manuscript

February Update – Nuzzling The Grindstone

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It’s been quiet around here lately what with me busy pressing my nose against the grindstone of my latest manuscript. I finished off the third draft a few days ago, and it’s a relief to put the most difficult draft behind me and give my face a brief rest. There’s nothing like seeing actual measurable progress on such a massive project.

I feel a little bad about neglecting my blog in the meantime, but I set myself the lofty goal of releasing four books this year, and I’m already a little behind schedule. I don’t want to post crap here just for the sake of it (he writes unironically in a post with zero substance), and I’m sure whoever reads my blog can survive with a little less of my rambling in their life. At least for a while anyway.

My plan now is to step away from my manuscript for a couple of weeks (I had hoped for longer, but deadlines) and work on something else for a while, then I’ll come back with a bit more perspective and finish the final draft. Which means hopefully by the end of March, I’ll have Solace Within, the shiny sequel to my first novel, sitting up there on Amazon’s kindle store for everyone far and wide to admire, or more accurately, quickly forget as it slides into the abyss to be buried under the never-ending cascade of paranormal romance. Still, getting a body of finished work out there is my sole focus this year. I can worry about sales later.

So that’s a quick update on my progress. Hopefully I’ll find time to post something interesting around here soon, but for the meantime, it’s back to nuzzling the grindstone.


Photo by Dave Ruark licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0.

Yearly Plans And How To Write A Novella In 24 Hours

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So far this January, I’ve spent most of my time knee-deep in editing land. After stalling a bit during the holidays at the end of last year, I rediscovered my drive and it feels good to be making progress again. I’m even confident of releasing a finished product by the end of March.

I remember clearly writing this stage of my first book, and how agonising it became. I slumped in the middle of the second/third draft and it sapped all of my energy. I would open the behemoth manuscript, tinker with it for a few minutes, then lose all enthusiasm at the sight of how much work lay ahead of me. In the end it dragged on for so long, taking months longer to finish than it should have, that I promised I wouldn’t make the same mistake again.

One of the reasons for my renewed enthusiasm lately is this short time-lapse of author Ed Davis attempting to write 50,000 words in one day. Watch it and be uninspired, I dare you.

How did he manage it? An abundance of coffee and determination I think. Here’s a blog post by the man himself, explaining some of his reasoning for making the attempt. In the end, he managed 28,000 words in just over twenty hours before calling it a day. I think any writer would happily call that a success. I’ve never achieved a word count quite like that in one sitting, but watching it has inspired me to buy some coffee and put more hours into my writing.

So in directing this newfound eagerness towards my writing, I’ve decided to set myself a minimum target of releasing four novels in 2017.

These include Solace Within (book 2) and Zenith Rising (book 3) which will complete the Fielding trilogy I started with my first novel. Then I’ll be moving on to two new standalone novels, tentatively named Crawlers (a science fiction story revolving around giant wheeled machines the size of towns on a hostile desert planet) and Journey (a story about a young man forced to make a journey across an unfamiliar world, experiencing fantastical people and places which change him).

I’ve already done a lot of the outlining work for these projects, and I’m genuinely excited to see how they turn out. I keep my current projects page updated regularly, so you can keep an eye on my progress there. While I have already published a novel, it probably won’t be until the end of this year when I have a good few books under my belt, that I’ll truly regard myself as a professional author. Something I’m looking forward to more than I can put into words, which is probably a bad thing for a writer.

Now stop reading my ramblings and go write something awesome.


Photo by david silver licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0.

Finding the Rhythm Again

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So far this week has been slow. Between nursing my hangover from the weekend and running errands, I’ve not managed to get much writing done. I was hoping to jump back in with both feet, like drop kicking a smug-faced traffic warden. But love, life, and a distinct lack of laughter have all prevented that.

When I take a break for more than a day or two, I often struggle to get back in to the habit of writing. When I do manage to get started again and lose myself in the flow it’s great, but when I’m thinking about sitting down to write, well, it’s at that point that my brain decides to lead a rebellion against productivity.

So as much as I wish I could Barton Fink the place up, and knock out an entire manuscript in one night, it seems that slow and steady is the rule of the week.

Barton: I’ve always found that writing comes from a great inner pain. Maybe it’s a pain that comes from a realisation that one must do something for one’s fellow man. To help somehow ease the suffering. Maybe it’s personal pain. Anyway, I don’t think good work is possible without it.

W.P. Mayhew: Well, me? I just enjoy making things up.


© 2015, Gavin Zanker. Licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

Photo by Gary Bridgman licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported.