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Wednesday, 30 July 2014

(vol 1) CHAPTER 25: “CampNaNoWriMo - Day 30”




Just a mere twenty four hours to go and I’m finally into the swing of things now. The finishing line is in sight, both in terms of deadline and word target.

I’m gonna make it!






CAMP UPDATE

It’s been a good burst towards the finish despite still having a couple of non-writing days. I not only managed three days in a row at 1000+ but that included a weekend, an actual weekend, with writing happening.

So the novella is coming along nicely. Each session still ends with me wanting to change stuff with the overall plot but it’s more about setting up the world so that I can return in future stories. It needs rules and it’s only been in the writing that I've seen what does and doesn’t work with the magic system I’ll be using based around the tattoos.

Something interesting happened with one of the characters a few days ago. I’ll admit he was a little generic when it comes to villainy but I hadn’t really planned much for him (see ‘Too Many Villains’ from an earlier post). He’s not really mentioned at all throughout and then he turns up right in the middle of a critical scene at the end of the story. I just started writing him with no real plan (reckless, I agree) and he suddenly became this important role that is very central to the mythology, a mythology I didn’t even realise was there. I think it works to expand the world very suddenly for Julie. This guy turns up and shows what a real threat can do. He pretty much sledge hammers the one scene he’s in but in a good way.

I’m looking forward to finishing it now (hopefully tonight).



DAY 23 – 585 words

After last week’s blog I hung about and managed to just finish up Chapter 12: Proof. I’d started this scene with Julie talking about the tattoo to Eleanor but she was ready to speak to her friend about the strange side effects she was experiencing. I ended it a little forcefully with her convincing Eleanor to take part in a demonstration but it’s messy and needs a heavy rewrite.



DAY 26 – 1855 words

A good nights writing. Stayed up a little late and got to work on Interlude: History part 2. This is a flashback to Kirsty and tells how her path crossed Michaels once more. Now I know some people hate flashbacks but I think these need to be in the novella. In fact, while going over my notes this evening I’ve actually decided to move it slightly and have it close the story, that way the ‘History’ parts (originally three but now two) will bookend the main story. There’s more to tell as well so I think I follow on with the same method on the next book.

Once this was done I got started on Chapter 13: Answers. It’s now that Julie confronts Michael and finds out exactly what he’s done to her and why.



DAY 27 – 1443 words

Another great day of writing. I finished Chapter 13: Answers with the arrival of the stranger, the man who has been tracking Michael since the beginning. He wants to hurt Michael for the wrongs he’s done and only Julie is around to stop someone getting hurt.



DAY 28 – 1573 words

On a roll with this writing lark. Another late night; tired but worth it if there are words on the page and 20,000 is closer. This was the big scene, the finale, the violent revelation. It was exhausting but I’m really happy with Chapter 14: Intruder. I think it will require the least amount of chopping when I start the next edit and it’s what will now help shape everything that comes before it. This is where our mystery character shows up and it the random backstory I produced for him that solidifies the backstory to the Tattoo plot. This is the chapter where most stuff is finally explained to the reader.



DAY 29 – 631 words

Pub quiz night again so had to cram in some writing where I could. Started Chapter 15: Ink which sees someone’s life hanging in the balance and a tough choice needing to be made. I thought this chapter would be the wrapping up of loose ends before leading into a nice quiet, final chapter to end with but unfortunately my brain said NO! So, while everything seems happy and peaceful up to the point where I finished last night, it’s all going to change once I’ve finished this blog post. I’m going to spring a little surprise on our characters. Hell, I was surprised myself but I think it’s a much better ending now.

Can you say cliff hanger?







FLASH! FRIDAY UPDATE

After no mentions for BAYWITCH in last week’s Flash! Friday, my wife said she didn’t like that it made me sad whilst my mother said that I shouldn’t expect to get mentioned every week.

Mentioned? I’m trying to be a better writer. I want to improve, I want to be known, and I want to win! You hear that Flash! Friday. I’m coming for you!!!

(please note that this is just a dramatic, empty threat. It’s a known fact the creators of Flash! Friday are on good terms with dragons and no one should mess with dragons).

But seriously, BAYWITCH (big thanks to my awesome wife for coming up with that title) didn’t do as well as I thought and it came off the back of disappointment that my 1000 word short, WE WERE FRIENDS ONCE, AND YOUNG also didn’t make the shortlist of the Dog Days of Summer competition.

I took that one harder because I immediately realised my mistakes. With other shorts that haven’t won I’ve struggled to see what was wrong and assumed it was read by a judge that it just didn’t click with. But with WE WERE FRIENDS I knew deep down that the story itself was broken and that was only my fault.

It seems a weakness I have is my love of the fantastical. This is fine in my longer works and I won’t stop writing the stuff I love to read. But for short words and especially Flash Fiction, it can take up a lot of room trying to jam in something like the supernatural or super heroes, genres that have rules to work in a story. Rules need explaining to the reader and this costs precious word count.

So I knew that I should have left out the twist ending with the army science experiment that created a super soldier who fights on the beaches of Normandy (seriously, that’s what I wrote). I should have just left it as the story of friendship that is shattered by war, something emotional and dramatic.
Lesson learned.

On a more positive note, a big shout out to everyone that took part in the Dog Days competition. It was a real pleasure to read your work and, as with Flash! Friday, it’s nice to see the extreme diversity on show that all comes from the same prompt.

Writers are awesome.






SCRIVENER REVIEW

What more can I say. It’s a safe bet that I’m going to purchase this once CampNaNo is over. I’ve loved working with it and, although it hasn’t set my writing world on fire, I think there’s a lot more under the hood that I’m going to love discovering. It really is a useful writing tool and I will take anything that helps me produce work and put it out into the world.






And now I must go. I have 1207 words left to write on this month’s CampNaNoWriMo entry and I can’t wait to update my word count to be declared ‘winner’!

Just a quick big thanks to the lovely people who have left me comments on my Dog Days of Summer entry. Some really nice things were said that boosted my confidence and I’m extremely grateful for those that took their time to not only read my story but write about it too.

In fact it’s not just that one story but anything that I have written, be it my Flash! Friday entries, my blog posts or my short stories on Wattpad. I’m grateful that anyone would take time to read my work and love getting feedback, positive and negative.

After all, I’m still learning here and all comments are welcome.


See you in seven.

Saturday, 26 July 2014

Interlude 006

Yesterday’s Gone (Season 1) – Sean Platt & David W Wright

Published 2011

4 stars

On October 15 at 2:15 a.m. everyone on Earth vanished.

Well, almost everyone. A scattered few woke alone in a world where there are no rules other than survival... at any cost.


And there are a few people who aren't surprised that this happened at all. In fact, they've been dreaming about this day for years.

These survivors aren't alone...

Someone or something is watching them. And waiting...




I love watching television programs at the moment. I’m so hooked on so many that I’m collecting up a nice back log of movies. I don’t know when I’ll get round to watching them.

There’s The Walking Dead, Penny Dreadful, Utopia, Orphan Black and Game of Thrones. Of course these are just my favourites. There’s also Helix, The Following, Continuum and Almost Human (well, not anymore). Television is riding a high at the moment with great story telling, high production values and addictive cliff hanger endings.

Last year my love of television style story telling bled out into my writing. For 2013’s NaNoWriMo I wrote a novel divided into ten episode-like novellas. The overall plot of the main book has a single story arc running through it while each of the ten parts has its own story, its own big bad for the hero to fight against. I planned to edit and then release this story next year in ten monthly instalments before putting it all together at a discount much like a DVD box set of your favourite show.

I thought it was a good idea and, although I didn’t look too hard, I couldn’t see anyone else doing it like that at the time.

And then I discovered Sean Platt and David Wright of the Self-Publishing Podcast and found that not only was someone else doing it but that were doing it a lot and they were doing it well.

Yesterday’s Gone is available to purchase season by season (as of now there are four seasons available with a couple more planned). If you’re not sure then there is a ‘pilot episode’, a first novella you can try for free. But be warned; like a TV show this taster, this trial, ends on a cliff hanger . . . so you’ve just got to go onto episode two.

The book itself (season 1) is a fantastic read. Told from multiple viewpoints, each chapter follows one of the cast characters much like the Song of Ice and Fire books do. Sometimes these individuals even meet up and we get some settings from several viewpoints.

Everyone is experiencing the same catastrophe; they all woke up and most of the world’s population is gone. These no real explanation yet and things start getting stranger by the chapter. Despite the fact that it can ‘thin out’ a review, I really don’t want to talk about the things that happen to the characters because it would spoil - a lot. I don’t want to be like that nob from your office who comes in and blabs on about last night’s Game of Thrones, you know, the one that you TiVo’d because you were out at a party and were planning to watch tonight.

I’ll just say it gets strange and then it gets stranger.

Something that impressed me was that none of the characters can be considered ‘filler’; I never felt bored reading a chapter, desperate to get through it and back to someone I preferred. However it took a while early on to remember each character every time the book returned to them.

Before I even started reading yesterday’s Gone I’d heard about a certain character being a fan favourite and I worried that my expectations would be too high when he finally turned up. Thankfully this didn’t happen and Boricio is one of the best characters written in anything I’ve read. Not just for his own thoughts and development but for how he inflicts chaos on the world around him in almost every scene he’s in. I can see actors chomping at the bits to play him in an adaptation. Dark stuff indeed.

So, like a TV show, each episode ends on a cliff hanger with the final episode of the season (episode 6) landing the biggest so far. I’m going to take a break between each box set but I am really looking forward to starting season two.

If you like to read and you like smashing through a DVD box set in a weekend then put your hands together and try Yesterday’s Gone. Post-apocalyptic done well.



Friday, 25 July 2014

FLASH! FRIDAY

This week the prompt was freedom with the following picture. Enjoy.
(note: I struggled with the title with about fifteen ideas I hated. Thank you to my awesome wife for coming up the the final one. Love it.)




BAYWITCH

I was getting tired of this.

I’d spotted the ship at daybreak, it’s puffed white sails aimed straight at the island. Now it sat in the bay, waiting.

As before, the island granted me its power. From the beach where I stood I reached out with my mind. The energy I was permitted to control pounded against the waters turning the calm bay turbulent.

I felt the ship with my mind and grasped it, sensing the lives on board, all unaware of their fate. I ignored them and squeezed.

Even the distance couldn’t prevent the sounds of screaming men and cracking timber from reaching my ears. Nothing could save them now.

I couldn’t allow it. The island wouldn’t allow.

It took but a moment to sink the ship and destroy all evidence of the outsiders. Exhausted, I left the beach and returned to my dwelling.

The island’s secret was safe once more.




Wednesday, 23 July 2014

(vol 1) CHAPTER 24: “CampNaNoWriMo - Day 23”



A week to go and things are starting to pick up. I know I could be worried with 7000+ words still to write but all I need do is think back to NaNoWriMo 2007 when I had 6 days left and I somehow managed 21000 words. In fact on the 29th of that November I stayed up until 3am and managed 8000 words in one hit, crossing the finish line and allowing me to take the 30th off writing.

So I’m not worried. Yet.






CAMP UPDATE

So, despite a couple of days with nothing written, I’ve done a lot better, not just with the word count but with the plot too. There’s going to be a fair bit of rewriting come August but I know it is all making the story better.

I’m annoyed that I thought I was ready at the beginning of the month because, if I’ve learnt anything over the last 23 days it’s that I couldn’t have been further from prepared.

All my previous NaNo’s have started very loose and I’ve built the idea as I’ve gone along, never really losing momentum (except that first year when I ‘accidently’ bought a time sucking Xbox). But with TATTOO I planned and planned and planned; plot, scenes and characters. And all it did was fence me in and stop me exploring.

I would say I’m a panster but I still need a little planning before diving in; it’s clear that a little prep beats uber prep. I was the same at school and college. I found that I could over revise for exams and build up my own expectations. When I spent the night before just glancing at notes for half an hour I seemed to recall knowledge easier.



DAY 17 – 144 words

Although the word count is low it’s not a bad day but just me determined to get something, anything written down before going to bed. I finished the last chapter I’d worked on and renamed it Chapter 7: Fall Out.



DAY 18 – 1213 words

This was better. A good Friday night. Worked on Chapter 8: World of Hurt which was the explosive confrontation between Julie and Craig. He has seen the tattoo and is not too happy about it. I then decided to skip Chapter 9 which was another ‘stranger’ scene. I wasn’t stuck for what to write but I haven’t decided where he’ll be at that point in the story yet. I want to keep tracking back to him throughout as his journey closes in towards his target. So instead I worked on Chapter 10: Feedback. This brings the tattoo itself front and centre and is where things start to get . . . weird.



DAY 21 – 1768 words

One of my best days writing this month. Despite having finally typed up and edited the third draft of my 1000 word Dog Day entry (see Flash! Friday update below) I still wanted to get a little bit started on Chapter 11: Suspicions. So that’s what I did. I was tired and couldn’t really see how the scene would end so I only planned to set it up for another writing session. And then the main character, Julie, left her flat to go looking for Craig and I managed 1700 words in an hour. This scene has become the turning point for Julie. It’s the first time since she fell into the negative and abusive relationship that’s she’s stood up for herself. And it ends explosively.



DAY 22 – 566 words

Not much done yesterday but I go out to a pub quiz every Tuesday. With my son down for bed and the babysitter (hey mum) not having arrived yet I booted up the PC and started Chapter 12: Proof. This goes back to another Julie and Eleanor scene with the tattoo become something Julie wants answers about now.






FLASH! FRIDAY UPDATE

Well it was inevitable that the wave I was riding couldn’t stay high forever. Last Friday’s entry, ‘Perfection’ stayed out of the headlines this time round.

I think I accidently paid too much attention to the Flash Point critique for ‘If You Go Down To The Woods Today’ with another story taken from a view point off camera. I honestly didn’t intend it that way and only noticed the day after I posted the entry. To be fair I struggled with the prompt and nearly chose to skip it for a week. I’m glad my friend convinced me to give it a go. And also, there were some absolutely fantastic entries that I was up against with Sinead O’Hart's entry, ‘China In Your Hand’, being extremely moving. It was made even more powerful by Rebekah Postupak’s critique in Mondays Flash Point.

With Flash Friday out of the way I spent the weekend with my attention solely on the Dog Days challenge. The day after the prompt went up a couple of weeks ago I had an idea that then drifted away and slowly became something else. I wanted to do something superhero related but it wasn’t working.

Something that surprised me was that the word count was as limiting at 1000 words as the Flash Friday is at 150. I honestly looked forward to having more wiggle room but I never found it.

So the story I ended up with went through several phases which included four boys helping an alien in their towns abandoned mine with the grateful alien then bestowing powers on the all. This sucked as I struggled to tell the story, explain the alien to four boys who had no concept of aliens as well as explaining ‘gifted’ powers. Rubbish.

And yet I thought I could contain it more by changing out alien for demon. This also did not work.

I was about to give up (it’s a running theme with me) when I suddenly had a brainstorm and I came up with the idea I finally entered. Much happier with it although I am worried now that the sci-fi super power element might ruin it and that I should have kept it more ‘real world’. Only time will tell if I made the right decision. Next week I will present the story and break down the decisions I made.

Meanwhile the judges will pick a shortlist of 10 tomorrow with the three winners then being voted by the readers and writers themselves. Have briefly looked at a couple and am looking forward to spending an evening reading through them all.

Fingers crossed for the next twenty-four hours.






SCRIVENER REVIEW

This week I had my first negative thoughts to Scrivener but I’m thinking it might be part of the whole ‘over planning’ thing I mentioned. If I do go ahead and purchase it then I wonder if I will plan stories out with the corkboard and cast my characters on the first draft of future stories. It seemed good to start but it only added to the lack of freedom. I feel better now that I’m past all my planned chapters and going wherever I feel like. I also know that, when I come to rewrite, it will be the planned chapters that need the most work.

At the end of the day, the function of Scrivener I’m most interested in and looking forward to trying is the formatting and compiling. I’m hoping this will make it easier to put a finished product together across different formats with ease.






So, one week to go with CampNaNo. This time next week will be the penultimate night of writing. I hope I’m close to the finish line by then.

Big shout out to Dramatic Lyric and the rest of my Cabin. Good luck to you guys in the final week.


See you in seven.

Friday, 18 July 2014

FLASH! FRIDAY

FF – 18th July 2014

This week the prompt was clumsiness with the following picture. Enjoy.



PERFECTION

I was so proud of Jessica. She had trained hard and this was her moment to shine. As she danced on the balance beam I allowed myself a little smile.

“Don’t get carried away, Mr Anderson,” said the Bulgarian. He was sat to my right and had his silenced pistol pressed hard against my ribs. “As agreed she will fall and throw the championship to number 79 or you won’t leave this arena alive.”

            I ignored him and continued to watch my little angel as she rounded off her routine.

            Turn.

            Stretch.

            Run.

            Leap.

            Her tiny body twisted with grace in the air and she landed with perfection. She posed and the crowd applauded. I joined them.

            There was a snap and pain erupted from my chest. “Fool,” said the Bulgarian. He got up and left.

            Mafia be damned, no father should teach failure to their child.





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.




CAMP UPDATE

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.





FLASH! FRIDAY UPDATE

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 REVIEW

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.





LONDON FILM AND COMIC CONVENTION

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.

Right?


See you in seven.

Friday, 11 July 2014

FLASH! FRIDAY

FF – 11th July 2014

This week the prompt was friendship with the following picture. Enjoy.



IF YOU GO DOWN TO THE WOODS TODAY

I lean from behind the oak. All eyes on the duel. Don’t know the reason for their feud. Don’t care. Pistols go bang, one falls down and then there’s one less rich prick lording ‘round town. If they both fall down then that’s double trouble.

Their companions watch carefully, making sure it's fair. You want to talk about fair? Rich pricks ‘play’ life and death while my friends starve. I sell one of those fancy pistols I could feed my gang for a month.

All eyes on the duel and still no one notices little old me. I calm the horses and then climb my scrawny ass up onto the coach. Sure a pistol’ll feed mouths for a month but imagine what me and the guys’ll get for this fancy coach and two horses.

Shots ring out. A woman cries. I snap the reigns.

Lesson to you all; never leave valuables unattended.




Normally after the winners of Flash! Friday have been announced, one of the stories gets dissected by Rebekah Postupak. This week my piece of Flash Fiction was chosen. I'm extremely grateful for the experience and overwhelmed by her comments. 

Check it out here.



Wednesday, 9 July 2014

(vol 1) CHAPTER 22: “CampNaNoWriMo - Day 9”



It’s now a week into CampNaNoWriMo and things are going . . . okay.




CAMP UPDATE

The good news is that, since starting again last week, I’m sticking to the path and forging forward.
The bad news is that I didn’t get as much written as I would have liked. You know I hate excuses but it has been a busy weekend, one I hope doesn’t repeat during July.

[Overtime + Formula 1 x ill son = low word count]

But, my word count isn’t zero.



DAY 2 – 1504 words

After last week’s post I got stuck into the Novella’s redirection. I rewrote Chapter 2: Searching and it works a lot better now. The antagonist is still aggressive in his search for revenge but he’s no longer a psychotic bastard. Meanwhile, Herschel is now spared from his previous, grim fate but still gets messed up by the evening’s turn of events.


DAY 3 – 411 words

I started Chapter 3: Friend and it was tricky. Set after the night of abuse that is chapter 1, Julie wakes to find Craig acting all normal and getting ready to head off for a stag weekend. This is because I don’t want every scene this couple are in together to be tense or confrontational because you need to see the reasons Julie stays with him. She’s not trapped with him physically, only mentally. Craig is living in denial that his temper ever gets the best of him and just switches off from any previous acts of violence.


DAY 4 – 1070 words

I carried on with Chapter 3: Friend by introducing Julie’s best friend Eleanor. It’s something else that I want to get right by the time this novella is finished; the friendship between two girls. I don’t want it to be a stereotypical boys eye view of a female friendship so I’m working heard on the dialogue between the pair. There’s banter there but also caring, Eleanor is not afraid to bring up the subject of Craig’s temper, even if it can make things awkward.


DAY 7 – 228 words

Not much happened here. Just wrapped up Chapter 3: Friend and set the scene for the next chapter.


DAY 8 – 262 words

Although I was limited and only found about 15 minutes to myself for writing, I managed to get Chapter 4: Tattoo started and have set up nicely how Julie comes to make the decision of having a tattoo done. I’m looking forward to carrying on with this scene tonight.




FLASH! FRIDAY UPDATE

Great news from last week’s Flash! Friday challenge. I woke up Monday morning and turned my phone on to find an above average number of e-mails informing me I had new Twitter followers. It took me a couple of seconds to think why and then I jumped to the site to find that my story, ‘America Can Wait’ received an HM (honourable mention).



I was over the moon with this. Craig Anderson was last week’s judge and his mini review of my story made for a great start to Monday.

And in more Flash! Friday news the site is currently running the ‘Dog Days of Summer’ Flash Fiction competition. 800-1000 words with picture prompt. Looking forward to taking part in this.





SCRIVENER REVIEW

Still finding this software useful. It really helped with starting chapter 2 again and just relabeling it. I haven’t got round to it yet but I can remove this from the main manuscript and dump it in the research section further down the binder. I also like that I can colour code the chapters. I have blue for Julie and red for the antagonist. It helps see how their two stories track each other.



One thing I will have to remember is to go back and fill in the character description. Right now, before starting a scene, I just glance at the casting pictures I have saved but I haven’t written any of that down for the reader. In this early stage I just want to get the story down as I will go back to work on the cosmetics later. I do only have 30 days you know.

Another nice feature of Scrivener is the auto saving. The program saves almost as much as I blink but it also produces a backup when you choose to exit Scrivener. Couple this with me copying the backup to a separate drive at the end of every writing sessions and the thought of losing any work is banished.




So things are going well. I plan on getting a lot more writing done this week although I’m already discounting Sunday (I will be busy going to London to watch a talk given by a comic book legend -more on that next week).

If you’re taking part in CampNaNoWriMo then I hope it’s going well for you (i.e. you don’t have sick children or urges to follow sporting events). Big shout out to my Cabin. They seem a nice bunch and I hope to chat with them more as the month rolls on.

See you in seven.