Archive | Oct 2013

NaNoWriMovember Day 1 (or so it begins)

The day has finally dawned, here I sit, a blank word processing document in front of me and a face as smooth as a babies behind. I thought the best way to monitor my progress would be by a series of blog entries, don’t expect one every day, that would be boring and tedious. If you want that sort of regular detail then you will need to follow my twitter feed. For now here are two images to show my progress so far, sorry about the selfie but that is really the only way of showing off the tash. Anyhows, I’m off to get some writing done, see you in a few days.

The blank document I hope will be filled with at least 50,000 words during the next 30 days

The blank document I hope will be filled with at least 50,000 words during the next 30 days

I shaved at 11:50pm the night before and I already have stubble!

I shaved at 11:50pm the night before and I already have stubble!


TWOAK Chapter 6

With NaNoWriMo starting tomorrow, my attentions are moving away from The Wings of Aysh-Karal to a stand alone novel. In honour of this I worked through the night to complete chapter 6. Now I am on half-term I managed to edit it this morning and it is now live on Wattpad. You can get straight to chapter 6 here or go to the main story page here. I hope you enjoy it as I feel the story is really starting to get going now. Also, do not expect any TWOAK updates for a couple of months as I focus on The Journey Home. That is all. Thank you.

Mr. Mo

Mr. Mo, another triumph of a Mr. Men book and for a good cause to boot

Mr. Mo, another triumph of a Mr. Men book and for a good cause to boot

It was as I signed up for Movember that I noticed the little picture of Mr. Mo, a mustachioed Mr. Man, on the website. Penned by Adam Hargreaves under his father, Roger Hargreaves, name, it follows the gentlemanly Mr Man who accidentally gets his mustache shaved off. As my son is really into Mr. Men and trying to get all the books (ok, he is only two and a half months old, it might be Daddy who is purchasing them all and insisting he has the whole collection!) I thought I would buy it. It may only be on Kindle but I, I mean we, had to have it, and it is all for a good cause. I have loved the Mr. Men from such a young age. They are silly, accessible to young readers, have clear brightly colour images for babies and do not always hammer a message down your throat. The humour is also quintessentially british, which I love. I actually enjoy all the stories as I read them to my little boy. Basically put, like all the other Mr. Men books, Mr. Mo is a classic. So if you have an iPad, Kindle Fire or any other type of tablet, you can get it from Amazon. Not only will you be doing a good deed (some of the cash goes to Movember!) but you will have a bit of a laugh at the same time. If you have loads of cash you could always sponsor me too by heading to Oh yeah, whilst you’re at it grab Mr Bump and the Knight, that dude is a legend and I actually laughed really loudly as I finished it. Now how many children’s books do that to you?


The cover for the novel I am attempting to write for NaNoWriMo

The cover for the novel I am attempting to write for NaNoWriMo

If you read this blog regularly you will know that I am a budding amateur author and have had a severe lack of time to write due to general life. I keep on banging on about stuff I have achieved away from writing and how I should now have more time to write. Well now I am noticing a little more free time I thought, in my own inimitable style, I would fill it up again. But this time with writing. I have had many ideas for novels and with The National Novel Writing Month (or NaNoWriMo) coming up I thought this would be the perfect time to pen one. Thus I have signed up and hope to hammer out at least 50,000 words by 31st November. The novel I have decided to go for is titled ‘The Journey Home’ and is about a set of soldiers whose army have lost a battle, they have survived but are stuck in enemy territory. The novel will follow them on their journey to get back home, hence the title!

However, to make the month a little bit stranger, it is Movember. I have always wanted to take part. I will be honest, it is not from a sense of charity, although that does help. The choice comes from the fact that growing a moustache is cool. I have grown one twice before and both times my then girlfriends were far from happy. My now wife is adamant she does not want me to have a moustache. I have always pandered to her views but now we are married with a child there is no way she will leave me, is there? Basically this is how I am looking at it, so there we go, I am doing Movemeber too. What is the most awesome part of it is that you can put both initiatives together to get what I call NaNoWriMovember. See what I did there? I am far too funny.

Any how if you want to follow my challenges next month you can by…

Viewing my NaNoWriMo profile

Donating to my Movember page

Following me on twitter

Liking my Facebook page

Does every tale need a love story woven in?

Recently I read To Kill a Tsar by Andrew Williams. Whilst I enjoyed the book I found the love story between Anna and Hadfield to be a bit of a distraction. I understand it is a literary device to bring an Englishman into the Russian Revolution and in many ways make it more accessible to British audiences, however I really did not enjoy it. At one point there was a sex scene which seemed a little at odds with the rest of the story. I wanted more of the revolution, of people’s struggles and the differences between the revolutionaries and the government. Maybe I am just more intrigued by historic fact, by what people are hiding rather than what they do and say. I like the mystery, I like to be kept guessing and coming up with my own theories of what is behind character’s decisions. I feel good when I am proven right but love it more when a twist in the tale moves it in a direction I was not expecting. This got me thinking about other books I have read and the shows that I watch on TV. Nearly all have a love story woven in, by that I mean boy meets girl or boy likes boy or even girl falls for girl. But I do not read or watch for that reason. I am fed up of the X-Factor style sob story or the idea that a character is motivated by doing it for the love of their life. I don’t mind the love between a family but that lusty, sickening I can’t live without you stuff just makes my head spin and my stomach churn. The only genre that seems to dispense with this ideal is comedy. Not many Terry Pratchett novels have a love story and most sitcoms use it as more dysfunctional couples or are set in places where love like that is abnormal, I am talking about things like The IT Crowd or Father Ted. These are shows and books that I feel most passionate about. It was then that I started to think about my own writing. Not a single piece I have written or plan to write has a love story in it. I am in a very settled place in my personal life, I have a wonderful wife and a gorgeous son so don’t need to think about this stuff. OK I do do the odd romantic thing but I am not thinking ‘I would die for you!’ The thing is I would die for my wife and son I just don’t portray that in everyday life. Therefore when I write I don’t thinking about these things, yes I feel uneasy writing a love story and would feel physically sick writing a sex scene, I think that is largely down to mentioning anatomy that is generally hidden from view and it all feeling a bit low-class porn, however, in some stories I actively avoid it. The Wings of Aysh-Karal is about ideas other than love and a teen fiction book I am planning moves away from that as I feel it would detract from the story. So the thing that I realise about myself is that I like subterfuge, I like twists and turns, a story taken into an unexpected place and don’t want a love story cluttering that up or taking me away from the real point of the tale. But is this the correct way to think? Do we need a little love to bring different audiences in? Can we really have a tale devoid of the traditional idea of a love story? I think we can, I think we need to be bold and I think we need to tell the story we want and not have to place in plot devices that we feel do not fit just to conform to social norms. I intend to send one or two of my stories to publishing houses, it will be interesting to see if they notice the lack of a love story and want that woven in just to reach a larger audience or they see what I write for what it is, a story that is intended to intrigue and entertain, and hopefully keep people guessing.

TWOAK Chapter 5

How long has it been since I updated my novel? A long time I can tell you that. So much life has happened that I have been writing in fits and starts. After finishing my MA, having a child and more recently getting through OFSTED I have finally finished Chapter 5 of The Wings of Aysh-Karal. It took some time to get back into the story, especially as I really wanted to start other projects, but I am glad I have decided to focus on finishing off what I have started before doing anything else. I am now right back into the world I have built and was planning to finish another Super Lizard short then go back to TWOAK but now I am raring to write Chapter 6. You can read Chapter 5 on Wattpad here or start from the beginning here.