Apologies

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Hi everyone,

Sorry for the radio silence – and I’m also sorry that I can’t promise it won’t happen again. Unfortunately, my life is going through a very hectic period, so I’ve barely had chance to write recently (though I did write 7000 words for Camp NaNoWriMo in April) and I have had no idea what to blog about.

Currently I’m working on short story submissions for Manifold Press’ two upcoming anthologies – No Holds Bard and Call to Arms – and continuing with A King’s Ransom. The latter is running long, the former is running short, and the one in the middle just really needs beta reading. Hopefully I’ll have some updates for you relatively soon, but I can make no promises!

Thanks for bearing with me, and hopefully I’ll talk to you soon!

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A week of few words

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Hi everyone,

I’ve written relatively little this week – 3861 words, mostly fanfiction – but I’ve been working pretty hard on some world-building for A King’s Ransom and working out some projects I want to get back to. Was I running this blog yet when I started writing The Cold Light of Day? I think I was. I always meant to get back to it, and then life got in the way, but I’m bringing it back into my rotation of WIPs.

I’m also going to set about learning the tricks of self-publishing, partly because those will be useful transferable skills and partly because it might allow me to put out new releases more often. We’ll see how that goes.

Talk to you soon!

Variable Word Count…

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Hi everyone!

I’ve been beavering away on A King’s Ransom but my word count has been pretty low this week. I’ve been throwing myself into some world-building, because A King’s Ransom takes place in a sort of alternative Britain (branching off from our own reality in the Stuart era) so I’ve been working out some of the differences. It also involves rather a lot of royalty and, indeed, some studies of history, so it’s important for me to work out, for example, the chain of monarchs leading down to my protagonist’s family. It probably wasn’t necessary to trace it all the way back to Queen Anne, complete with both a timeline and a family tree, but there we go. It’s nice to have it. It’s definitely not going to be necessary to add all the spouses in, but I’m probably going to do that anyway. Oh well…

I’ve actually written about 3012 words this week, which is more than I thought!

Does anyone else get a little carried away with their world-building and end up spending a lot of time on little details that aren’t massively crucial to the plot? Is that a good or a bad thing? What do you think? Leave a comment and let me know.

Talk to you next year!

Just in time…

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Hi everyone,

I am really bad at this regular blogging thing. Apologies. This is just going to be a flying visit because it’s been a mad week and I am exhausted.

In the last week I have written 4899 words, for a total of 29331 this year. My Thursday project was A King’s Ransom, of which I think I have now written the whole prologue! Other than that, I’ve been working on Sprawl – I have now reached chapter 12 of an estimated 22, but might switch to a different primary project (either A King’s Ransom or Father Didn’t Dance, in all likelihood) for a little while soon. We’ll see how I feel when I come to write tomorrow!

Talk to you all soon!

Paperbacks + a change of plan!

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Hi everyone,

Well, I’m sure you’ve noticed that, once again, it is not Friday. I seem to be having trouble remembering to post on a Friday, so I’m going to move my weekly blog to Saturday in the hope that it will be easier to fit in. I apologise if it does jump around a bit, though – life can be a bit hectic at the moment, so I have to try to fit things in where I can.

On to word counts and projects! I have written 5282 words over the last week, most of them on Sprawl, my hopeful Submerge sequel, which I’m about halfway through. On Thursday, I took a break to work on An Englishman’s Home. I wrote a total of 22036 words in January, which is about half of what I’d usually write in a NaNoWriMo month and probably a lot more than I would have written without my 500 word goal. So far this year, I’ve written nearly 24 thousand words (not including the odd bit of fanfiction)!

I’ve also finally finished proofreading the paperback edition of Submerge, which is very exciting. I know several people wanted to read the book but prefer tangible books to the e-versions, so with a lot of help from Manifold Press, I have now got it sorted out. I’ll be releasing the book for sale on the 7th of February, so watch this space for a one-off blog post then!

Talk to you soon!

Sorry I’m late!

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Hi everyone,

I’m sorry – I completely forgot to update yesterday. Top marks, self. But here I am today to try to make up for it. First of all, I’ve written 4532 words this week, which makes 18556 this year so far. I haven’t missed a day yet! Oh, and my Thursday project this week was Father Doesn’t Dance.

Secondly, Kat commented on my previous post that sometimes, people put more thought into their villains’ motivations than their heroes’. This can have the effect of making the villains seem more well-rounded and nuanced than the heroes! Kat also asked about the motivations for my protagonists in Submerge – which I will try to talk about with minimal spoilers today.

As Kat pointed out, it can be very tempting to leave a protagonist’s motivations at ‘it’s the right thing to do’. There are definitely times when that’s the only reason someone has for doing something, but quite often there’s more to it than that.

Think about all those movie cops. How many of them set out to become police officers purely because it was the right thing to do? There are lots of other reasons – because a crime was committed against them and they want revenge, because they want to make the world a safer place for a loved one, because they want to wear a smart uniform and order people about, because they think the police force is corrupt and want to change it from the inside… It might even be that they want to pull off a perfect crime and need insider knowledge to do it. Each of these motivations affects their actions and helps to develop them as a characters.

Now, I want to be careful about spoilers here because some of you won’t have read Submerge yet, but let’s have a look at some motivations for certain aspects of my various characters.

There’s Gina, for example, who collects discarded items from the ground and makes them into jewellery. She does that to make money, of course, and because she likes shiny things – who doesn’t? But she also hates to see things go to waste, possibly because she has been through times of having nothing. She started making broken and abandoned things beautiful at a time when she felt broken and abandoned, and wanted hope that she’d come out of it as something better. And it’s become something she really enjoys!

Addie does comedy. Is it because she was always the class clown, or even because she decided she didn’t want to be the butt of the jokes any more? Is it because when life gets difficult, sometimes you have to laugh or you’ll cry? It’s probably a combination of all of those things, but mostly a genuine desire to make people smile – not only to see people happy, but to be the one making them happy.

Miles and Jamie – well, their motives are perhaps best shrouded in mystery, for now. Hopefully, Submerge gives a good idea of many of their reasons for the things they do!

What do you think makes good motivation for a character? Let me know in the comments!

Talk to you soon!

A quick update

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Hi everyone,

Well, Christmas is almost upon us and the accompanying chaos ensues, as usual. I’ve managed to get a little writing done, though, on a variety of projects – among them Father Didn’t Dance, an expansion of one of my stories from A Certain Persuasion. I’ve had such a block on it for months, but it’s finally starting to come together again! I’m also still working on the second Bowler Hat story (a sequel to Submerge), a story for Call to Arms, a script in the style required for radio, and my NaNo… Lately I have a very short attention span, so I’m throwing myself between those projects and making a little progress on each every day.

Well, almost every day. Today I wrote this blog post, and not much else, because it’s been a mad one.

It’s almost Christmas, so if I don’t get to talk to you before then I hope you have a lovely holiday (whichever you may be celebrating – for me it’s Yule). What will you be reading over the holidays? Let me know in the comments below.

Talk to you soon!