Work in Progress ?

My fuel tank ... and a message.All writers have them, but it’s down to the individual if it is a shelved idea, or a work in progress (WIP).

What’s the difference?

Like all topics I post, this is a matter of personal opinion and experience – and not the result of a deep, and prolonged survey of thousands of hours of discussion. I believe there is a stark difference in this case.

Editing - Amsterdam Calling

What do I consider a shelved idea?

As I tend to do, I write about what I know, including my blog articles.

The following are ‘shelved’ as opposed to WIP.

1 – I have an abundance of titles – yes, only the titles.

2 – I also have around 20 short stories which have been started. This doesn’t mean I’ve opened a file and given a title – it means I’ve written at least an intro paragraph, or more in some cases.

3 – The shelved ideas category also includes the ‘ideas’ which are still in my head. I don’t like to think of myself being busier than anybody else because I’ve got a head full of ideas.

Every writer should have a head full of ideas.

What do I consider a work in progress?

At the time of writing (31st October 2015), here is my WIP:

1 Beyond The Law: Retribution.BTL Retribution

This is the sequel to my most popular title so far. Understandably, I’m working hard to produce my best.

I’m presently reading it aloud, line by line, and using a red pen to highlight minor issues before final tweaking and formatting.

Publication date is 7th November 2015.


2The Welcome: and other Sci-Fi stories.

The WelcomeThis is not a single title of course, but a collection. I will be supplying eight of the stories. Four other stories will be supplied by guest authors. If you’d like to take part, please see the recent, relevant post:

(The Weclome) – plus details of the invitation to add a short story to an anthology.

Three of my stories in this collection have been published previously in other anthologies. Another three are new and completed, while the final two are completed, but I don’t like the endings – yet.

Of the four stories coming in from guests, I have two firm and in my file, one being reworked, and there is no show as yet from the fourth.

I’m determined that any anthology I publish will have at least 12 titles, so if necessary I will write another title to make up the shortfall.

3 A Time for Courage: and other military stories.A Time for Courage - 1

This is another anthology, for which I’ve invited at least four guest authors. The offer is still open.

Three of my stories in this collection are previously published elsewhere in anthologies. The other five are at various stages of completion. A satisfactory ending is paramount for me with a short story, so it’s an area that will affect a completion date for any of my work.

4A Life of Choice – Volume 1.

This is a coming-of-age story with a difference.

ALOC - Vol 1It is a fictional tale, but based on my life. The story started as my autobiography many years ago when I could type … but I couldn’t write. I’m now fairly confident in my ability to do both, although how good a writer I am is not for me to say.

Instead of one book, this story will now be written as a series, which will allow me to take it into the years after the military career.

I believe the post-military character of a person is as important to understand as the boy-to-career soldier.

Much of what will be in the various volumes will be true events, where only a name or two have changed, but some scenes will be completely from my imagination.

I’m always working on this series in the background, but until I’m happy with the first three volumes, there will be nothing published from the series. (Volume 1 should be out by March 2016)

My theory is that I have to know if the idea is worth the effort. To be fair to readers and give the project a healthy chance, I feel I must give at least a good bite of the cherry – or in this case, three volumes, all at low prices.

Well, there you go my faithful, and possibly some new followers.

In a nutshell, if it’s a work in progress (WIP), to my way of thinking – you are ‘working’ on it.

Thank you once again for putting up with me and my theories.


PS. I’ve used a little bit of artistic license. I am in the bottom picture of A Life of Choice, but I’m not a recruit. 😀

11 thoughts on “Work in Progress ?

  1. I think we all have various projects on the back burner, some of which might be discarded whilst others will merit completion. Like yourself I too have lots of short story ideas where I’ve perhaps written a paragraph or two and maybe an outline. Now that you have quite a substantial body of work to your name, I think it might be the right time for ‘A Life of Choice.’

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Paul, and thanks for dropping in. Yes, I’d agree with you on all of your comments. I want to do a good job of the anthologies, so I’m taking my time with them, which means after 7th November I might get to dedicating more time to ALOC. On 17th November it will be 46 years since I boarded that train in Glasgow Central … 😀


  2. Julia Lund

    I wish I knew what my WIP is … I just need to decide and do it! Your organisational skills (and what a neat desk you have) and your self-discipline are quite an inspiration. Thank you and good luck with all your ventures.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Julia and thanks for the visit. I’m sure you know what your primary WIP is … and all you have to do to confirm it is work out which project is most important to you, or enjoy the most. Thank you for the kind words. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  3. ramonawray

    I have no idea how you can have so many plates spinning in the air simultaneously! Your work ethic and discipline are first class, and you have my respect. Best of luck with all your projects, Tom – though I know you hardly need luck. Hard work yields success, and my gut tells me that yours is very much assured. Well done.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Hello Ramona and thank you. I’m working at it in all respects. I’ve enjoyed my present ‘big’ project so I’m looking forward to the feedback. 🙂


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