Sunday 18 September 2022

Writing the new book

Third, or is it fourth time lucky, I've started writing a crime novel. Or rather we have, because this time it's Hev and I who have thought up the premise together, based on Hev's Victorian theatre research. I don't want to say too much about the characters and the content, and those are changing all the time as I go along. But let me just use this blog to at least keep a track of progress.

Tuesday Sept 13th: Hev and I start busking ideas, and each of us do our own separate first bit of writing. After a while she's done about 600 words and I've done about 2000. The problem is, we've both written the start of the book and are likely to clash over content. So she writes a plot outline while I continue story writing. Then we find that the plot I've outlined clashes with what she's written. So it's decided that she'll look at writing the plots for other stories - this is intended to be a series of books - and I get to work on the content.

Weds Sept 14th: A little bit of writing, up to 4400 words.

Thurs Sept 15th: No writing, but I did tinker with the cover. We now have cover designs for the first two books (no, not showing you them or telling you the titles) and a title for the third (a corker, which Hev coined for the book about magicians).

Fri Sept 16th: Some writing done. Up to 5700 words.

Sat Sept 17th: Day out in Bath, I write notes on my phone. In the evening we watch Murder On The Orient Express which gives me confidence in the story structure.

Sunday Sept 18th: First proper writing for a few days, inc totally rewriting the opening chapter, or rather adding a new opening chapter preceding the original one. We're up to 9100 words. 

Mon Sept 19th: Lots of rewriting, cutting chunks from opening chapters. Now up to 11,117 words.

Tues Sept 20th 6pm: 14,943 words. And I've just finished the second murder.

Weds Sept 21st 4.47pm. The good news: first draft completed.

The less good news: it's only 20,283 words long and the ending is naff. A lot of rewriting lies ahead. Also wrote a two page plot breakdown for a new book (the one about comedians).

Thurs Sept 22: Classes at Port Talbot library (only classes this month!) so not a writing day.

Fri Sept 23 - Sun Sept 25: To Bodelwyddan to see Aud & Den, so no proper writing. That said, I managed to write two more plot breakdowns (the one about opera and the one about artists), and read a lot of the starts of other books in the genre.

Mon Sept 26: Meant to start writing, and of course failed. Went to unit, opened boxes, rearranged shelves. Designed another front cover (I've now done mock artwork for 6 book covers. It's a lot easier than writing them). Had fun googling one of the titles I'd come up with, for the artists story, only to find it was not as original as I'd hoped...

Tues Sept 27 6pm: Up to 24,731 words, with much rewriting of the opening chapters. 8pm: 25,343 words.

Weds Sept 28 6pm: 28,370 words. Writing myself into a corner (just got Lucy chasing a carriage with Katherine kidnapped in it, for no good reason).

Thurs Sept 29 8pm: 30,762 words. Solved the carriage chase bit.

Fri Sept 30 8pm 33,896. New Cholmondoley and Bill gangster scenes.

Sunday Oct 2 9am, 34,003 after a tiny bit of editing.

Weds Oct 5 8pm 36,023 after very little time for writing.

Thurs Oct 13th (first writing for a week, in hotel room in Leeds) 37,228.

Weds Oct 19 4pm 38,048

Thu Oct 20 12.30 39,189 5pm 40,789 8pm 41,233

Fri Oct 21 8pm 44,449 

Mon 24 9pm 46,257

Tues 25 6pm 48,461

Monday Oct 31 - sod all written since last Tuesday!

Tues Nov 1 - 3pm 48,734 End of 2nd Draft

To be continued

My Books and where to get them:

Findlay Macbeth - Paperback - Kindle - Etsy (signed)
Prince Of Denmark Street - Paperback - Kindle - Etsy (signed)
Midsummer Nights Dream Team  - Paperback - Kindle - Etsy (signed)
Shakespeare Omnibus Collection (all 3 books) - Paperback

Tales From The Bible - Paperback -  Kindle -  Etsy (signed)

Bowie By Robot - Paperback -  Kindle
Eurovision Colouring Vol 1 Amazon -  Lulu £10.94 - Etsy £6.99
Eurovision Colouring Vol 2 - Amazon £15.32 - Lulu £10.72 - Etsy £6.99
Doctor Who Colouring - Amazon £11.84 - Lulu £9.98 - Etsy £6.99
Punk Colouring - Amazon £15.61 - Lulu £10.98 - Etsy £6.99
70s Pop Star Colouring - Amazon £10.98 - Lulu £10.98 - Etsy £6.99
60s Pop Star Colouring - Amazon £12.69 - Lulu £10.98 - Etsy £6.99

Sunday 11 September 2022

Kirsty Allsopp, AI and other Facebook ramblings

Sept 9: Look who’s filming outside our house.

Trying to use AI for my comic covers but I keep getting these vague images that look nothing like the contents. Any ideas?

I posted the above image to Facebook and got quite a few responses. About half of them realised it was Dave McKean's covers of the first 4 Sandman comics, which I thought looked like AI, of which there is a lot about recently. The other half gave me very helpful advice on how to get better results from AI.

People are posting these amazing AI images. Can I point out there are also crap ones to be had.
Here's one free AI trying to draw my Hamlet (from Prince Of Denmark Street), in a dynamic pose with a knife, in the style of Gustave Dore.
I know.

Sept 6: Oh the joy of a new phone. This morning so far has been about trying to make my new phone do all the things I took for granted yesterday. Getting into my banking apps looks like it'll take all of today.
Anyone else had fun with the whole passwords-you-can't-remember-cos-you've-been-signing-in-with-your-fingerprint-for-the-last-three-years routine?
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