Under Troll Hill – #WorldPoetryDay

As today is World Poetry Day, I thought that I would have a go at a poem. I haven’t really done any poetry since school so it is probably a bit rough around the edges but enjoy anyway!

Under Troll Hill the warriors came,                                                                                                            A wizard, a lord and a the lowliest knave.

To find ancient treasure was their noble quest,                                                                                Only five thousand trolls and one dragon to best.

The Lord gave his orders and stepped to the rear,                                                                             Whilst the knave drew their sword, waiting for trolls to appear.

The wizard he chanted and from his staff spurted flame,                                                             Turning to the trolls,  he bowed and took aim.

‘Leave us in peace’,  the Troll King was heard to declare,                                                              ‘Our Queen is lost and with her the treasure.’

The Lord laughed and mockingly said,                                                                                                ‘For all we care, your queen could be dead.’

The Troll King was angered and with venom replied,                                                                    ‘Filthy humans, it’s time that you died!’

At the once the troll armies rushed forth in rage,                                                                                   So began the greatest battle of our age.

The Wizard’s magic was powerful and strong,                                                                                   Lightning and flame felled trolls in throngs.

‘Knave, use your sword!’ The Lord cried in fear,                                                                               But this battle was too loud for the poor knave to hear.

‘Do not worry,’ the Wizard declared,                                                                                                   ‘For now, my Lord, nearly all Trolls are dead.’

The Wizard stood tall and spread his arm’s wide,                                                                                    To show how thanks to his magic,  nearly five thousand died.

The Lord raised his sword, declaring victory.                                                                                  ‘Knave, go forth, and bring the treasure to me!’

But before the Knave could go anywhere,                                                                                                 A terrifying sound filled up the air.

All at once, the sky filled with shadow,                                                                                                       As the dragon swooped in, long and low.

Flames spat from it nose, filling all with dread,                                                                              ‘Who are these creatures?’ The dread dragon said.

‘Traitors and Murderers,’ The Troll King declared,                                                                           ‘Thanks to these humans, my subjects are dead.’

The dragon roared and filled the air with fire,                                                                                  ‘For your crimes, the consequences are dire.’

The dragon raised its tail and in one second flat,                                                                             Decapitated the wizard, and swallowed his hat.

He moved to the lord, red eye’s aflame,                                                                                             ‘Wait,’ cried the Lord. ‘Why not punish the Knave?’

The dragon he sneered, and then he declared,                                                                                 ‘Knave, show this Lord why your life will be spared.’

The knave then stepped forward, their head hanging down.                                                      And pulled back her hood to reveal her crown.

‘I am the Troll Queen and now I return’,                                                                                            ‘And now for your crimes, you shall now burn.’

‘You see, cowardly Lord, there was never any treasure,’                                                              ‘Dear Dragon, kill him at your leisure.’

The Lord screamed as he was devoured by fire.                                                                                The Dragon blew and blew and the flames rose higher.

‘My Queen,’ The Troll King meekly said,                                                                                            ‘I’m so happy you’re back, but everyone’s dead.’

‘Fear not, Dear King, The Troll Queen replied,                                                                                      And a dazzling light filled up her eyes.

Then all of lightning popped and cracked,                                                                                            And with a few magic words, the Troll Hoard was back.

‘My Queen,’ said the Dragon. ‘I now leave you in peace,’                                                              ‘For on the bones of these interlopers I did happily feast.’

The Troll smiled and patted the Dragon’s head,                                                                                ‘My thanks, Dear Dragon, without you we’d all surely be dead.’

The Dragon jumped and soared into the sky,                                                                                    Flying on the chants of Trolls singing goodbye.

And now dear reader, our story does end,                                                                                        Thank you for reading and being a friend.

The Write Side of Life: Work in Progress Update – Chapter 2

Chapter two is done; handwritten and transcribed, first and second draft done!

homer

I’ve got to say this way of working, handwriting and then transcribing seems to really suit the way I work. I’m not really someone who uses outlines. I tend to write a general set of paragraphs that describe how I want the story to start and finish, and a vague of idea of what happens in the middle.  I am very much a ‘pantser’ and I like to see where the story is going as I write it in a similar way to how someone would read it for the first time.

plot

Therefore this method of writing allows me to slow down a touch and sort my thoughts out. I can reflect on what I’ve just written and think clearly about how the next chapter will progress and link up to the previous one.

Now, I know that you’re probably thinking at this stage, ‘Slow your roll, Kid. You’re only two chapters in‘ but I have to say, I’ve never felt this comfortable and confident going into my third chapter before so something must be working, right? right? Guys? Hellooooo……

We’ll see if this positive energy keeps up as the work continues so stay tuned. As for how chapter two went? Well, pretty good I think. There wasn’t many speed bumps which is something I was nervous about. There was a lot of exposition that needed to go into this chapter as one of the main characters is set on his mission but I think I got it all in there without any info-dumping, and ‘hopefully’ I’ve also managed to keep it compelling. Who knows? Maybe when I read it back for editing, I’ll feel differently but for now, all is good in the hood.

So, it’s onward and upwards to chapter three which I am currently in the thick of as we speak. This one may be trickier as I’m changing character focus for this chapter but we shall see. I’ll let you know as soon as it’s finished but until then…

porky

Thanks for reading,

Tim

p.s.

Did you notice a few piccies in this post? Hopefully it will make my ramblings a bit more interesting.

The Darkling Wakes

In the centre of the chamber there stood something that Derren assumed must be kind of a canister. It’s narrow rhomboid shape stood three feet off the ground at its tallest point. It was covered in engravings that resembled no shapes or writing that Derren had ever seen before. At the top, running around the edge, was a crack emitting a pale blue light. It’s positioning in the centre of the chamber matched up exactly to the location of the orange circle on the map.

“I have a bad feeling about this,” Derren muttered to himself.

Ka, already on his knees and running his hands over the canister, must have heard him for he turned to face Ka flashing him that enthusiastic puppy grin.

“Come on, Cap, stop with the downer. This is what we came for. I bet this thing is worth a fortune,” with that he turned his attention back to the canister.

Derren watched whilst Ka continued to grope the canister, shuffling around to the back of it and to the front again. When he had made a couple of circuits of the canister, he turned his attention to its top, poking his fingers into the crack from where the blue glow came.

“I think this might be some sort of lid,” Ka reported back to Derren, “Get over here and help me try and get it off?”

Once more, Derren let out a deep sigh, and knelt next to Ka. He pushed his fingers into the crack surprised to find he could feel a sort of static electricity – not unlike pins and needles – even through the thickness of his spacesuit gloves. Derren looked to Ka to see his reaction to this sensation, but if he also felt it, Derren couldn’t tell. Derren didn’t like it.

“So, how do you want to do this?” he said to Ka.

“I guess we just get our fingers underneath and push,” replied Ka, eyes fixated on the blue glow. It seemed to Derren as though Ka was becoming hypnotised by it. Once again, he felt a shudder travel down his spine.

Seeing Ka start to push, Derren also started to push on the lid. At first there was no movement whatsoever but after a few minutes of hard shoving, filled with the sounds of both Derren and Ka groaning with exertion, the lid made a cracking noise and shifted.

“Did, you feel that? It moved,” Shouted out Ka, now shaking with either excitement. “Come on, one last effort and I reckon we’ll have it.”

Derren could feel the strain of the last lot of pushing all through his body. Every muscle was singing out in pain, protesting at even the slightest movement. The gravity, masked by the dampeners in their boots, must have been really high in here. Regardless, Derren didn’t want to let Ka down. He pushed his thumbs back into the crack, once again feeling the static through his gloves and clamped his fingers down on top of the lid. He looked to Ka who nodded and with a yell of effort they both pushed as hard as they could. Derren jammed a knee into the base of the canister to gain some extra stability. The two continued to push, still yelling as though the noise would give them extra leverage.

From what must have been the depths of the canister came a loud shrieking noise, the kind of noise Derren had never heard before. It sounded as though as thousand dogs were all screaming out in agony at the same time.

As the shrieking started, the lid gave way under Derren and Ka’s combined weight. It flew backwards, smacking into and shattering against the wall behind the canister. Almost immediately afterwards, blue light shot into air flaring out and washing the room in it’s pallid glow. The shrieking continued getting louder and more piercing; at the same time as the lid had flown off and the light exploded from within, Derren was thrown across the room, his back hitting the wall behind him hard. His vision went black and silence engulfed him.

Derren couldn’t say how long he had been unconscious for. When he came round, his head was spinning, the bottom of his helmet was filled with vomit, the acidic taste and smell filled his nose and mouth. For a moment, he couldn’t move his limbs but when they did move, his entire body flooded with pain.

As his vision cleared and focussed again, Derren could see that there was no longer any light coming from the canister but there was still the shrieking sound. Now louder and higher. Derren could also see Ka kneeling in front of the canister.

How had he not been thrown backwards? There had been enough force to push a room full of people back.

Derren called to Ka, through the helmet comms but there was no response, only that damned shrieking that just would not stop and sounded ten times worse through the crackling static of the comms.

With every last bit of effort he had left, Derren pushed himself up onto his feet and staggered towards Ka, dropping to his knees beside his motionless body. Ka was still in the same position he had been in when they pushed the lid off, only now his head and arms were now hanging into the now dark canister. Derren took him by the shoulder and shook him, still calling his name through the helmet comms. Ka did not move. The only response through the comms was the shrieking.

By now Derren, was almost crying. His vision was blurring thanks to the tears welling up in his eyes. He grabbed Ka’s shoulder in both hands and pulled as hard as he could. Ka flopped backwards from the canister and lay face up on the floor. Derren leant over him and almost straight away jumped back, screaming.

Kal’s face was not his own. It contorted into a shape of agony that looked far beyond any pain that a human could endure. His mouth hung open at a strange right angle. His eyes were so wide open as it was though he had no eyelids, only his eyeballs were not there. Instead, there was only the same blue light that had come from the canister. It was also coming from his mouth. Around him, like a shadow hung a black aura that seemed to be pulsating and growing.

Derren shook his head; refusing to believe what he saw . He called Ka’s name again but again, the only response was the shrieking sound coming through his helmet comms. And that was when he realised. That shrieking sound, that terrible, mournful, anguish filled howl hadn’t been coming from the canister at all. It was coming from Ka; he was screaming.

Derren, still crying, sat there shaking his head refusing to believe what he could see. Questions crashed around his head, what had happened?

He closed his eyes tight, trying to figure out what to do next but when he opened them again, he found he was backing quickly out of the chamber, his stare fixed on Ka’s body. It moved almost lifelessly, as if it hung at the end of half broken puppet strings. It limped and shuffled towards Derren, blue eyes still flaring, broken mouth still screaming.

Derren leapt to his feet, turning and running down the corridor. His hands banging away at the keyboard on his forearm to make the map reappear on his visor only this time in reverse. Derren then realised he was now running down the corridors. His mind was still racing and he couldn’t make sense of what was happening. This must be, he somehow supposed, the flight part of the fight or flight response. Now he found himself sprinting across the chamber, the servos in the anti-gravity boots whining in protest.

It was only when he found himself in the command seat of the Fury, activating the launch commands did the full weight of what had just happened and what he had just done hit him. The canister had released something that infected Ka, and Derren, rather than act like the Captain he was supposed to be and help Ka, had ran. He hadn’t even thought of going back for him, he hadn’t thought at all. He had been too wracked in shock and fear. His shoulders slumped and his face dropped into his hands as he started sobbing uncontrollably.

By the time he stopped crying, Derren realised that he had put the ship into hyper-light upon take off and was now too far away to do anything. That wasn’t entirely true. He could easily drop the ship into normal space, turn around and head back to the derelict but the truth was he scared. Not just scared, lost completely in the absolute unyielding grip of blind terror. So, Derren did not turn back, he maintained his course and ran. He could still hear Ka’s blood curdling shriek.

 

This story is and extract from my current work in progress and also,  my entry to Chuck Wendig’s latest Flash Fiction, Short Story Challenge. Details of which you can find here

Hope that you enjoy it. Let me know what you think.

Thanks for reading,

Tim

 

The Write Side of Life: Work In Progress Update – Chapter 1

So, in my last post which you can read here, I talked about how I was working on a new project. I thought that what might be cool is if I did a chapter by chapter update of my progress on this new project. It should give you an idea of my writing process and also, let you come my journey to, hopefully, becoming a fully published author with a novel on book shop shelves and everything!

I described what the new story is in the last post but if you’re thinking that’s TL;DR, then here it is again:

Star-blade (working title) tells the story of a crew of scavengers working aboard their ship, The Fury, scratching out a living by selling junk they find on wrecks of old starships. When they come across a mysterious old derelict that could finally be their big score, they unwittingly unleash an evil that spreads across the galaxy. Years, later in a bid to make amends, the crew of the Fury, undertake a mission to deliver a weapon that could destroy this evil force and end years of war. However, there are other parties that want the weapon, some for revenge, some to rule and they will stop at nothing to get it.

There you have it. I won’t be going too much into plot details in these updates other wise, you won’t ever read the finished thing and nobody likes spoilers!.

So, how have I gotten on? Pretty well actually. Another repeat from the last post is that I’m trying to write the first draft by hand. There’s a few reasons for this. The first is that I tend to write quicker this way. My typing skills aren’t amazing and I find I have to stop and think every now and again and then find my place on the keyboard again. With a pen, the work just tends to flow more. If I stop to think of a word or how a sentence or paragraph will progress, my pen stops right where it needs to be.

Secondly, I’m actually getting twice the work done. The approach that I’ve adopted is to transcribe each chapter into word, after I have finished writing it by hand and before I start writing the next chapter. When I do the transcription, I make revisions to what I’ve written by hand and  voila! My second draft is also being created. Lovely.

The other reason I’ve decided to hand write is so that I have something more tangible, than just typing onto a screen. Even if Star-blade never sees the light of publishing day, at least I will still have a physical book in one form or another. Also, in my day job, I work with computers all day so it’s nice to be producing something and not staring at a screen the whole time that I’m doing so.

Anyway, writing the first chapter seems to have gone pretty well. I actually finished transcribing it last week and I’m currently pressing on with Chapter 2. I’m really happy with how Chapter 1 looks as well. It sets up a few varied characters, and gets them into trouble straight away so you get a sense of the wringer they’ll be put through. Don’t worry, most of them will get a happy(ish) ending, possibly….

One thing I’ve noticed with this chapter is that it’s much longer than my story openings usually are. I’m not sure why that is. It could be down to the fact there are quite a few characters and I tried to give them all an equal voice. It might be that I’ve possibly over described some of the action but it’s no biggy as I intend to fix that in the next edit. For now though, it’s onward and upwards with Chapter 2. I’ll let you know how that went soon.

In the meantime, thanks for reading!

Tim

 

 

 

 

 

Medieval Death Bot

Hi!

This is just a silly little short I knocked together based on some tweets by the author, Jen Williams. She was tweeting about a twitter account called Medieval Death Bot, which tells you how you would die in medieval times. I thought Medieval Death Bot sounded like a grindhouse movie begging to be made and then the idea for this short story popped into my head. It’s nothing serious, just a bit of fun. Take a look and let me know what you think.

Then, when you’ve read it check out the awesome books that Jen writes: http://sennydreadful.co.uk/ and be sure to follow her on Twitter: https://twitter.com/sennydreadful for some of the finest fantasy being written today.

In the meantime. I present, Medieval Death Bot. Enjoy!

 

Where am I?

Hello?

What happened?

There was gun fire, then an explosion, then darkness. Now I am here.

Hello?

Systems check. Internal diagnosis. All systems check. Wait. Internal clock seems to be malfunction. Dateline showing year as 1506.

Internal Clock Diagnosis shows this to be correct. How?

Hello?

No response from Hub. What happened?

There was gunfire, Metal soldiers, like me then an explosion. Protect the quantum generator! Now I am here.

What happened?

 

Proximity Alert: Code Red. Three targets, moving in fast.

Situation Assessment. Three metal soldiers, all on horseback, all armed.

Threat Assessment: Weapons are handheld. Blade-based. Downgrading alert to code yellow.

 

They’re here now. Those horses are fast.

 

“Halt, knave. Who are thou and what is are ye doing here?” The metal soldier with the crown and cloak is speaking to me.

 

Selecting appropriate response.

 

“Fuck you, horsey boy.” 25th century parlance is not very sophisticated.

 

“What are these words you speak, scoundrel?” One of the other metal soldiers is having ago now. “Remove your helm and address your king properly or I’ll remove it for you.”

 

“Address the king? What the- wait. Did he just threaten to cut my head off? Screw that!”

 

Repeat response.

 

“Fuck you, horsey boy.”

 

Primary weapon activate: Target: left hand rider. Weapon fire.

 

Wow, he wasn’t well made. Those bullets tore right through him. He hasn’t even got up yet, just shut down. Pussy.

 

Alert. Attack immanent!

 

The other two are pissed now and coming in fast, shouting and swinging swords. All weapons activate: Target: remaining soldiers.

Static from weapons fire.

 

Wow, they went down easier than the first one. I’d better inspect the remains, scrub any serial numbers.

 

Wait, these aren’t cybernetic. They’re just wearing metal plate. Crude armour. They didn’t stand a chance against uranium shells.

 

What a mess.

 

Wait.

 

Analysing collected data…

 

Conclusion: Primary program – Protect Quantum Generator – Mission failed.

 

Consequences: Quantum time warp as result of generator explosion. Facility Death Bot- Model 6271, Code-name designate: Lancelot, propelled backwards in-time to middle-age Britain. Hostile locals encountered and terminated.

 

New mission parameters:

Objective 1: Locate materials to recreate quantum generator.

 

Objective 2: Defend self from locals until such time that return to correct timezone can be achieved.

 

Objective 3: If objective 2 fails, terminate locals.

 

Objective 4: Survive at all costs.

 

 

 

The Write Side of Life: A New Project & A New Approach.

In my last post I talked briefly about a new story I was working on and how I was going to try and document how it goes, chapter by chapter. Well, here we go.

The new story that I’m working on is one that I’ve had floating around my head for years. It’s one that I always imagined writing as a novel and after trying it out as a short story, a previous attempt at a novel and even at one time a seriously misguided attempt at a graphic novel – don’t worry the pages of that monstrosity have long been destroyed – but finally after gaining some more experience of writing and life, I think that I’ve finally cracked how to make it work.

You see, I’ve always believed in the old adage that if you’re a writer, you should write the story you want to read, if you’re a film maker (which I’m not), then you should make the film you want to watch and so on and so fore. The problem is that there isn’t just one story that I want to read, they’re are hundreds; sci-fi ones, fantasy ones and action and adventure ones.

Anyway, a couple of weeks ago, when I was trying to work out what I was going to write next, I came across the story I mentioned before as well as some similar stories that were in various states of disrepair. Looking through various notes, outlines and drafts, I figured out that why not write all the stories I want to read. With some jiggery-pokery and intense head scratching, I fleshed out the main characters to make a crew who you will hopefully want to follow on an action packed adventure across a war-torn galaxy and develop a back story and legend that combines my favourite space opera and fantasy elements into hopefully an exciting universe for this crew to inhabit and it all started to come together as a coherent, workable plot.

Just as I was working on this outline, I came across this video:

In it fantasy author Jon Skovron shows how he writes his first drafts in fountain pen. I won’t go into his process here, watch the video it’s well worth it, but I can tell you it inspired me to try a new approach to my writing.

So, I went and got a shiny new Moleskine notepad and a left handed fountain pen (for your information it’s a Lamy Safari pen and it’s lovely to write with) and I got scribbling. I found this method, writing my first draft out in pen, is really working for me. I finished my first chapter last week and transcribed into it Word in a few hours, making corrections to the first draft as I went. By doing this chapter by chapter, I’ve found I’m simultaneously writing my first and second drafts, with corrections and ammendments thus making me work much quicker and completeinn one round of edits as I go, result!

So, the first chapter is done and I’ve started with the second. I’ll update you on that when it’s transcribed. I’ll also post a more detailed post about the first chapter later this week. In the meantime, here’s a short blurb on what the new story is:

Starblade (working title) tells the story of a crew of scavengers working aboard their ship, The Fury, scratching out a living by selling junk they find on wrecks of old starships. When they come across a mysterious old derelict that could finally be their big score, they unwittingly unleash an evil that spreads across the galaxy. Years, later in a bid to make amends, the crew of the Fury, undertake a mission to deliver a weapon that could destroy this evil force and end years of war. However, there are other parties that want the weapon, some for revenge, some to rule and they will stop at nothing to get it.

How does that sound? Like something you would want to read, let me know in the comments below or tweet or facebook me.

I look forward to hearing what you think. Also let me know how you approach new projects, be they writing, film making, art, anything.

Also be sure to check out the books of Jon Skovron. They’re pretty damn good.

Once again, thanks for reading!

Tim

 

I’m back!…again!

It seems like I write one of these posts once a year and every year I am say the same old things again and again, things like ‘oh been too busy with life’, won’t leave things so long next time’, ‘will try to post more’, etc….

Well I’m not going to do all that this time. I’ll actually try to do it. So, this is just a short post to say hi and catch you up on things. Hi!

Anyway, writing wise, the last twelve months have been a mixed bag. I finished the novel, well novella, I was working on and very nearly sent it out to query but when I took another look I decided there was still work to be done. So I’ve put it away for a while and will get some distance from it before I more than likely rewrite the crap out of it.

In the meantime, I’ve started work on a new novel. Well, I say new but it’s an idea I’ve played around with one form or another for years and I seem to have finally found a way to make it work as a long form story. I’m going to make a more specific post about it later and I’m also going to try and document my progress on here, chapter by chapter. Hopefully this will give you an idea of what it’s like to try and write a book and also should give me the requisite kick up the arse to get on and get the damn thing written. Hopefully it’ll be an interesting journey to follow.

Also,a lot has changed in the world aince last I posted. I obvisously don’t need to go over it all again other than to say it makes it an interesting time to be a writer or reader of sci-fi and fantasy. I can’t predict how it will inform the genre but I’m excited, and terrified to find out!

So, until next time, thanks for reading!

Tim

The Write Side of Life: Harper Lee, A Tribute

‘Shoot all the blue jays you want, if you can hit ’em, but remember it’s a sin to kill a mockingbird.” That was the only time I ever heard Atticus say it was a sin to do something, and I asked Miss Maudie about it. “Your father’s right,” she said. “Mockingbirds don’t do one thing except make music for us to enjoy.’ To Kill a Mockingbird – Harper Lee

Ask any writer, reader or lover of books and I bet they will be able to reel off a list of authors and books that have shaped their lives.

I am no exception. My parents tell me that from a very young age, I devoured books. Quite literally at first as I was only a toddler and my first instinct was to pick up a book – usually upside down – and stick it in my mouth.

As I got older and realised exactly what books were for, my love affair intensified.  At school I worked my way through the wonders of Enid Blyton and Roald Dahl. When my reading ability grew I moved away from these and started finding myself getting into trouble for reading the likes of Stephen King and Dean Koontz (apparently, these books were too old for me and I shouldn’t have been reading them but that’s another blog post for another time). They are all authors who I still love. You’ll always find me first in line when at the book shop when there’s a new Stephen King book released.

But when I started my first year of GCSE English, I was presented with a book which – I say wholly without exaggeration – changed my life. It was the story of two young children living in America’s South in the 1930’s and their perspective on the case of a black man being tried for the rape of a white girl; the black man’s lawyer is their father.

I don’t need to tell you of  course, that the book was To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee. Like me, most people’s first exposure to the book was during English at secondary school. I know that because of this, because of being forced to read it at school, a lot of people have bad memories of the book. But for me there are only good memories.

At it’s most basic, To Kill A Mockingbird is quite simply a wonderful story of the experiences growing up and being confronted with adult situations at a young age. For me however, there was something more. The way Lee wrote of all the characters- from the boisterous, ever curious, Scout Finch to her stoic, Everyman, hero, Atticus Finch- made them all feel completely alive and real to me. The way she uses descriptions of the hot stuffy weather in Alabama to emphasise the growing tensions in the town made me believe that I was actually reading something more than just a fiction, that this could have been a real place.Of course, it would be remiss of me not to mention how Lee perfectly bolts on a ghost story to the proceedings with the sub-plot of the mysterious local town legend, Boo Radley.

Into all of this she deftly interweaves life lessons that are relevant to all children growing up around the world today, not just in the 30’s. This is beautifully illustrated in the quote at the top of this post, about how we should preserve things of beauty, not spoil them in any way.

It was all of this and so much more, from Lee’s poetic prose to the the way book shifts effortlessly from  a being a heart-warming coming of age tale, to shocking thriller to uncompromising look of the state of a nation divided and back again, that lead me to the decision that more than anything else in the world I wanted to be a writer.

Now, I know that the stuff I write, Sci-fi and Fantasy could not be further removed from Lee’s work but it was all things I have mentioned above that made me want to give it a go. I strive to write as well as Lee did and I constantly find myself going back to my now very dog-eared copy when I am in desperate need of inspiration. Something that happens quite often.

The other thing that I am grateful to Harper Lee for is that because To Kill A Mockingbird was so different to what I usually read that I went out seeking other works in a similar vein. I found I wanted to learn more about that time period and so started researching which led me to a love of history and, in a round about way, blues music.

As I write this, I feel guilty. I feel guilty for a number of reasons. One is that I still have Go Set A Watchman on my ‘to be read’ pile (I’m going to rectify this over the coming weekend).

Another reason is that even though I love this book so much and believe it is such an important book, I don’t feel I have ever championed To Kill A Mockingbird enough. I should be shouting about it from the rooftops, handing out copies to complete strangers in the street.

If you’ve never read it, I implore to go and get a copy and spend some serious time with it. If you read it at school and hated it because you had to write essays about it (something I loved doing BTW, but then again I’m a huge nerd), I beg you to revisit it. Read it without burden and through fresh eyes. It may change your life.

I shall be going back to it tonight and raising a glass in memory of Harper Lee, in thanks for the effect she’s had on my life. I hope you enjoy it to.

REST IN PEACE, Harper Lee (1926 -2016).

 

Thanks for reading,

 

Tim

 

The Write Side of Life: Achievement Unlocked: 10,000 words.

So, it seems the laser focus that I mentioned in my last post is working. Last night I passed the 1st ten thousand words of my work in progress.

Now, that may not sound like all that big of an achievement. You might be saying to yourself ‘10,000 words, big deal, so what?’ But for me, and I suspect a great many other writers, those first ten thousand are a huge milestone.

It’s the point where I feel I’ve really broken the back of the story. I’ve managed to get through the potentially awkward task of introducing my protagonists and their situation, and I can now just get into the real narrative flow of the story. Also, its the furthest I’ve got into the first draft of a narrative for quite sometime so, whoo yay for that!

I also believe that it’s important to have milestones to mark as your working through a novel. It helps you feel a real sense of progress and you get to feel a little bit of achievement as you’re hammering away at the work itself. With that in mind, expect other posts such as this one every now and again. I think the next one will probably be at fifty thousand words. If nothing else, they’re a good mental exercise for me to keep myself motivated andrew my progress.

As ever, thanks for reading.

Tim

The Write Side of Life: Back in Black…

Actually I’m not in black. I’m currently in a grey jumper and blue jeans but it has been too long and it is good to be back.
    Once again I have been neglecting this blog and probably my writing in general. Bad Tim!
     Recently however, there has been some interesting developments. Not too long ago I received some really positive feedback to some of my fiction on this site which has spurred me on to pull my finger out and get on with getting a novel finished.
     Its not as though I haven’t been writing at all. Rather I’ve been jumping from project to project without actually finishing anything. Again, bad Tim!
     So I’ve dusted off the most promising of my WIPs and am now laser focussed on getting it finished. I’ve set myself some, what should be, achievable targets too. I’m aiming tho have the first draft finished in one month, will put it aside for one month to get some – hopefully- objective distance from it, and then I’ll be entering a furious period of editing and rewriting with a view to having the mss ready for querying by August at the latest.
     I’m also dusting off this blog tho keep those that care up to date with my progress. There may not be as many short stories this time around but I’ll try to share some excerpts from the book.
    Anyway thats where things lay at the moment. Hope this time next year I’ll be posting about a forthcoming published book!

Wish me luck folks and as ever, thanks for reading!

Tim