Coffee Shop Chronicles
Yesterday represented the only day this week I’ll get the chance to write into my notebook and enjoy a coffee before I hit the day job. Today, and for the rest of this week, I’m on shift, which means 8am starts and 5pm finishes. So yesterday, I made the best of it.
I began by reading my book. I’m currently in the middle of Mark Billingham’s Scaredy Cat, a crime series I’ve enjoyed several books from with the entertaining D.I. Thorne. While reading, I became aware of the girl at the table behind me becoming upset at something to the point she started to cry. It was quite awkward, and at the point I was anout to ask if she was OK, she decided to talk it through with someone over her mobile phone.
Anyway, the incident sparked an idea and I put my book away and got out my notebook. I now have a new piece of flash fiction. It’s called MARK.
It’s funny how it all works. I never intended on doing any writing at the time, preferring to read what is a very good book and make some progress into my ’42 novels read in one year’, and yet I had to stop everything and get the moment down on paper once it struck.
I’ve found that since I put BACCARA BURNING and all its problems and woes to the side, I seem to have unleashed a creative rush of fiction and poetry. I mean, seriously, I’m writing more than I ever did, and it’s all pouring into my moleskine on a daily basis.
On the back of all this I’m looking forward to getting to London now even more. I sense that between myself and Gail and our creative desires for the trip, it’s going to be something really very special.
Adapted Writing System
It’s also got to the point I’ve had to change my system on my computer to cope with the short fiction and poetry coming in. I’ve had to establish some new folders; here’s how it works:
1- Initial ideas/writing made into notebook
2- First formal draft (transfer to PC)
4- Second formal draft
6- Final Revision
This is a system that allows me four drafts of any particular piece of fiction (but not restrictively), and also means it gives me three opportunities where a piece is allowed to rest and simmer in my mind. The most creative of these stages is the first one, where the words pile out onto the page for the first time, but thereafter it’s really all about shaping and crafting the work.
I don’t set any length of time for each stage. I’ve grown to do what feels right for each piece coming through. Some stories have been in there for longer than others but that’s the way it goes.
Bits and Bobs
My evening consisted of lots of bits and bobs. One thing I look forward to greatly on a Monday evening is the Vic Galloway radio show. Vic has his pulse on the Scottish music scene and a great taste in music. It’s a pleasure to work with his choice of record and chatter in the background.
I wrote out the first draft of the press release for my current crop of Kindle ebooks. I’ll have that out by the end of the week. I also made a couple of updates to the website on the Latest News page, reorganised the directories on my PC (see above) and paid some bills.
I received feedback from one of my Trusted Readers, who was given the manuscript of HUNTING JACK to read for the very first time. I’ve still to look at it (it’s been years) but the general consensus was that it is good; my “best work yet” in fact. So it looks like the Kindle Experiment is a go.
Free Ebooks Giveaway on Twitter
Time is running out fast in my special Twitter giveaway. I’m giving away ALL my published ebooks for free to the 1000th person to follow me on Twitter. Not only that, but a randomly selected follower from between Friday 1st April right up to the 1000 mark, will also win the same prize! Click here for full details of the great Twitter Ebook Giveaway.
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Process evolves, and that’s a good thing. You’re finding what works for you.
I have a folder for each project on the computer, and then folders inside the folder for each draft, notes, etc. This way, I can easily compare drafts, since sometimes I hack out a whole section and then realize I need to put back at least part of it.