Blue sky writing

Today’s writing was tough. Rambling. I felt I wrote some good lines, but in all seriousness I think it was on irrelevant stuff that did not progress the story much.


Because today I reached the limit of my current formal plan. Today was the first day of ‘blue sky writing’. No, I didn’t write my 350 words via a plane dropping lengthy chemtrails over a confused populace – by ‘blue sky’ I mean ‘unrestricted’ and ‘derived creatively’. I know where I want the story to go, but I don’t have a strict structure in place to achieve it.

I know lots of people write this way (Stephen King famously doesn’t plot his stories beforehand), but I suspect this will not work for me in the long run. I felt this unstructured writing was unproductive. It took longer and it really didn’t really progress the story.

I think I need to sit down and plot out the next few scenes quickly, otherwise I run the risk of wasting time on writing stuff around the story and not the story itself, just because I don’t know where to go.

My current plot is started on scapple –  I guess I better head there now to get things moving in the right direction again. 🙂

Daily word count: 350 (I didn’t do more because I felt I was wasting time and effort)

Total word count: 8,850.

Today’s soundtrack:

Cheers all




Round number write-off

Super quick update today – got my 350 done today, and then kept going until I got to a nice round number on the Total Word Count.

Daily word count: 469

Total word count: 8,500

Today’s writing soundtrack:

Yes, Guns & Roses again. I enjoyed it! Blatant nostalgia ho!

So just a little extra. Just a little push to see if I could do it easily.

Back to 350 next time (unless I feel like extending again of course) 🙂





Chasing the Word-Dragon: milestones or millstones?

Another good session of writing (note that the ‘good’ here means the words landed on the page quickly and without too much effort, not that they are any good).

I just hit 8,000 words. 8,031 to be exact.

At this early stage every thousand words is an achievement, a milestone, a reason to celebrate. I feel proud of my achievement, I feel good about having done the work, and I feel enthused about coming back to write tomorrow. It feels like an adventure, and I’m thrilled that I’m progressing something I want to do.


I’m wondering how long this enthusiasm will last. Continue reading

Christmas & The Joy of Book Recommendations

A quick post today:

Daily word count 412

Total Word Count 7,550

I’ve officially reached the uncomfortable to breathe stage of holiday overeating. Gah. Blerg.

Got my words down anyway.

Also had a bit of a win with the book recommendations – I loaned my copy of The Three Body Problem by Cixin Liu to my father-in-law, a man who I would describe as a ‘lapsed sci-fi reader’; in that he’s done a lot of Asimov etc in his day, but who tells me he hasn’t finished a novel now for years. Thrilled to say he’s almost at the end of Dark Forest and has already lined up Death’s End.

There is a deep satisfaction in successfully recommending a book to a friend and having them enjoy it. It’s partially the joy of bonding over a book talk (always awesome), but it’s also a kind of gifting; a sharing of something awesome that isn’t expected to be reciprocated.

The really very warm feeling I got from successfully recommending these books was distinctly Christmassy, a feeling of generosity and goodwill.

I’d also had a few beers, so that might be part of it.

Tell me – do you enjoy recommending books to friends and family? How do you feel when they agree? How does it feel if they hate one of your beloved books instead?

Cheers all


Catch-up Time: 1066 words

Oh yeah, Welcome To The Jungle Baby!

I’ve had a few days off recently. One of these was Thursday nerd night, but I’ve also been struggling a bit with a nasty cold (almost gone now) and it meant I had three days without writing.

Today, I caught up – I wrote 1066 words (3 days worth), and they fairly flew. I got into an action scene (I skipped around to find a cool bit I wanted to write) and the words really just poured out.

It was really encouraging, but it also made me think – maybe the other bits were harder to write because they were boring. The scenes were setting up, but maybe I’m, spending too long on that stuff and it’s just not interesting to write.

I need to think about that stuff, because if its not interesting to write, I figure it can’t be that interesting to read.

Anyway, I’m done today – big effort.

Daily word count: 1,066

Total word count: 7,138.

(For those curious, 1,066 words took all of Appetite for Destruction and up to track 7 of Use Your Illusion Volume 1).

Is it too early to think about theme?

Clocked over 6,000 words today. Feeling pretty good about that, despite the fact that it feels like the story has barely moved from the prelude. I wonder sometimes if I’m writing too much boring detail.

Of course, other times I wonder how I will fill up the rest of the damn story – if I get rid of the extraneous stuff what the hell will I have left?

Anyway, today’s blog theme is…theme. Is it too early to think about theme?

By theme, I mean the underlying truth, the moral, the message, the fucking point of the story. Good triumphs over Bad. What goes around comes around. Never eat cheese immediately before bedtime. That sort of thing. Do I need to have a rock solid idea at this stage, or is it enough to have the merest suggestion of a thought?

At this stage I think I have an idea. Or at least a concept of the theme I want to express through the story, and looking at what I’ve written, so far it is completely absent. Is this a problem?

Or would it be a problem if it were present? If it’s too obvious, then a reader can feel they are getting beaten around the head with it (i.e. Dune, any of the books by comedian Ben Elton, etc).

I figure it is too early to worry, but at what stage do I need to start adding it?

And then the bigger question – how?

Sigh. writing is hard.

Daily word count: 368

Total word count:6,084

Today’s soundtrack:


Book Review: Aimee & The Bear

Ok, this is totally weird…I wrote this post today (19/12/2016) and because I used an old draft it dated the post way back in April! Anyway, for those interested, here is today’s blog post, travelling through time to you!

Uncertain Tales

Christ, I was in a bad mood today. Shitty day at work, sick wife, starting to get sick myself.

I was deeply glad that I only needed to type 350 words today, I don’t think I could have gotten much more done, but at the same time it’s really nice to achieve something on shitty days like this.

‘Strike a blow’ as my father-in-law is fond of saying.

Daily word count: 359

Total word count: 5,716

Having been away from blogging for a year, I’m way behind on book reviews. I don’t want to spend too much time on these, but there are a few I need to get done.

Firstly “Aimee and the Bear” the first book by Toby Stone published by Hic Dragones.

Aimee and the Bear – 5 of 5 stars

Aimee and the bear.jpg

You might remember my GIF-tastic review of Toby’s second book, Psychic Spiders – a book I…

View original post 245 more words