Wednesday 16 July 2014

(vol 1) CHAPTER 23: “CampNaNoWriMo - Day 16”

Well, I’m half way through the month and things aren’t going as well as I’d like. However, they’re not going as bad as I was starting to think they would either.


I just haven’t found the times to write. It’s been poor and I keep thinking back to last November when I set a personal best word count, wondering how the hell I did it.

But thankfully I got two half days off work. I managed to break 1000+ words Monday and Tuesday as well as have a positive brainstorming session that fleshed out parts of the story I was struggling with. The rules of the tattoos and the history of the artists are clearer now.

DAY 10 – 611 words

I carried on with Chapter 4: Tattoo but found it difficult to get Julie from the front door of the tattoo parlour to the back where she would meet Michael and decide on a tattoo. I introduced the character of Mandy, a girl who is bored of life and just works for the hell of it despite not really liking people or responsibility. It gives Julie someone else to talk to before meeting the man that will ink her and also allowed a little time for her to be hesitant. I may or may not keep this part.

DAY 12 – 369 words

Still working on Chapter 4: Tattoo and Julie is still stuck in the front of shop with Mandy. I feel like Mandy is like industrial glue and has forced Julie to become ‘stuck’. Ironically she was introduced to allow a smooth transition through the scene. Best laid plans and all that.

DAY 14 – 1081 words

Today something clicked and I managed to get Julie away from Mandy, the boring counter girl and through to Michael the tattooist. I like the way the two interacted but I once again found myself struggling. This time I felt it was too forced that she would let a tattooist give her a random design for her first ever tattoo, one that she’d already appeared reluctant about. I got to a point where she was at the doorway and could either leave the shop or change her mind and sit in the chair. I was as unsure as Julie. And that’s why I stopped there. I needed to sleep on it.

DAY 15 – 1380 words

This was my most productive day in a while and not just because of the word count. I sat and reread yesterday’s work and then just had a mini brainstorm session. I went back to my early thoughts on the story and remembered something I had intended to do with the tattoos by making them more of a lost language.
Suddenly loads of ideas popped into my head. Some of this will have to be included in the first rewrite as I don’t want to lose momentum by going back again but I’m happier now.

Next I finished the scene in the tattoo parlour (although it was rushed and loose – lots to fill in later) before starting Prologue: History part 1. This was a back story I originally planned to have to start the whole thing but will now be split into three parts. After that I completed Chapter 5: Back Home which is a short chapter between Julie and Eleanor before returning to the stranger tracking down Michael in Chapter 6: Getting Closer. Finally I started Chapter 7: Back home which brings Craig back home for an explosive confrontation with Julie.


Just when I thought Flash Friday couldn’t get any better I experienced 12 hours of pure joy. I returned home from the London Film and Comic Convention (see below) to find out via Twitter that last Friday’s entry ‘If You Go down To the Woods Today’ had been awarded First Runner Up. I was over joyed at the kind words Judge Betsy Streeter had to say about my piece and couldn’t have been happier.

But it wasn’t over there. Upon returning home Monday lunch time, I found my Twitter going mental again, this time telling me that my story had been picked for Flash! Points, a weekly article where Rebekah Postupak critiques a story in a fair amount of detail.

Until now I’ve had some really nice feedback about my short stories and Flash Fiction entries but this article blew me away. It was a beautiful piece of writing in its own right and I will admit to having a lump in my throat while reading it. 

It was an honour to have been picked and a big thank you to Rebekah for her words. Confidence boosted.

I’m currently working on my Dog Days of Summer entry, a 1000 word limit story following most of the Flash! Friday rules. I hope I don’t disappoint.


Scrivener is still working great. Something I’m finding useful is having all my chapters separate so that it allows me to jump about if I find myself stuck. I currently have three chapters with a couple of hundred words each that will help me lead on in once I have more information about the characters. It’s like I know where I want to be at the opening of certain chapters and I’m waiting for the rest of the story to catch up. It sounds like a weird way of writing but it works.

Still finding the character photos useful too. I had an issue yesterday when I started writing Eleanor and, having just watched a program with a Welsh character in it, I struggled to get the accent out of my head. After a couple of seconds staring at Eleanor’s character card and she was back to being English.


Although it’s not about writing I thought I’d add a quick piece about my adventures at the LFCC on Sunday.

I travelled up to Earls Court with two friends to mingle with some of our favourite celebrities. After parking the car we tried to use our phones to help guide us to the convention but, minutes later, we put the phones away and just followed the barbarians. I mean, where else were they going?

For Christmas last year my wife had brought me tickets for the LFCC (best wife in England) and I was over the moon. She also purchased tickets for the Audience with Stan Lee panel (best wife in the world) as well as a photo shoot with the legend of comics himself (best wife in the universe!!!). It was amazing just standing next to the man who helped create some of the most iconic comic book characters ever. If you haven’t guessed, I am a huge comic book fan and a keen collector of Marvel, specifically X-Men.

Unfortunately, with such popularity (him, not me) our meeting was fleeting; like three seconds fleeting. But it was with someone who I never expected to be in the same room as so to have stood there and posed next to Stan Lee was one of the third greatest moments of my life.

But it wasn’t all Stan Lee. I was inches from Summer Glau, got a fist bump from Billy Dee Williams, watched Carrie Fisher get lost trying to find the toilets, confused Robert Hayes with regards to whose wife belonged to who and managed to get a selfie with the legend that is Jason Mews.

With crazy queues (us British do it best), friendly fans and some amazing cosplayers it was quite a day.

And that’s been the highs and lows of my week. Still have one more week to get the Dog Days entry complete and hopefully 'Tattoo' will move along a little better now.

I can guarantee that next week won’t be as eventful or amazing as the one I’ve lived through.


See you in seven.

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