Flipping and Flopping

Had a re-think, maybe I need to do more research on the crime writing front. I’ve made a start on the story, but I keep getting bogged down in what I suspect are unnecessary details and I’m not yet clear what to do about that.

In the meantime, I’ll return to the second in the Leprechaun series and move that along a bit. It’s already got a few thousand words written and I have an idea where the story is going to go.

Interesting differences in approach to writing received at last week’s Harrogate International (Theakston’s Old Peculiar) Crime Writing Festival: John Grisham said that he plots his whole story out, chapter by chapter in advance of the actual writing. Lee Child, on the other hand, says he has no real idea of what’s going to happen, he just follows the story through, “I’d be bored with it if I knew the ending in advance.”

In a way I’d like to be able to do things the Grisham way, but other than a vague general idea, I don’t usually know what’s happening in the next chapter. So it looks like I’m following in Lee Child’s footsteps – all I need now are the book-sales to go along with it.

Slow Going

Crime writing is somewhat new to me so things are going to take a while to develop but at least I’ve got five thousand words down since I started it. Current title is ‘Linked Secrets’ although that might change later.

A DCI and a DS are running the case, but they still don’t know who the deceased is. a slightly mutilated body in a shallow grave is a reasonable starting point for a murder mystery.  I have an idea that there will be a few more bodies before the case is solved. Still wondering if the case is because of a single incident, like a blackmail, or if its just a random pyscho killing. I guess all will be revealed in due course.

Heard back from Valley Press about the Lemmie book.  they aim to give me a decision by the end of August, so at least they have received it and not dismissed it out of hand, which is at least mildly encouraging.

Learning Curve

In total I received a dozen critiques from Critters Workshop.  The general consensus seemed to be good. People like the story and the way it’s being told, although the fact I labelled it incorrectly as a short story rather than a novel confused some of the reviewers. I won’t make that mistake again.

I’ve made a point of going through the work, and checking the punctuation and grammar generally and made quite a few corrections as a result.  Also made some slight clarifications to the text. There are a few British/American discrepances that I’ve tried to resolve, but sometimes it’s just not possible.

I stand by my earlier comment that the critticism process is valuable and useful, especially if, like me, you’re starting out. I will repeat with later sections of the work.

Currently running over 66k words. I’ve been careful to add more action, and I feel we are approaching some sort of climax. The newest (and, maybe final) character hasn’t yet made an appearance but I do have a vitally important task for him when he gets here.

The one thing that is still causing me concern is the title. I’m still looking for one.


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.

What a change

So, we had snow on Tuesday, glorious sunshine on Wednesday and today it’s pouring with rain.  I guess we don’t have a climate, just weather and lots of it.

Not going to get many words added today, been out during the day at art class, and out during the evening volunteering at the Lowther, our local theatre.

Beautiful Sunshine

Glorious day today, wall to wall sunshine.  Met some people just back from a week in Porta Ventura, it seems they had horrendous weather every day for a week.  Gale force winds and driving rain.  We had a few hours of snow fall yesterday, and the most woderful sunshine today.  It’s cold, but hey! it’s February.

Got 2000+ words done today and well into the final  parts of the prequel.  could be on line to read by the end of next week.

Just got back from a Salsa Lesson at the Crown Ballroom in Fleetwood (ace place for all dancing lessons).  highly recommended.

Now settling down with a handful of fig rolls and a nice single malt.

A Snowy Day in Lancs.

I saw that Moscow had the worst snowfall for 100 years this week.  A month’s fall in two days.  i can sympathise with them, we had what might have been our worst snow fall for 100 years today.  it snowed for nearly three hours.  You could almost see the white on the lawn.

Fortunately we survived and even if we were snowed in and unable to get out at least I was still able to get some work done on the prequel.  Over two thousand words today, so I’m quite pleased with that.

I’d originally decided about 15k for this short book, I’m almost at that now and still got the big war scene at the end to craft, so it looks like it’s going to get closer to 20k than 15.

Writing Today

Put together 2000 words this morning then had to go and collect daughter from hospital after an operation, she’s fine, no ill effects at the moment.

I was frankly surprised to get so much done in the time I had.

This puts the publish date as probably some time next week

I’m still casting around for a suitable title though: ‘Beginnings’ is just so non-descript.

Writing Today

Today I’ve done over 1800 words for ‘Beginnings’.  Takes the total up towards 10k which means its about two thirds done.  Target for this prequel is in the region of 15k.  I still need to think of a better title though.

I don’t actually like short stories, but this one is intended as a teaser for Electra and shows what happened before the events in that book and how the ships came to be created and what, if anything they learned about the behaviour of the Hua.

Just for the record Electra: Book 1 of Seven Sisters Series is about 88k which translates to around 300 pages in paperback format.