The Manic Race to the Deadline! First draft done!

Last night was a bit mental. I had made a public declaration on here and on the Bestseller Experiment podcast group on Facebook, that I would complete a novella by midnight on the 31st Jan. On the 1st Jan I only had one chapter. Yesterday morning I still had six chapters to write.

I decided to document my race to the end with short videos on TikTok and shared them on Twitter and Instagram. I needed to give myself the added pressure of other people’s expectations.

Midnight came and I still had three chapters to go. I finally finished at 1:44 this morning, feeling frazzled and slightly nuts.

It’s done!!

Much polishing to do now. A cover is in the works which I will reveal soon.

The story is called Gnome. It’s a homage to creature feature movies from the 80s. Critters, Gremlins, The Gate, and Ghoulies. And the basic idea behind the story was inspired by a Brothers Grimm story of the same name.

This was only the first part of my public declaration. The second part is to complete a story called The Projectionist and The Wall People by 30th April. And then to finish a movie screenplay called Price of Life by the last day in June.

It’s going to be a busy year. I can’t wait!

Here’s the last video I posted at 1:44 this morning-

The Gremlin and a Public Declaration.

It’s Christmas Eve and I’m sitting in the passenger seat of a van on the way home from work. A black gremlin has just crawled out of the air vent and is now peering at me from behind the laptop screen. My plan was to write the next scene in a screenplay but this gremlin won’t stop staring. It’s off-putting. He licks his lips and blinks with one eye and then the other.

I look into its eyes and see words falling in a grey mist. I know what the gremlin is. It is nine different works in progress coalesced into a starving monster. It’s hungry. It needs feeding. It’s time to let it die.

The only way to actually kill it, contrary to logic, is to give it a full meal. Instead of writing a few hundred words here and there over a bunch of different stories I need to focus on one. So that’s it. That’s the plan. But which project do I chose?

I’ll start with the shortest one. Get that finished. Then I’ll only have eight to choose from. So here’s a public declaration; the story I’m going to focus on is a twisted little fairy tale for adults called Gnome. It’s a little known Brother’s Grimm story I’m having fun playing with. I’m giving myself a strict deadline. Midnight, Friday 31st January 2020.

Once that is done I will write The Projectionist and the Wall People. A pulp B-movie-esque horror novella. Another short timeline; three months. It will be done by midnight, Thursday 30th April 2020.

Already the gremlin is lightening up. He has gained a dopey smile and has just burped.

So, those are the two novellas I’m going to write. But there’s something else. I’m also writing a film script and I want to have the first draft finished by the end of May. I will be writing that alongside both of the novellas. It’s a different kind of storytelling and I think I have time in my week to do both without taking attention, or quality, away from one or the other.

That will free me up to start work on my next full length novel starting on Monday 1st June. By then I will hopefully have chosen which novel idea that will be. Too many ideas. I’m sure there will be plenty more new and shiny ideas that I’ll want to start working on by the time the 1st June comes around so I’ll put off thinking about that until then.

The gremlin has climbed down from my laptop and is now napping on my knee. I won’t have to kill him after all. He just needed to know there was a plan.

Okay, back to work. What shall I write? Oh yeah, Gnome. A couple of girls are about to be swallowed by the earth. Let’s hope it’s not too painful for them.

One Page Punch Up

I submitted the first page of my new book to The Bestseller Experiment podcast to be criticised in what they call a One Page Punch Up. There were many submissions but, to my joy (and sudden apprehension), I got selected!

And so best-selling author, Mark Stay (author of Back to Reality and the film Robot Overlords starring Gillian Anderson and Ben Kingsley) and Juliet Ewers (Publishing Associate at Orion Publishing who has previously worked with Ian Rankin and Michael Conolly) critiqued the opening page of Shelley Town RPG, my latest novel (it’s a Stephen King-esque horror).

The episode came out. Me and Rachel pressed play and listened. A grin started to spread across my face. By the time it was done we were speechless.

If you want yo hear what these two respected experts had to say about my writing you can listen on the link below! They reviewed five pages. Mine is first so you won’t have to scroll through the audio trying to find me.

EP231: One Page Punch-Ups with Juliet Ewers