moved here. It’s a chance to step away from the office, to think about the bigger picture, and what we are doing and what we should be doing.
The great thing is: when we come back on March 1st, it’s like a new start. The weather’s starting to be a bit more spring-like, we have refreshed our existing ideas and created a whole load of new ones. More to come on that later in the year.
For the moment, I’m concentrating on the launch of the EFFICIENT NOVELIST course. Yes, it’s finally coming to fruition. Forty-two modules, nearly an hour and a half of videos, four free ebook downloads, 209 voiceovers and 223 graphics, charts and slides. There’s a lot in this. Finally, the modules are all complete, and they have been uploaded to the course website. Still to do? Uploading the downloadable worksheets, uploading the free ebooks. And begin the marketing campaign.