I’m still working on my novels

At the moment I have three projects on the go. The first is the rewrites of my first novel, which I’m hoping to finish and try to find a publisher for sometime after Xmas. The second project is a sequel to the first novel. I never intended to make a series, but during the writing of the first novel I had several ideas that just needed to be written as well. The third project is a different tale entirely, not least of which is my choice of third person narrative, unlike the predominantly first person narrative of the other two. For a synopsis of my works in progress, click here.

Novel ideas

I’m about to start rewrites on my first novel – Overturned Stones – after receiving feedback from a few people. The feedback has been very positive and it appears that even people who wouldn’t normally read thrillers loved the book.

Of course there are changes needed. A first draft always needs a second draft. One thing that a reviewer didn’t like was my disclaimer. Obviously I wrote the disclaimer below when I had intended to self-publish the novel. I’ve since reassessed that idea, thinking that my novel would fit in with what publishers are looking for, so I might as well see if they are interested. Anyway, the reviewer didn’t think I was taking the disclaimer seriously enough:

I’d like to point out that this work is entirely fictional. Where possible I have tried to be as vague and inaccurate as possible so as not to have anything I’ve written be misconstrued as being related to any person or organisation that exists in reality land. If I have inexplicably managed to use a real person’s or organisation’s name or allusions that would suggest it could be them, then it was entirely unintentional and I hope that you get over it. If I have offended you, or anyone you know, with my written word, you can send a stamped self-addressed envelope to me and I will send, via return mail, 30 cents for you to call and complain to someone who cares.

As the recent Oatmeal debacle shows, some people, mainly lawyers, take things far too seriously. The fact that we need disclaimers for fictional work, let alone that they are serious, shows that people have very thin skins. Obviously we have people, like Michael Crichton, who blithely ignore Wheaton’s Law and hide behind the label of fiction to be insulting to real people and organisations. But those people are jerks, we’re meant to ignore them. The rest of the time we need to have a sense of humour and enjoy fiction, especially since it isn’t real.

Writing disorders can hurt those you love

Book Review: Sunset Express by Robert Crais

Sunset Express (Elvis Cole, #6)Sunset Express by Robert Crais
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is my first Robert Crais novel, after having to return a previous attempt to the library – stupid overdue fees! For Sunset Express I was well prepared, I bought a copy so that I would definitely have the chance to read an Elvis Cole and Joe Pike mystery. A very worthy investment.

While I’m indifferent about some of the characters in the novel, Elvis is a great narrator and has just the right amount of wit and humour. Robert has certainly crafted an interesting series of investigative twists, while at the same time retaining a level of reality. I really did enjoy this book and will be picking up the rest of the series soon.

On a side note, Robert’s style of writing is similar to the style I am pursuing in my writing. A serious novel with wit and humour, while also avoiding some of the neatly tied up ending cliches. From what I’ve read in Sunset Express, I’d be very pleased to have my WIP first novel, Overturned Stones, be comparable to Robert’s work.

View all my reviews

NaNoWriMo 2011 – Day 30

Yes, that is correct. I managed to write my 50,000 words this month, and with a whole hour to spare!

It reminds me of my undergaduate days, I don’t think I ever started an assignment until a day or two before the deadline, and I pumped out that assignment just before the deadline every time. Although it did also explain some of my less than excellent grades. I think the main thing is that I got to spend more time drinking and playing guitar than I would have if I had worked diligently. What good is a Bachelors degree if you don’t have a huge education debt and alcohol induced memory loss?

Fortunately I love writing, so I can do it any time, not just when I have a deadline.

Words Written: 1,740 (per day average)
Total: 52,204

Of course, my goals weren’t just to write 50,000 words this month. I also wanted to achieve a few other things. So how did I go?

1) Write daily.
Failed. But I did write most days of the week.

2) Get into good writing habits.
I think I’ve moved towards this. Regular writing, thinking about what I want to write and laying out scenes in my head prior to sitting down; all good habits. I got some good tips here.

3) Use writing as an excuse reason to stay up late and sleep in.

4) Put off household chores to write.

5) Get a large chunk of first novel written.
Success. I’m still a long way from finished with Overturned Stones. It is a thriller (synopsis below) and I now have the first third and the last third written. Another month and I should have a good first draft ready for rewrites.

I suppose that will be the next challenge on my path to becoming a novelist: rewriting. Whilst most of what I have written is pretty good, I did find some sections that are very bare on details. Some chapters are almost completely dialogue, with very little exposition. That may have been my intention initially, but I have a feeling that when read with fresh eyes it may not communicate all that I was hoping.

NaNoWriMo has been good fun. I’ll definitely be signing up again next year. Hopefully by then I’ll have a rewritten, edited, designed and ready to publish, manuscript.

Overturned Stones Synopsis
You never expect to stand trial for the murder of your wife, let alone if you didn’t do it. When you find out that your wife may not be dead but rather kidnapped by human traffickers for sexual slavery, you could be forgiven for being a little annoyed. Proposing lead therapy for the traffickers in an effort to help them reform and free your wife isn’t appreciated, by the traffickers, the police, or potential future employers. Can one man, dubbed “The Husband” by the media, take down organised crime, avoid the police and traffickers, and keep his gun loaded? http://www.nanowrimo.org/en/participants/tyson-adams