I am now 462 pages into the first draft of The Exit Counsellor. It’s a sprawling mess but I’m having fun with it, aiming for something which I could claim to be evoking the spirit of The Wicker Man or Straw Dogs but I think I’ve written the book equivalent of Hot Fuzz. With magic and monsters. Still, I know what it needs to really move and there will be a lot of work put into cutting it into shape. Afterwards, I will be editing She’s Here and looking to whip it into shape.
I’ve got new episodes of The Wild Man and Sir 2.0 forthcoming but I’ve also been working on more short fiction as well. They’re my vacation from the book, which demands more of my attention but the stories represent a leap into the unknown. Some of them weren’t pleasant to write, but I have to try new things on the page whilst also being conscious of telling a story people want to read. It’s like Joe R Lansdale said, ‘write like everyone you know is dead.’
I’m reading a few books at the moment. The most notable one is Way of Wyrd by Brian Bates, which is fascinating and good idea fuel. I’m also doing some study on theology and hierarchial structure, as ideas for a future book.
Thank you for reading, liking and commenting on my work. It means a great deal.
Here are some of my favourite books, there are books on the craft of writing, lectures about nihilist philosophy and pop culture as well as fiction and non fiction. For disclosure, if you buy through these links, I have an affiliate account so it throws some pennies in the hat but get these books because I love them and the world needs more sharing the good things in it rather than the bad.
This is what the series of American Horror Story: Freakshow wishes it was. Humane, bizarre and beautifully written. It is one of those books I return to time and again. Dunne is no longer with us, but this book is. I envy you reading it for the first time.
Percy has produced some fantastic cross genre work and this collection of essays speaks to an appreciation for literature and pop culture without casting either one in a negative light. It has a robust honesty which I find invigorating and useful.
Stephen King, much like Prince, was one of the artists which resonated from me at an early age. I’ve followed his work and example and resisted aping his mannerisms but his working class generosity of spirit and craft makes this book indispensable to me. He offers up a toolkit and reflects on his own experiences, professional and personal to give you an idea of what might be possible if you put the work and energy into the writing you do. There’s a lot on offer here, and if you’re looking for good, solid advice on the craft of writing, then King is your man.
Grammar is an important consideration in writing. A poor choice of phrase rips the reader out of the moment and undoes the hard work you’ve done establishing mood and setting. Don’t be precious, you’re never as good as you think you are, so something like this is worth investing in. Learn the rules in order to break them and Strunk tells you the rules in a pithy, elegiac way which makes it a useful reference work when editing.
Holiday has established a niche in mining the wisdom of Stoicism for it’s applications in the modern world and for his fantastic understanding of marketing and media. Here is a united work which talks about finding your own place and developing work which resists trends. He talks about Iron Maiden and The Shawshank Redemption in glowing terms, especially with the factoid that Harrison Ford and Tom Cruise were up for the main roles but Frank Darabont the director went with his own choices instead.
Next I will talk about music, then films with links to them for you to click on and preview/buy.
It’s strange how we will rush to interact with something bad but distrust a recommendation of quality or worth, relative as they are.
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Im now 190 pages into the first draft of The Exit Counselor which i am doing longhand. I am waiting for my agent to get in touch about Until She Sings.
I am reworking Nothing Keeps Me Anywhere into a leaner book. There were things i found which did not sit right so i am making revisions each day.
Stranger Lights awaits a second draft and some research but it will come in time.
Thank you for reading, liking and commenting. It means a great deal.
I hit 50 pages on the first draft in longhand, and have copied and pasted the individual episodes of The Ogden Review into a file for editing and restructuring into a complete book that I aim to pitch to my agent once I have gone through it.
It is strange to read older work. There is a melancholy pleasure, some surprises in what I looked through. There are some clear things that need fixing, but that was the price I paid for going with energy rather than detail. I’ve learned more since then, and aim to graft what I have learned to the dynamics of the original story. It has to follow a structure, and underneath the hood of this motherfucker lies some real plotholes but they’re my mistakes to make.
I am waiting to hear back from my agent about Until She Sings and Nothing Keeps Me Anywhere, Lawful Evil needs another draft, the new book is coming along well and I now have Ogden to refine as well as posting regularly here.
I have been reading The Writer’s Journey by Christopher Vogler, which is comprehensive, satisfying and involving. I’ve made copious notes about it, which all go into the journals that I keep and maintain. I work hard at the writing because I love it and view it as my purpose. Whether that lends itself to competence or not is hard to say, but I put the effort in to improve and advance myself artistically.
Thank you for your support. It means a great deal.
I miss you when you’re not around.
I hit 40 pages on the first draft today. It’s been a progression apparent to myself, in terms of what I am writing about, but not who I write for. I know what works for me as a practice, which cuts down on the amount of time spent being indecisive, I guess.
Sorry, couldn’t resist it.
I also changed the title, which is common for me to do. I have a predilection for fancy titles that sit on the axis between awkward and cool, and eventually something in me signs and suggests something better which I stick with until my agent tells me they don’t like it and I have to scrabble to find something else instead.
I have been reading Christopher Vogler’s The Writer’s Journey which is a great book, useful for me as I have a bit of knowledge about C G Jung and Joseph Campbell, the two major influences on Vogler’s work. It is pragmatic and I’ve made plenty of notes two chapters into it, just to clarify and cement my own understanding.
I study the craft of writing and storytelling, in order to forget it when I write. If something screams ‘CROSSING THE THRESHOLD’ I know I have fucked up somewhere along the line. I don’t resist structure or archetype in the slightest, but I do like to make it invisible and seamless. I read for pleasure as much as craft and writing at this volume means that I become more comfortable with the work I am doing, less prone to the mistakes or making new ones, which still represents growth to me.
It gets done. I don’t wait for inspiration but instead she turns up, smiles, gropes me somewhere inappropriate and then flies off again. I love that woman because she’s flighty and constantly changing, not in spite of it.
Being British means a reluctance to talk about ambition but I do push myself towards my goals, just not in a way that invites open ridicule. Closed ridicule, on the other hand, more than welcome.
If you were kind enough to buy or read the latest issue of Infernal Ink and you liked my story, please leave a review as it helps Hydra’s profile in terms of the magazine and, of course, mine. It was a seamless experience and surreal to look at my own work outside of the blue frame of the blog page editor. I want more of it, and it has renewed my enthusiasm beyond my fierce ambition and dedication.
I really appreciate the likes that my work generates. A writer wants to be read, even if sometimes the anticipation lends itself to anxiety of one kind or another. People come and go, disappoint and injure but the page is the page and I love pretty much everything about it
So, forgive the rambling, but wanted to peek from behind the curtain and say hello to you all. Thank you for your support and appreciation, there are over 900 of you now, which is a good sized crowd for a gig, I feel. If you really like anything I’ve done, please share it with others.
Take care, we have to be our own heroes out there now.