Tag Archive: writing


After a heavy session of writing today I finally crossed the first milestone in the creation of my second manuscript: I passed the 20,000 word mark. That might not seem like much to some of you but it’s quite a lot for me. I can still remember writing the first word of the first book, so to think I’ve come this far is quite surprising sometimes.

When I started this book I had a relatively clear sequence of events planned out in my head that would lead from beginning to end (I wrote the end first so that probably helped.) but as they did constantly throughout the first book my characters have pretty much cannibalised most of what i wanted to do: Where i would’ve said “Turn right.” they said “Turn left.” So even now after just the first 20,000 words i have a part of a story that is almost unrecognisable from how I thought it’d look.

That can be good though I suppose – It helped in the first book, some of the best stuff in RISING came when the characters hijacked the story and did whatever the hell it was they wanted to do!

I’m definitely happy my characters are so willing to take charge like that actually. they could just be lazy and do whatever i tell them to but the fact they are semi autonomous yet fictional beings has made this process much easier: Sometimes! I would like to know where they’re going sometimes and they better not mess with my already completed ending because I quite like it. But with another 140,000ish words to go I suppose anything can happen. Stay tuned! 

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I sat down in front of my computer 4 hours ago and started writing with the intention of working on Chapter 21 which I had started last weekend, I not only worked on it but actually finished it (It really is amazing how much you can write when you don’t allow interruptions.) but the finished product is not at all what i imagined – I had a nice albeit flexible plan in mind for the chapter, that is where I wanted it to go, what characters were involved etc. and for the most part that worked out fine for about 1\3 of the chapter.

At that point my characters essentially “mutinied” on me. I don’t know what else to call it except a mutiny because it was as if they came to life and forced me to type a completely different chapter than the one I had planned which included bringing in two characters who were not scheduled for an appearance for a while not only did they appear ahead of schedule but they’ve increased the importance of another character who was only ever designed as a sort of ‘background’ type character now it seems she is going to be far more important than even I ever imagined. I suppose my current characters like her more than I thought they would (Silly me for thinking I was in control here right?).

The characters have hijacked scenes and story lines before but they have never taken an entire chapter and turned it into something else entirely, now because of events in that chapter certain earlier things are going to have to be rewritten partially or maybe even changed completely but I’ll worry about that during the red-write\editing phase which is getting closer every day which both excites and terrifies me!

I don’t mind when my characters “take control” it does add a certain element to the process that is missing otherwise and I think it made the chapter better than it was going to be but still a little notice would have been nice.

Thanks for reading.

MJD.

I think this deserves a WP post because it will be longish and in my experience such posts on FB tend to get messy so here we go:

Ever since I started writing ORIGINS I’ve noticed the increasingly heavy presence of what I am going to cal my “Writer’s Brain” – That is the part of my brain that seems to be entirely devoted to my characters and my story and it NEVER stops working, Several times this has come in handy because I’ll be doing stuff (Usually trying to sleep) and suddenly out of nowhere – BOOM – an idea hits and suddenly I can imagine a way to fix a problem in my story, Several times my characters have found themselves in a spot if trouble and I’ve had no clue how to get them out and one of those sudden insights has helped me out tremendously.

It’s for that reason i don’t normally complain about my WB but more and more as the story develops I can hear my WB going over things and over things AND over things, Last night while laying in bed TRYING to sleep for example I had another one of those insights which has helped me tie up a few loose ends that I didn’t even realise were loose but then it kept going and I found myself thinking “This can happen or after ‘x’ this can happen” except none of those things need to happen anytime soon and in one case it might not even happen until the second book – YIKES!

In general I’m not complaining too much as I’ve said my WB has proven useful and I don’t think I’d want to turn it off permanently because then I would have half a story and probably no way to finish it and that would be worse I think.

Anyone had any similar experiences? Is it possible to think the story through without skipping huge chunks of it (i.e. Create the middle rather than get stuck thinking of the ending?)

Rant Over – Back to life – Which probably requires a whole other rant.

MJD

Okay time for a really quick update:

I spent the last week re-writing the first 10 chapters including the prologue, While I did do some writing mostly it was a chance to tidy up the first section of the manuscript, It was starting to resemble one gigantic paragraph which wouldn’t be very readable, So I went through it again page by page and tidied it up, added some stuff and deleted some stuff, I also merged two chapters into one because the ‘break’ between them just didn’t seem logical after all.

I have decided not to spend anymore time on those chapters for the time being, They are by no means perfect yet but I’m just going to leave them as is and concentrate on the rest of the MS, I’ll rewrite them again once it is finished and I’ve received feedback from Beta Readers. Doing this will allow me to start on the “middle” section without spending time on what has already been written which as I’ve found out can be quite distracting. A friend recently said she was too close to her stories to be able to edit them effectively without feedback and I think I’m at that point with what I have written so far – Going over it again could prove disastrous plus my brain has been churning out ideas for subsequent chapters and if I don’t get them down soon they’ll weather disappear completely or drive me insane!

MJD

I took a few days off working on my book because I was offered the rare chance to act as a Beta reader for MYTH – Book 2 of The Guardians Of The word series written by the amazingly talented Jolea M. Harrison, Book 1 cHOSEN was an absolutely brilliant piece of Scifi\Fantasy work and I would highly recommend it to anyone who is interested in the genre.

When the opportunity came up to read MYTH a month or so ahead of it’s release how could I refuse? simple I didn’t, Now maybe I had a job to do, that is advising the author of plot content and structure etc. but that doesn’t mean I couldn’t work and play at the same time so to speak.

I loved reading the next adventure in the series and was amazed with all the plot twists, the character developments and the mystery of it all – who can and can’t be trusted – Who does or does not survive (Still not clear after I’ve finished reading) – What has or has not happened? who is aligned with who it’s all incredibly exciting and I think you would be remiss in your duties as a fan of the genre if you don’t read CHOSEN and if you don’t then read MYTH when it is available.

Aside from a few minor spelling and grammar errors there really wasn’t much to contribute to the story though I do hope some of my suggestions go through to the published version.

CHOSEN is available on AMAZON now for Kindle or paperback and I strongly urge you to check out at least one version of it and MYTH when it is available, Personally I have both the ebook and paperback version of CHOSEN and even though I have essentially read MYTH I will be amongst the first to order both the ebook version and paperback version when they are available.

In closing apart from me saying how unbelievably awesome MYTH is may I just say congratulations to Jolea M. Harrison for having a second brilliant novel and the best part is there are still 5 or 6 books in the series to go – YAY.

Now that that most pleasurable distraction is done I’ll go back to working on ORIGINS tomorrow

MJD.

Okay so after a few weeks that prevented me from doing any serious writing I was finally able to sit down today and punch out enough words to get me past the 30,000 word mark – It has been staring me in the face for weeks almost daring me to surpass it and while there were times when I honestly doubted I could do it I fought through that and now I am happy to report that the book is about 1/3 written That might not seem like much but 30,000 is ALOT of words and since the average length of a novel in this genre is 80-90 thousand words I’m happy with the progress so far and I’m starting to think this thing might actually get done and hopefully people will want to buy it when it is – Obviously if people don’t buy it or don’t like it I’ll be disappointed but I am a big fan of this genre so I’m trying to write what I think I would read and so far I’d have to say I would read what’s been written though that might be just a bit biased!

So hopefully if I would read it then many others would too though as I’ve said before after several failed attempts by me to start this story in the past I think I’m at a point where I couldn’t stop writing if I wanted to – the characters even the ones who haven’t appeared yet are floating around in my head screaming for attention and resolution so I’ll either need to type them out nor take anti-psychotic drugs and I don’t think I’d enjoy the latter option very much.

A quick update on the name situation – Last time I said I was thinking about changing one of the main characters’ names and the name of the entire first book, Well I did change the character name, Taking out just one letter made it so much better and I surprised myself by changing another characters’s name too, Not sure why I changed the second character’s name but it is also better now. I decided not to change the book name partially because I can’t think of a better one at the moment and partially because I’m not convinced that “ORIGINS” won’t work – guess time will tell either way.

Until next time thanks for reading,

MJD

Another ORIGINS progress update

I spent most of last week typing up Chapter 8 – It took a bit longer than I thought it would but I’m fairly happy with the outcome though I have been thinking that I may need to change the title of the first book (From ORIGINS to something else) though I haven’t fully decided either way yet.

I have however decided to change one of the main character’s names though at this point I really have no idea what it should be and I’m certainly not looking forward to trawling through 24,00 words trying to find old instances of the name and change it to a new one if I can ever decide on a new one that is.

I don’t know about other authors and how fast they like to write but I’m quite happy with the pace I’m setting myself for this book even just getting the chance to write a few hundred words a day is proving quite satisfying and I find myself spending more and more time each day when I’m not writing thinking about the book – The stories , the characters, the whole thing its really rather exciting and I’m going to stick with it because even though there are only 24,000+ words at the moment the characters are in my brain now and I HAVE TO finish their stories even if no-one ever reads them though obviously it would be nice if people do read them and enjoy them too.

I will post another update in about 1 week hopefully and by then with any luck I’ll have breached the 30,000 word mark – That really is a lot of words you know certainly more than I’ve ever written – and hopefully by the time of the next update I’ll have news on the title and character name change decisions.

Finally can I just say how much fun I’m having doing this I’d forgotten how much fun writing could be – stupid life getting in the way!

MJD

Okay just a quick update, My computer isn’t as “fixed” as they claimed it was and since Warranty repairs go to the one company only I’ve decided not to bother filing another claim since they’d only make it worse in all likelihood.

So unfortunately while I go about getting a new computer (Thinking of an iMac instead of a PC – Anyone have thoughts on that?) there will be no work done on the book since Microsoft Office has also died, I really think MICROSOFT and WINDOWS are out to sabotage this book!

Should have the situation resolved early next week depending on how quickly the Powers That Be can make a decision…Work SHOULD resume by late next week though I am ‘writing’ in my head all the time, Hopefully it’ll stick around up there until I can type it out.

MJD

BOOK PROGRESS

Okay so it’s been a bit longer than a week (Which was supposed to be the length of time between my first post and this one) but due to unforeseen technical difficulties I’m only getting around to it now.

I now have approximately 15,000 words written comprising a prologue and the first 5 chapters which I am happy with for the moment, Based on the minimum average length of books in the genre I figure there is about 70,000 more words to go before I can even start to think of wrapping it up but the one good thing about the technical issues is I’ve had plenty of time to stew over the story\characters etc. so as long as I can keep finding time each day to do a little writing at least I shouldn’t have a problem getting there.

I have a rough working title for the book though it may change as things progress but again I’m happy with it for the moment. The (Very) rough working title is:

ORIGINS: THE TRIUMVIRATE QUEST BOOK ONE

Thanks for reading and stay tuned for more updates which could come at any moment!

 

MJD