A Year of Writing: Days 161-170

Day 161 of #ayearofwriting and I come across the killings after Katrina and one gentleman called Roland J. Bourgeois Jr. and the murders he committed, the bodies left on the streets which had bullet holes in them and did not die from the floods. The people sent in to help them, killing them because they were desperate….

A Year of Writing: Days 151-160

Day 151 of #ayearofwriting and the great thing about later drafts in writing is that you are really hammering the word count down. Everything that is superfluous to the story is cut, every little aside, every little image, every little thing that brings nothing to pushing the story forward is cut. It is like sewing two pieces…

Alteration Over Adaptation

I lie in the bath, the water laps each curve, each roll of fat; I am considering my shape and I think about what is real, what is not. The fat is a product of generations of bad diet, from aristocracy to penury in my family. Even my heart is a cocktail of drugs, without…

Living With Saul for Nearly 100 days

The good thing about keeping a record of what I have done at each writing session is to realise how some stories come easier than others. Where Late the Cicada Sings, which to some extent I wrote in memory of the late Kate Wilhelm, has taken a long time. Katie corresponded with me on and off for…

A Year of Writing: Days 141-150

Day 141 of #ayearofwriting an I am under 10,000 words and have the Bridport firmly in my sight. I am cutting and stripping away everything that brings nothing to the story. The myth like quality of Saul’s past is therefore magnified in this process and Alphin and Alder stomp through his dreams. Day 142 of #ayearofwriting and the work…

The Heartache & The Keyboard

One of my student’s last week watched me typing and sighed, he said, ‘I wish I could type that fast. How did you learn it?’ I have never really taken much note of how fast I type, I am not a traditionally taught typist. Typing was not offered to boys when I went to school…

A Year of Writing: Days 131-140

Day 131 of #ayearofwriting and it is often hard to balance family, work and writing but as a writer you have to be a little selfish, set aside time to write, even if it is in a corner of a wedding reception. Writers like all people have many masks, and we have dilemmas too, more about that…

A Year of Writing: Day 121-130

Day 121 of #ayearofwriting and William Blake creeps into my story, as the people cling to his patriotic nature of Jerusalem, getting Blake wrong as so many have. Not the radical but the Nationalist. Saul is torn between the present and the past, and we see what he did, what he carries with him and that his…

A Writer’s Dilemma

There is the quintessential image of the writer at his desk, they brood, they beat their fevered brow waiting for the muse. For a start, when you have spinal problems you tend to jump for a bed, here I am in mine, writing away. Doesn’t it just scream tortured writing soul? It mainly cries bushy…

A Year of Writing: Days 111-120

Day 111 of #ayearofwriting and sometimes you don’t have to show the horror. Saul has done something evil in a bid to protect his family. The sad thing is that the safety he has found in the forest has only been an illusion. One reading is that Martha has goaded him to do this but the real…

A Year of Writing: Days 101-110

Day 101 of #ayearofwriting and I have made it into triple figures. There is a sense of achievement. I have started to submit the stories to publishers, and wait, as all writers do. One has gone out and come back, rejected, but the publisher asks to see more. Often writers who receive such rejections never submit to…

A Common Misconception

Part of this project, #ayearofwriting, involves an element of self-reflection, practice and craft discussion but what is coming to the fore more and more are people’s ideas on what it is to be a writer. Some of these ideas are from other writers who have contacted me to say why on earth am I writing…