I submitted the first draft of the first chapter to the Critters Workshop and I’ve now received the results. So far four separate critiques have come in and they all seem to say much the same. The content is good and the story takes them along, however there are some issues with the grammar and puntuation.

In my defence this was only a first draft and hadn’t been proof read to any great extent. Plus, I had a bit of a struggle getting the story actually uploaded via the submission screen, and it seems I may have lost a little of the formtting in the process.

Still, I now know that I need to pay a lot more attention to grammar, instead of taking for granted that I’d get it right first time.

There were also a few minor comments about the characters that I’ve been ablt to address.  While doing that, I had a second, longer think about Lucy the Guardian of the Knowledge, or LW. When I thought about her I could see that there was a serious discrepancy between her character at initial appearance and the characteristics she displays later in a more confrontational situation. That’s now sorted, I think.

All in all the critiquing process seems to be well worth the effort involved. It’s always good and useful to get some proper and independant views on your work.


Added some action scenes recently.  Marc and his team needed to get out more, so they have. Been upsetting the opposition to an extent, although they’re going to have to do a fair bit more of that before they’re done.  i just hope it doesn’t get out of hand.

LW, Marc’s girl friend is developing into a very strong character in her own right.  Not afraid to take on the big boys and determined not to be left out ‘just because she’s female’.   I think I’ll have to give her more of a back story to explain where she’s coming from.

I was thinking about adding one more character to the team, mainly to deal with the more mundane real world sorts of jobs that they might be asked to undertake as well as being able to act as a sort of ‘first reserve’ when they need an extra pair of hands.

I could probably also do with more activity in the office block. So far there hasn’t been any at all and while the peculiar circumstances of the building could explain a lot of that, the fact that it is so immense suggests there should be something going on more or less constantly.

I’ve been managing about 1500 words a day for the last few days so I’m feeling quite productive, although I imagine I’m going to have to go back and re-write some sections to tighten them up a bit.

Total word count is now approaching 57k so I’m almost 75% of the way to my target. Not really sure if the story will end on target or if I’ll over run, not a real issue either way.

Strange Horizons

Just had a rejection email from Strange Horizons for my story, ‘A Winters Tale.’ I have to say I’m not surprised, my story when I had a deeper look at their output was not a good fit for them.  It’s a fairly straight forward beginning, middle and a rather brutal end sort of thing, whereas their stories seem to be more fluid in their approach to story telling. Not to worry. Now I can use it elsewhere.

It’s probably a bit too long to add to the other short stories on here (5000 words), and it will I think, make a decent opening chapter for a full length novel. It’s set in 1873 and located on the moors in the North of England. The basic premise although it wasn’t explicit in the short version is, ‘How would the Victorians deal with an alien presence?’

It’s going to have to take its place in the queue of projects that I’ve already got in mind. But it won’t be forgotten.

Also added a couple more short stories to the site. Follow the link on the right of this page.

Playing Catch Up

Real life has got in the way for the past week or so. and I’ve not been able to keep to my preferred schedule.  I’ve been able to get a few words down here and there and move the story along at least a little, just not as much as I’d hoped and of course this blog hasn’t been updated in that time. Still, we’re back.

Marc has now got his extra member of staff and very useful she’s proving to be.  Her background is a perfect match to Marc’s needs, (that was lucky?), and importantly she’s been accepted by the rest of the team. Purely coincidentally she’s in possession of an important item that might come in useful later, it remains to be seen.

2k words so far today and still got an hour or so before i need to start thinking about bed. the overall word count is now approaching 44k. my aim is to finish this story by the end of the month. it looks as though it can be done, but it’ll probably be a close run thing.

Still not decided on a suitable title, I’m hoping something will pop into my head when I’m not thinking about it. i just wish it would happen now rather than on the day I decide to publish.