Monthly Archives: July 2014

Another short, Cogito Ergo Sum, available at Smashwords (free)

One I wrote before commencing my current rewrite. Hope you like it 🙂

“…you never wonder how you’ll react to a defining moment in history until you experience it for yourself…”

Gareth Young makes a tweak to the most powerful experiment on earth based on just a hunch. The result is a revelation of the most profound, but is all it seems to be?

40,000 words of 2nd draft reached!

A battling milestone this.  What began as a hefty revision of the first draft of my current WIP (working title – The Embers of Danu) has turned into a painful, but necessary rewrite. I tried to avoid it, I really did, but ultimately there had been too many deviations from my main outline. One perhaps I could have handled, but there’s at least three total direction changes that I’ve clocked so far. I think that’s it, but it’s enough to drive me to the decision I have made.

So – I’ve now got a second word doc, a revised outline, and I’m now plodding through the second draft. Many darlings have been killed. Much fat has been trimmed. It’s looking a lot better, but it’s not an experience I want to go through again.

In my head my next WIP is already forming, and this time I aim to complete a much more thorough outline. It turns out being a gardener isn’t for me…


The Benefits of Writing a Terrible First Novel

An excellent post that I couldn’t put better myself.

Words of Margaux

As some of you may know, I recently completed a novel for the first time. After two failed attempts to complete manuscripts before, just the fact that I wrote “The End” was an accomplishment to me. I took some time away from the book in attempt to return to it with a fresh perspective. What I saw upon my return, however, shocked and disappointed me. My finished book, the one I spent three months writing, was not worth reading. Many find it difficult to admit this about their own creations – believe me, it took me a while to accept the fact myself. In spite of how disappointed I was by the first draft of my book, there are invaluable lessons that I learned throughout the process.

Many might say that I shouldn’t put so much pressure on myself, a first draft is never as good, and it was only…

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Useful Tools for Plotting your Novel

I’m sure everyone has their own methods of keeping notes, maintaining outlines etc when constructing their novel.  Here I share mine.

(Note these aren’t word processors,  just tools to aid in structuring your novel)

One piece of freeware I use is Storybook.  It’s an all round story planning tool for Windows that let’s you construct strands, scenes, chapters, characters, locations etc all in a nice user interface.  It’s free, but ensure you do the “custom”  install when you do it so you don’t get any annoying installs along with it.

The second one is on I used on my iPhone for mobile work.  I will add that for mobile work nowadays  I’m more working on Google docs so I can sync across devices, then add back to Storybook later on, but for a time this was my “go to” app.

Anyway this second app has similar options as Storybook, with plotting, scene, character templates etc. It’s not as feature rich as Storybook but I have found us useful for initial story modelling exercises.

So, what do you folks use, if anything? I’ve found that just plain notes doesn’t work for my disorganised brain,  and I need some assistance in putting a structure together.


The rudderless hero

So, I’m working through the second draft of my current WIP, an urban fantasy that I can only describe as the Matrix meets ancient Celtic mythology (with a bit of quantum physics thrown in), and I’ve got a problem with my protagonist.

Basically, as this world is new to him, he’s spent a lot of his time being purely reactive, either being told this and that or just responding to various scenarios. Conversely, the antagonist, who IS well aware of how this mythical world works, drives her story forwards with gusto.

My fear now is that, until my hero starts to do things himself and acts on his motives, he just comes across as well, dull.

How do others do this? How do you make a protagonist who still has so much to learn be more proactive in the early stages of the story? It’s basically the old Hero’s Journey I know, so a bit of back reading on similar works/journeys is required methinks…