Monday, November 20, 2006

A Little Progress...

Well, I've hit the halfway mark with The Devil's Number so I think I'll finish the first draft ahead of schedule. It's surprising really that I haven't hit a real snag yet with the story, wondering where to go next with the plot line. What's different about this project is I know exactly how it's going to end. That's something I've never been able to do before and it allows me to stay focused and trigger key events that lead to that climax I have in my sights.

I have to admit I'm amazed that I've physically written 12,500 words. I didn't think it was possible. Although I can see that some of the exess wordage and repetition will have to go in subsequent drafts and I can already tell that once I reach 25,000 words, the easy part will be over. The hard part will be the extensive editing and re-writes. But once the first draft is complete, I plan on putting the manuscript away for no less than a month. Then I'll come back to it with a fresh eye and get out my trusty red pen.

Mmm...what's going to happen to Peter Vaughan next?

What I'm reading: Stephen King's The Cell

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Competition Results

Recently, I submitted two of my pieces into competitions. 13L was entered in The Southern Cross Literary Competition, ran by Ballarat Writers and A Visit from Santa was entered in the CAE Cut Short Flash Fiction Competition. It was a double blow to my ego when I found out the results, let me tell you. I had worked my arse of for months perfecting these stories. It pissed me off to not even get a mention.

However, upon further reflection, and when I got over it (which didn't take long) I came to the conclusion that I should be more careful of where I enter my stories. I am a genre writer and I always will be. After reading the judges' reports, I knew that the winners had written 'literary' pieces, not speculative fiction. It was a lack of judgement on my part and I should have known that speculative pieces simply don't fit into literary competitions. Literature is a whole different world - no offense to the gifted literature writers out there. So, I've vented, it's off my chest and now I can move on.

On a brighter note, work on The Devil's Number is moving along at a cracking pace. It now sits at 9,200 words - that's 36.8% of my target - nearly half way. I can now tell you how the novella is going to be constructed. As I've mentioned previously, it has a prologue. It will also have three parts. Each part will be divided up into mini chapters. The reason I am constructing it this way is because I feel that it suits the type of story I'm trying to tell and it will also read very quickly. My goal is to create a page-turner and I think this format will definitely work. The first draft of Part 1 is now complete. Now on to Part 2....

What I'm reading: Stephen King's The Cell

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Onward and Upward...

Tonight I bashed out 1,100 words to achieve my self-appointed goal of writing at least a thousand words per sitting on the first draft of The Devil's Number. My first sitting earlier this week produced 700 words, just short of my target so I'll have to make up for that in subsequent writings.

Anyway, the prologue to my novella is finished and I'm ready to get stuck into the main storyline. I'm officially at 7.52% of my total word count target and I haven't looked back. I'm finding it quite easy at the moment to 'fall into the page.'

Because I'm excited about this book, other projects have temporarily taken a backseat (probably not for too long, knowing me) and by Sunday night I should be at around three thousand words...

What I'm reading: Stephen King's The Cell

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

It Begins - The Devil's Number

Well, it's official. Work has officially started on my latest and largest project to date - The Devil's Number. It's going to be a novella-sized work with a predicted length of around 20,000 to 30,000 words. It's a little scary since the longest piece I've ever written is 4,000 words - but I love a challenge. I'm pretty optimistic about this one because it's such a cool, original idea that's been bouncing around inside my head - it won't leave me alone, either so it has to get written.

I'm not going to say any more than that about the project because I don't want to jinx myself - call me superstitious. However, I will be updating the word count in my works in progress section, just to prove that I am working on it.

Because I've set myself a deadline for February 2007, I'll be devoting a lot of my writing time to the novella whilst finalising a couple of short pieces in between for competitions and the like. I'm going to aim pretty high and set a goal of 1,000 words per sitting, so the first draft should hopefully be ready by Christmas. I'll keep you posted. 700 words and counting....

What I'm reading: Stephen King's Cujo

Sunday, November 05, 2006

New Section - Current Works In Progress

I've just posted a new section so you can actually see that I do have current projects on my plate at the moment. I will also be using this section as a focus point for my goals, constant reminders of what needs to be done. In particular, 'The Devil's Number' is a brand new project so I've put a counter on it that I can keep updating every time I increase my word count. The title and the length is all I'll divulge at this time, but as the project draws to a conclusion, I'll tell you a bit more about it. It's an awesome, original idea - I'm excited! I'm also going to be adding a caption at the end of each post to tell you all what I'm reading at the moment.

What I'm reading: Stephen King's Cujo

Praise for Mark Smith

One of my fellow writers and friend, Mark Smith has recently become the recipient of the award for Best Classic Short Story on the Demonminds website for his story, Breakdown. To obtain this award Mark's story proved to be extremely popular as thousands of votes were cast in the space of a year. He is especially humbled because Breakdown was one of his earlier works, too - well done, Mark!

Also, Mark has had the pleasure of being nominated for the prestigious 2006 Aurealis Awards. Talk about a double whammy. He's demonstrated that he has what it takes to make it in this cut throat industry and I wish him all the best with it.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

A Blow for Hellnotes

As you are all no doubt aware, Hellnotes is one of the most well-respected and well-known sources for horror news on the net.

Last week I attempted to access their site as I regularly do, and found that I couldn't access it. Eventually I did and learnt that Hellnotes' server had crashed. They lost everything, all their archives.

I find it quite sad because you can imagine the amount of work that goes into a project like that. The site's facilitator mentioned that they would start again from scratch. You have to admire people like that who get knocked down and get up again - I believe this has happened to them before. So, good on them and let's hope something like that doesn't happen again.