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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. 😀

A to Z 2014 Reflections

 A-to-Z_Reflection_[2014][1]Where do I begin?

I had never heard of the A to Z Challenge before so this was my first attempt.

I got a lot out of it, but as anyone who followed me would know; I put a lot into it. To make it clear I’ll list in the same fashion I used for my posts. It’s a method that provides clarity. I said … it’s a method that provides clarity.

1. I enjoyed it, although at times it was hard work. I started by following the ‘suggested’ 5 blogs, but through interest I ended up following 20.

2. I got every post out on time on the correct day.

3. I prepared a few, but only towards the end.

4. I gained a few more followers. I started with a figure in the mid-20’s, and I now have 79. About 5 of those have appeared since the challenge ended.

 5. I’m now following about 15 more blogs than I was at the start of the challenge.

Where there any blogs I liked in particular?

Yes, there were several, and they are all mentioned with links in my ‘Z’ is for Zoom-in post: https://tombensoncreative.com/2014/04/27/z-is-for-zoom-in/

What could be improved for next year?

Not a lot, is my initial response, although I feel if we all advertised it on our individual blogs from about mid-March next year, it might increase figures. This would obviously require a much larger support network, and the new team members would have to be aware of how much pressure was on them.

One area that I found frustrating was the logging-in to make comments. Out of habit, I don’t just hit the ‘like’ button when I visit a site. I use WordPress, but when visiting ‘Blogger’ for instance, it was a task sometimes to get a comment accepted. That is nothing to do with the challenge itself, but it does tend to impact on how much time a person might spend trying to make their voice heard

What will I do differently next year?

I’ll get my topic ready and prepare several posts so that I’m ready to go from the outset.

I managed to get around all the back-up team to give a brief vote of thanks. In my ‘Z‘ post I named all of them with a link to their blogs, so it’s easy for anyone to find out who our organisers were.

I have the full list of my A to Z posts in a menu on my blog. My topic / theme was ‘writing’.

I look forward to next time. Now I must get back to my writing.

I’ll be seeing some of you regularly from now on I’m sure. My intention is to conduct two, or possibly three blog patrols per week.