Wednesday, 16 January 2013

Brent Street under review

Hi folks,

The Brent Street Haunting is now going through its first edit. I've been through about 15k words of the 76.5 k since Monday evening. It's easy to read and there is not an awful lot of correcting to do. I am doing both a copy edit and a line edit, with also an alteration of some of the proper names. For instance I was unsure about the name of the chemical company that is central to the location, so in the first draft I referred to it as the Company. Funily enough this works for most of the narrative and so will remain, but I did want to have a proper name from the start and so have opted for Albiston Chemicals. Similarly, one or two of the proper place names I used in the first draft needed some manipulation and that has been done.

I think I've said before that I wrote this on a right first time basis. After writing every portion (could vary from 500 to 1500 words) I stopped and went through what I'd written at least 3 times (sometimes more). This was obviously a line edit, but also with reference to the geography of the tale that I'd mapped out was also a copy edit. Thankfully, from what I've seen so far the practice seems to have worked. Indeed the most copy editing will be required in the early chapters of the book, and though there has been some it has been minimal. Therefore, I expect less as I go on, and the whole process should become a simple line edit.

I reckon I'll be through with this now in early February. I will write a short and long synopsis and then put the story to sleep for about 3 months. In the meantime I will publish, Summer Soldier, Northern Star and Double. Double is a great short story in its own right, and all this work will pave the way for Brent Street.

Best Wishes and Regards


Thursday, 10 January 2013

Brent Street Finished

Dear Readers

Yesterday, I finished my new novel, The Brent Street Haunting. I set out on October 30 last year to write a paranormal thriller of 75 k words. I have worked on it none stop until I put THE END after the final sentence yesterday. The book actually finished at 76.5 k so I more or less hit my target bang on. It took a little over ten weeks, so the maths are 7650/ week, around about 1100 a day. I write first in pencil in a notebook and then usually type up what I have written a few hours later. Like I have said before I work full time and am a single parent of young adults so it's been a big ask.

The book is more or less right as it is. There are some very minor changes I have in mind to place names, the name of one particular company (which I couldn't settle on before I set out), but other than that all I anticipate is a line edit.

I will start this on Monday, and expect it to last a leisurely 4 - 5 weeks. I will then do a synopsis (long and short) and seek someone to do a cover for me. I will put the text away for a few months and get on with publishing my other completed stories Summer Soldier, Norther Star and Double. This will enforce a much needed break from Brent Street, which I will revisit one more time before publication. I expect to look at it again in June and have August this year in mind for publication.

I am happy and relieved to have completed Brent Street. Until you put the full stop behind the last sentence it is not completed, it does not exist. But when the last word is written it has been created and is yours.

I look forward to 2013 as a year of publishing!

Best wishes


Saturday, 5 January 2013

Brent St. et al

Hi folks,

Here's an update on The Brent Street Haunting. The story passed 70k words today. I now have around another 5k to do. So God willing the story will be done in another week. Because of work and family committments, I was reluctant for the actual writing (the hard bit) to go on much into the New Year. So I'm pleased with the progress.
This has been a very structured project and I took the advice of a lady called Kristin Lamb, who in a very good article on writing put forward the view that thrillers should be around 75k words in length. On this basis I set out on 30 Oct.
The story has been relatively easy to write. I have stopped only about 4 or 5 times to check navigation and to read/review the road map of the tale. Nevertheless, writing fiction is one hell of a task, especially doing it in spare time, and the narrative has consumed me. I feel physically and mentally drained, and to be honest, even doing what should be the trivial task of completing the ending is a far more daunting experience than doing the first few chapters when the peak of Everest lay many thousand feet in the sky.
As a result of my preoccupation with Brent Street I have not written this blog often enough. I have hardly bothered with Twitter except for the most trite updates, and my Facebook presence remains ridiculously tenous. And most importantly I still have three completed stories to publish: Summer Soldier, Northern Star and the haunting Double.
Therefore, after completing Brent Street, I will focus on the other side of writing, namely publishing and marketing. The priorities will be to publish my existing work and to market it properly. Here I will focus my energies during 2013.
Summer Soldier and Northern Star will be available free of charge. I was going to publish Summer soldier - a Lucy Harlow series detective short story - over the festive period. But I was not happy with it, and with the all-consuming Brent Street I did not have the time or the energy to make the necessary changes, review/revise and publish. Therefore, this litte tale will be attended to in the Quarter 1, along with Northern Star - a blackmail story in the Lucy Harlow series.
Next will come the stupendous Double. This is a paranormal mystery born out of the characterisation in the Lucy Harlow series. I have high hopes for this story. I haven't even looked at it since it was drafted, reviewed and revised, in the very early summer, (June 2012 I think), but I reckon it by far and away the best story of the six I did in the first half of 2012.
During writing Double I realised what I wanted to do. A lot of my material contained a paranormal theme, but Double settled me firmly into this genre, mysteries and thrillers being my forte.
As a result, Brent Street followed. This full length novel is the best of the lot, and I have a date in the Summer of 2013 in mind for publication (after the other three).

Therefore, my resolution this year, besides losing weight and cutting down the booze, is to deliver these stories to you.

Best wishes and a Happy New Year to you all.