Reading and Writing – Part 2 of 2

In keeping with the advice given by many successful writers, I have become a firm believer in leaving a piece of writing to one side. Stephen King is one such writer who suggests this idea in his book ‘On Writing’. Glasses and pen

The idea, short story, chapter or entire first draft can be left in a drawer, tray or on file on a computer, but the important thing is that it is left alone. You the writer, will come back to the piece at some stage down the line and see it differently. It may be days, weeks or even months, but having already experimented with this theory – I know it works for me.

I have now reached a point where a short story is not released for public consumption until I have written at least three drafts – spread out with a week between each. Does that sound like a chore? Perhaps it is, but what if you manage to have at least three or more ideas on the go at any one time, as I constantly seem to do? That is where I believe it works.

Apart from short stories, I have my thriller ‘Hawk – A Manhunter’ patiently waiting for my return. I have reached the end of a second draft with it and haven’t revisited the manuscript for weeks now. I have taken the precaution of writing passages in a notebook when ideas come to mind so I have fresh new scenes to include in the next draft.

My new venture is ‘Discovering Amsterdam’ which was born from a suggestion by my very good friend and fellow writer Carmen. Yes, the same person who is acknowledged in the cover of my first novel, ‘10 Days in Panama’.

Glasses - Amsterdam‘Discovering Amsterdam’ will be a romantic novel which looks at the relationship between Dan, a British writer/journalist and Crystal, an American Fashion Designer. The plot will see them meet in Amsterdam, having been in touch by email for over a year. Crystal is eager to trace her European ancestry and Dan is her sidekick in the quest.

During the project they will visit many of the wonderful museums found in Amsterdam and through their eyes so will the reader. Well, that’s the theory anyway. I have a basic knowledge of Amsterdam and it’s main museums but I will be double-checking any factual information with more than one source – plus another visit.

Thank you for reading – and a special thank you to anyone who managed to follow both Part 1 and Part 2 of this session.


FREE on Amazon Kindle

The new look cover and title - being used on Amazon / Kindle

The new look cover and title – being used on Amazon / Kindle

Yes it’s true, I’ve moved my novel to Amazon Kindle and I’ve put it on a FREE promotion for five days.

I spent two weeks in March giving the manuscript a mini-revamp, re-titled it to become: ’10 Days in Panama’ and to finish the job off, I refreshed the front cover.

I’m pleased to report that in it’s first couple of hours on promotion it was downloaded over 130 times.

If you haven’t got your copy, why not get along to Amazon Kindle before Saturday and get it for FREE. From Saturday it will revert to the minimum price of £1.99 / $2.99 approximately (give or take a penny or two).

This is a short post to highlight the move to Amazon Kindle but I’ll be back in a day or two if there is any progress to report. I’m now once again working on ‘Hawk’, a vigilante thriller set in Glasgow. It’s already on the third draft so I’m pleased to be getting back onto it.

Use the title or FREE as your link to download ’10 Days in Panama’

Advancing Steadily

Krefeld First School, Krefeld, Germany

My featured graphic is a drawing I completed of Krefeld First School in Krefeld, Germany.  Our son went there after a short time attending Wavell Junior School in Catterick.  The drawing was to go on to become the front cover of official handouts from the school featured.  Apart from the notion of advancing steadily I feel it’s worth noting that there was a simple, but accurate compass painted on the playground.  How military is that!  That was rhetorical, so please don’t inundate me with suggestions.  Why mention the compass?  Apart from advancing it gives a loose connection to going in the right direction.  Okay, I’m stretching a point.  No, I refuse to say a compass point.

If you’re still with me the whole theme of advancement is to do with my romantic thriller, ‘Ten Days’.  I’ve now completed the first two drafts and things are going well with the third.  In an effort to give more substance to the two main characters I’ve allowed them both a chapter apiece at the start.  They had previously been sharing both the first chapters but I’m now happy with the change.  Apart from saying it’s romantic and a thriller I can confirm that the main story takes place in Panama, Central America.

For the time being I’ll withold the jacket blurb and the front page strapline but I can now confirm I’ve requested our son Andrew to design the front cover for me.  As an artist I have ideas, but Andrew is creative naturally and professionally so it would be foolish of me to go it alone.

What’s next?  Of course we should really look forward if we’re calling this post Advancing Steadily.  My intention is to complete the third and final draft by early October.  I will have five sets of the manuscript printed and give them to a variety of pre-selected readers with a standard questionaire to give me feedback.  If all goes well I will self-publish as an E-book in November.