Wednesday 22 December 2021

Parallel stories

 There are two themes in my new novel with the idea being that, while they are miles apart in the events that develop them, there are many parallels in the emotions and choices that underlie them. At times it makes for tricky writing. As I am writing one scene I realise that it relates to a scene in an earlier chapter. Do I stop and go back to rewrite and improve the previous scene or stay on course with the one I am writing, either taking a note to myself or trusting in my memory to bring me back to that other scene later? The trouble with going back is that it breaks the momentum of the chapter I am writing. Even stopping to take a note to myself can do that. On the while I prefer to stay in the moment and continue writing from the ideas that are already fomenting in my brain. Hopefully I can come back and add the frills and improvements later.

Friday 10 December 2021

Writing and thinking

 I began the day writing and spent most of the rest of it thinking about writing while doing other things. It's amazing how just putting a few words down on paper (or on the screen) starts the imagination whirring and new ideas thrusting forward. I am working on a chapter in which my protagonist meets an extremely intelligent woman. At one level she could be the soul mate he has been looking for but on another he begins to doubt that he could sustain a relationship with her - that she might be too intelligent and he could not match her. The chapter needs a balance. If it is all her spouting thoughts on obscure subjects it could be boring. She has to be human as well as intelligent, and the setting in which they are meeting has to be a part of the balance between their intellectual and human selves. It's a challenging exercise and I am thoroughly enjoying it.

Friday 8 October 2021

Chopping and changing

 It's fascinating when you have written a chapter, can see that it doesn't really work, and then realise it contains parts of several different possible chapters. Call it cutting and pasting or chopping and changing but in no time at all the parts are separated, expanded and lo and behold, instead of having completed one chapter you have completed two or three.

The novel grows. My hero has reached a crisis point where he has to make a decision. What will he do?

Wednesday 1 September 2021

Novel moving along

 I made a big step forward in my new novel today when I brought a character in out of the rain into the cafe where the hero was waiting. I had the scene clear in my mind, her clothes dripping, wearing the wrong type of shoes, angry but trying not to show it. The trick was to get that into words - and suddenly they flowed like the rain down the folds of her coat. In a few sentences that captured all of what I had imagined, she moved from the doorway and launched into a torrent of conversation which almost overwhelms the hero and carries the story forward as he comes to grips with his first impressions and decides whether this can possibly be the soul-mate she seemed to be from her on-line dating profile.

When writing flows like this it at its most enjoyable and I can't wait to see where the next session will take the characters, and me.

Sunday 25 July 2021

Successful launch

 Good crowd of past and present friends and family for the launch of A Life In Short Stories today. Son Darren gave the official launch speech and commented on how I had been writing all my life, sometimes going away from it but always coming back.
In my speech I talked about how much of me there was in the stories, not as a person but in the feelings my characters expressed. At least one other writer who was there was nodding vigorously,
Sold enough copies to cover the cost of the launch and go some way towards covering printing costs but that is not what I do it for. I am more than glad that there are now people out there reading what I have written.
Now I go on to my next projects, a collection of poetry and songs and a new novel,

Friday 9 July 2021

One new book and one new cover

 Copies of my short story collection 'A Life In Short Stories' and the second edition of 'A New Era For Manny Youngman' have arrived and both should be available through Ingram Spark and on-line sites like Booktopia, Goodreads, Amazon and Kobol.

I am going to be interested to see the reaction to 'A Life In Short Stories'. In some ways it is a memoir, with notes about when and where I wrote each story, starting with the earliest written in the 1960s. Looking back over them now I can see themes that I have worked through around fairness and tolerance but there is no fixed theme or genre. My approach to writing them was always to write the best story I could, whether it was romance, science fiction or comedy.

To prove that they have stood the test of time, I selected a humorous story I wrote in 1967 and submitted it to the 2021 Best Of Times Short Story Competition. It won second prize. 

Meanwhile, I have received favourable reaction to the new cover of "A New Era For Manny Youngman' Hopefully it results in more sales.

Monday 7 June 2021

Slowly but surely

 My new novel has not started off with a bang. I wrote two chapters and then decided it needed a more suspenseful beginning. A new first chapter later I found myself with a hole between it and the chapters I had written earlier and no clear idea how to bridge it. I knew what had to go in there but not how to shape it. Then yesterday morning it came to me and I wrote solidly for several hours, always a great feeling. The two main threads are now in place and I feel comfortable about working through them to the end which I already have firmly in that deep well at the back of my head from which all ideas and inspiration seem to flow.

Meanwhile the first copies of my short story anthology, along with the reprints of my two novels are only days away. It is going to be very interesting to see whether the new cover on A New Era For Manny Youngman results in increased sales as I had a few comments that the first cover was not working.