Still Here

I’m still here. Fitzgerald's Very Thin Mints

I’m still working on the next Petticoat Katie novel, and I think I’m almost finished the first draft.

Unfortunately I have more goats than I can handle right now.

Not real goats, obviously.

Why the long gap between posts, when I’d hit such a good streak of posting every Wednesday?

Probably something to do with minor health issues, Extreme Gardening, and an overall lack of direction over where my writing goes from here.

I’m not about to run out of ideas – no sirree. But the Petticoat Katie series has another three novels waiting, there’s still life in Louis Beauregard yet, and I have at least two other sets of stories on my Explore Further kanban list.

Spoilt for choice.

There were books to be read, too. Stories from other people to be explored, and new art to discover. Friends to meet, focus to re-sharpen, batteries to recharge – a mini sabbatical, in effect.

And perhaps the chance to revisit the reasons why I write, especially on here, and to reduce the flow of unnecessary words that add little to the overall sum of human knowledge but still suck energy from the planet.

Nonetheless, I’m still here.

More later.

Published in: on August 19, 2015 at 9:42 pm  Comments (2)  
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Preparation is The Key

Hard at work writing the latest novel, honest.

I’m writing the first draft of this post in pencil in a notebook while I’m waiting for a Chinese takeaway. Behind the counter, they are working like the wind. It’s quite breathtaking.

The art of making the most of time is best observed in a fast food restaurant.

Knowing how long it takes to fry a steak.

Knowing you start the steak first, with the right heat and equipment, and then the chips go in the fryer.

You spent all afternoon slicing lettuce and onions, and you bought your pickles ready sliced because the few pence difference in the price works out in your favour in time saved.

While you wait for the cooking process, you can take a telephone order.

Preparation is key: this is one way I’ve found to get more writing done.

For example, I started writing the second Petticoat Katie novel BOOM TOWN, in 2013, on January 3. By Feb 3 I was near 40k words in.

But I’d begun the prep back in May 2012, when I was writing MAIDEN FLIGHT and realised I had a trilogy on my hands.

I did some wild thinking on plot and scheme and characters, and left it. In Nov/Dec 2012 I set up the Scrivener file, with all the notes I’d made during the first novel: characters, locations, behaviours and gadgets.

I’d sorted out the gags and the set pieces, and most of the structure. I even had chapter headings and notes on my storyboard. So when I sat down at the keyboard, all I had to do was write the flippin’ thing.

And oboy, was that a wild ride.

Now the trilogy is complete and the fourth book is under way, with another three behind it waiting their turn, I see more of the pattern – the recipe, if you will – in this process.

If only I could stop my characters taking opportunities of their own and wandering off in pursuit.

Published in: on February 11, 2015 at 12:00 am  Comments Off on Preparation is The Key  
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