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November 5th. 2016


Tonight is bonfire night! Well, in UK anyway. Guy Fawkes tried to blow up the Houses of Parliament in 1605. 400 plus years later and our government is still under threat, but this time by those opposed to Brexit. There have been numerous re-writes since Guy Fawkes: different bodies of opinion trying to bring down the rulers (good or bad). It wouldn’t make a good novel though because there never seems to be an end to it all.

I reached a milestone this week: I finished the first draft of my novel. My word target was 80,000. I managed 79,940: almost a bullseye. But it won’t last because I will be doing a re-write and expect to add more words to it. One of my CHINDI author friends has suggested I leave it for ten days before starting again. I can’t do that; I can’t get the re-write out of my mind.

One or two changes are definitely in the pipeline, and no doubt I’ll find more. One problem I had for a while was how to finish the book. I couldn’t come up with a satisfying finish, no matter how much I tried. In the end I did something most writers are advised to do when struggling — plough on! This I did and wrote the book into an ending which I hope will not need changing; I really like it.

One of the problems I encounter when dreaming up scenarios when I’m not writing (out shopping for example), is that I believe I’ve come up with a great idea, but eventually have to drop it or modify it, which I do with great reluctance. I nursed a beauty of an idea for a couple of weeks, and was looking forward to writing it in. Once it was there, I was happy, until I realised that it didn’t work, so it had to go. I modified it actually, but it meant changing the run in to the end, which is how I managed to come up with an ending that fitted perfectly.

Although I don’t expect to see the completed manuscript for several weeks, I am still struggling for a title. I have one in my head that will not go away — APOLLYON. No, it doesn’t mean ‘Devil’, but ‘Destroyer’. I can imagine the word on the cover and something — I don’t know what — behind it. I will work on the design myself, once the manuscript is with my wife for further editing. That will give me plenty of time to tear my hair out while battling with PhotoShop. Ah, the life of a struggling writer!

I’m looking forward to November 18th. That’s the night our CHINDI group have their annual party. Last year was a success, although planning wasn’t too spectacular. This year we are a little wiser, so hopefully it will be successful and gain us more readers.

My book sales and rankings are doing their usual trick, high and low. I’m not promoting anything at the moment, which is deliberate, although I’m getting inundated with offers to take advantage of the holiday season and an invitation to take up their splendid offers. It’s a bit like choosing a queue in the Post Office or the supermarket: you always pick the wrong one. I will probably do something before December, but not too sure which way to go: straight promotion for a ‘cheapie’ book on one of the more recognisable websites, or fall for the advertising charms of a lower level website.

Whatever I do with a promotion, I may have some highs, but I will also have lows; it’s the way things are at this level. Wish me luck!

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