Happy Summer (Well, Almost)

The sun is out, the temperature soaring just like on a summer day.

I’m sitting in the local coffee/bookshop, getting acquainted with my new laptop.  I’ve just downloaded one of the later versions of LibreOffice and have added writer2epub, an epub conversion.  In today’s publishing climate, a prospective novelist can never pin all their hopes on a conventional publication deal (although one should always continue submitting), so I have added the epub conversion in case I need to produce an outstanding ebook, alongside a standard print on demand paperback novel.

Apart from that, I hope to enjoy the rest of the day and the warm weather.

Till next time.

 

 

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Summer Rain

Summer will arrive soon – in just over three weeks.  The weather here in the UK has improved, the temperature risen, just like summer but still spring, my favourite season.  Today, the rain came without warning and the skies darkened. The air is sticky and humid.

Meanwhile, I’ve sent my novel, a psychological thriller, out to more agents and am waiting for replies.  I continue to practise the piano most days in anticipation of further online or Indie recordings. Then, the languages, of course.  I study French, German and Russian during my free time.

Till next time.

 

New Opportunity For Writers

I haven’t posted for a while.  Like a lot of people in the UK, I’ve succumbed to a recurrent winter virus – a cross between a lingering cold and ongoing fatigue.  I’ve continued editing my current novel, though, and practising the piano when one is available.

Recently, I heard of a new opportunity for writers – Amazon’s KDP Paperback Print on Demand Service.  I think the service is still in the beta testing stage, but it does sound like promising idea and I believe it is/will be free (printing costs deducted from royalties).

Anyway, something to think about.

Occupied Elsewhere

The title says it all, hopefully.  I’ve had commitments elsewhere and haven’t found time to blog recently.  Dismal weather here in the UK. Still waiting to hear back from an editor regarding my novel and busy working on several foreign languages and piano playing.

Back soon.

Bank Holiday Monday, And A Novel

I’ve finished the writing for the time being and hope to put it aside, in order to gain a fresh perspective. In the meantime, Bank Holiday Monday beckons, hopefully warm and sunny.   As the novel, a psychological thriller, explores the events of a Bank Holiday Monday in the central character’s past, I thought I would include the opening in this blog article:

They say a group of teenagers saw me on the field that August Bank Holiday Monday.

One called over, asked if I was all right. I didn’t answer, apparently. Just continued stumbling in the direction of home, sweat dripping from my face. The teenagers didn’t hang around. They assumed I had sunstroke. If I had seen myself, I would have probably thought the same.

Others noticed me wandering along the main road towards the estate where we lived. Drinkers in the pub watched me stagger like a drunk. I continued walking. Up the hill, through a ginnel, past the church. Down the hill, along alleyways of back-to-front houses, to the car park at the bottom of the estate.

Dad was out with your dad that afternoon. They say your mother saw me and came out. ‘Where’s Craig?’ she said. ‘What happened, Alan?’

They say I muttered two words.

A name.

***

A man went to prison.

A local.

End of story.

So I thought.

Another Fortnight, So Much To Do…

Yes, definitely feeling the pressure. A couple of weeks have gone by since I last posted an article here, and I’ve found little time to keep up the blog. At present, I’m focusing on my music career, learning several languages, and reworking a novel, a psychological thriller – i.e. trying to balance a tightly controlled narrative (action) with events occurring solely in the character’s mind (paranoia angle). Pretty difficult.

Hope to be back soon.

Writing Fiction: A Mundane Task?

I would never describe creative writing as mundane, as if something’s mundane, it can’t possibly be creative.  The word task doesn’t feel right either. However, a larger creative writing project, like a novel, requires a great deal of revision and pruning, and these processes sometimes become tiring and mundane.

I’m at the polishing stage in my current novel, a psychological thriller. Making minor adjustments. Removing redundancies. Making sure dialogue remains true to the character viewpoint.  At times, I miss the simplicity of story telling – i.e. writing a piece from scratch and seeing where the writing takes me.  Maybe, at some point in the future, I will get the chance to start a new novel.

In the meantime, till next time.

 

 

The Novel: Ploughing On

As I’ve often stated before, the process of writing, producing and marketing a novel seems to go on indefinitely.

Recently, I took professional editorial advice and am now going through the opening chapters, sorting out issues that might not always seem plausible.  I think the problem lies in having several unusual story ideas.  A reader might accept one or two of these ideas before dismissing the story as lacking credibility.

I’ve also found that ruthless editing doesn’t always fix the problem.  In fact, the changes can upset the balance of the story, resulting in an overall copy and paste feel.  Possibly, the solution rests in developing the elements of the story in a way, so that events that may seem unbelievable make perfect sense because the writer has taken care to show how those events have come into being.  In other words, anything’s believable but you have to tell it right (or something along those lines).

I expect to keep busy with the novel over the Christmas period.

Till next time.

Writing: Endless Work On The Plot

It’s that time again.  I’ve received an editorial report on one of my novels and I have more work to do, this time on certain aspects of the plot.

Tweaking plot elements to make them more convincing sometimes brings about the opposite and the changes make the story worse.  I’m working with various brainstorming techniques, trying to get to the heart of the matter.  Asking questions like, what do I really want here? Letting my imagination do the work. Tweaking doesn’t mean getting rid of.  Just adapting ideas slightly.

On and on it goes.