2014 – A Year in Review

I have seen a few other authors do this on their own sites, so thought I would do the same. 2014 has been a productive year. I have managed to write something every month, with a rough estimate or around 50,000 or so total words over that period. Most of the year was spent working on my eventual submission to the From Out of the Dark anthology. The hard work paid off with it being accepted for publication. It should see it out for sale sometime early this year. There was also a very late submission for another anthology that closed on the 31st December. I am yet to hear back on it, as at last count there were nearly 1,200 submissions. Hopefully my story will stand out from the rest and be accepted.

The Writers Group has grown in membership, plus joining forces with the local ABC Open Project representative. Daniel has been great with this, giving us some great tips on writing not only fiction, but also on writing for real world and online. We put on another Word Art exhibition, this time at the Berri Library. The number of hits on our blog went up considerably with the use of QR codes on each artwork and respective written piece.

This year I plan to finally finish off my first novel plus a horror novella. In the mean time, I am currently packing to move back to Adelaide, which means I will be saying farewell to the Riverland Creative Writing Group at some stage. Hopefully, I will also be accepted into the TAFE course that I applied for in November.

On the reading front, to aid with being familiar with horror tropes, I have started to gather a small collection of horror novels, particularly works by Stephen King. A total of 9 books were completed, also nearly finished The Stand by King. The total was less than the previous year of 13 but as most of them this time were quite lengthy, it balances out.

All in all, a good year and hopefully 2015 will be bigger and better.


Revamp & NaNoWriMo

Decided upon a bit of a revamp of my blog. Funky new header image and design to streamline the site.

If you don’t follow me on Twitter, I have now joined the Australian Horror Writers Association.

On that note, this month is NaNoWriMo again. I’ve put a story that I have finished another draft on hold for a short bit that will be submitted by end of the year for another anthology. In the mean, I have put an idea that I was going to use for another sub that didn’t happen due to working on the Out Of The Dark submission. Decided to turn it into a novella that will fit right in for the word count of NaNoWriMo. Started late, but already over 5000 words for only 2 nights writing. Would love to be a winner again for this, as it’s only ever been achieved once. If not, it’s still a good thing to get another story out of my head.

Benefits of Reading Aloud

Last Wednesday night I read out loud my story I have been working on for the Out of the Dark anthology at my local writer’s group. Came back with some fantastic feed back about the story, plus it showed me a few sentences and some parts that I have missed in the story to expand upon.

The opening of the story has some small issues that after discussion with those who had attended, and now have decided to rewrite the whole first half in a new direction, whilst still keeping the 2nd half. For those who want a taste of the story, it features usage of cyrogenics, virtual reality, sleeper ships. The first half features a lot of the virtual reality and being attached to an automaton monitoring and then heads into the physical world for the 2nd half. The first half is now going to really add more to show the juxtaposition between being connected to the VR and automaton at the same time.

So now begins the fun process of changing the first half of the story.

Change of Tact

Caught a fantastic two part documentary last week and last night on ABC1 called ‘Comic Book Heroes’ following how Gestalt Comics have risen as a publisher of comics and graphic novels in Australia. If you haven’t seen it, it is available on the ABC iView for a short while. Having met some of the guys very briefly whilst working at OZ Comic-Con, I was keen to watch it to see how they have risen in the industry. It was quite a hard slog for them, particularly attempting to break into the American market using San Diego Comic-Con as the launch pad. Whilst watching the second part that aired last night, it got me thinking about my superhero based novel ‘Reign of the Super-men’ (working title only) and reworking that into a monthly comic.  I do love my comics, mainly the superhero genre including the X-Men, Spider-Man etc. The novel is taking the team approach but grounding it a lot more to reality, with some smaller fantastical elements appearing. It has been partially inspired by the approach the TV series ‘Heroes‘ had with it’s characters and story lines, plus the concept of no tights.

As the novel stands, it’s only around the half way point, with twenty six-ish chapters written, which is easily just over 2 years worth of issues. Being the first volume in a proposed trilogy, it is laying a lot of ground work for the characters, settings and relationships with the characters. I might give the first few chapters a try at converting from prose to a comic script, using the Gestalt guidelines as shown on their website.

It certainly is a new area to try. To attempt this it will be a case of finalising the cast of characters and plotting out the rest of the story. As this was originally written in the ‘Panster’ style for NaNoWriMo, I will need to do a major reread of each chapter and marking out the major arcs for each character. At last count, I had a fairly sizeable cast of 15 or more.

Thankfully, Scrivener has a template for script writing, including one for comics, which I can use to start the process with. Developing the first few chapters to fit this format would be a great way to sell the concept, even if it goes mean moving a few chapters around to introduce characters earlier. Each chapter of the novel follows one character, with the appearance of others happening as well. The antagonist and protagonist are introduced in the opening chapter, although at the time we don’t know this. The characters come from all walks of life, ranging from the military, a samurai, a war photographer, another being a descendent of the 1972 Munich Massacre.

This is something that I will make a start on in the coming days, with hopefully a submission sent soon to Gestalt.  If nothing happens with it, I will see it as a new learning curve for me in approaching another way to write.

End of NaNoWriMo

Well, I didn’t quite make it this year, but I am happy with the story I have got going. Will keep chipping away at, but now I concentrate on actually getting the story working a bit more and add more details rather than worry about a daily word count.

In the mean time, I ended up with yet another story idea to develop, but for now, that’s under wraps.

Anyway, stay tuned for some tips etc on writing that I have found a great way to deal with various aspects on writing.

Day Twenty One

The last week has been very bad with getting pretty much no writing done. Have been far too tired plus had a trip down to Adelaide to Supanova over the weekend. By the time I got back on the Sunday I was knackered.

So tonight was the first night in a week that I have done any writing. Was a slow start at Writer’s Group but in the last hour managed to get to over 1,000 words. Since getting back from that, I have now done 2,712, which puts my daily average required to around 2,700 a day to reach the 50,000 word goal. It is doable, so I’m hoping to reach that far. I guess we will see.