You may recall from the last update on my work in progress that I decided to re-write everything from scratch because I wasn’t happy with the opening chapter. Since then, though I’m much happier about the state of my WIP, I am much less happy about the slow progress of my writing throughout September. While most of the problems that prevented me from getting as much done as I would have liked were (as usual) out of my control, I fully accept that there is one issue that is in my power to affect: Time management.
There are two pieces of writing advice that I can guarantee every aspiring author received (on numerous occasions) while pursuing their writing ambitions. The first advice is “read a lot,” and the second is “write a lot.” Both are simple, straightforward tips that likely seem so obvious you might wonder why anyone would find it necessary to give such advice. But there is a reason this advice is repeated so frequently; they are both crucial activities in helping writers to perfect their craft. And here are my thoughts as to why this is so.
It’s been a while since the last update on my current work in progress, principally because it’s been slow going (in more ways than one) these past three weeks or so, resulting in no noteworthy progress to report. However, it’s probably now worth mentioning a very significant development with my WIP (the sequel to The Exercise Of Vital Powers) that occurred at the end of last week which has had a drastic impact upon the direction and progression of the story.
It’s a Bank Holiday today and I’m bored so I’ve decided to answer one of the default questions that Goodreads presents to every author who signs up to their author program. The question I’ve chosen to tackle is perhaps the most common one an author gets asked: how do you deal with writer’s block? What I find most interesting about this particular question is the assumption that writer’s block is inherently a problem, and that it needs to be overcome. Personally, I’ve never viewed the matter in those terms so writer’s block has never been a genuine source of frustration to me. Whenever my own creative writing is brought to a grinding halt by writer’s block, I take it as a sign that I need to take a break from my story, so that’s exactly what I do. And depending on my frame of mind that break will manifest in one of the following six ways.
It’s time for another update on my current work in progress. Unsurprisingly, last week was not as productive as the previous week, though surprisingly it wasn’t due to any of the usual suspects negatively impacting my freedom to write. The time I was able to devote my WIP wasn’t significantly less, but I only have a single chapter to show for it. What hindered my progress in the end were two time-consuming bumps in the road; the first was minor, therefore easy to resolve, while the second proved to be a major problem that took much longer for me to figure out.
Last week was a surprisingly productive week for me with regard to my current work in progress. That being the case, I feel it is worth my while to provide an update of where I am, so far; even if only a handful of my (soon-to-be) legion of rabid fanboys and fangirls notice. For those of you now scratching your head wondering what I’m working on, you obviously missed (or didn’t pay attention to) my announcement in late June, in which I mentioned my decision to focus on writing a follow up to my debut novel, The Exercise Of Vital Powers, even though it was originally written as a stand-alone tale. While at this early stage of writing I hesitate to claim that significant progress was made on my “untitled sequel” last week, I certainly feel like I’m finally on a roll now, to the extent where I hope to have the first draft completed a full month sooner than expected.
Since publishing my first novel at the end of April, I haven’t had time to do much in the way of writing; at least not in terms of writing a second novel. Leaving aside the personal circumstances that (as usual) have been constraining my time and ability to focus on my fiction writing, the other factor that had been preventing me from starting any meaningful work on a second book was my indecision concerning what story I want to tell next. I began outlining two stories at the same time until I could make a decision about which of the two I wanted to proceed with. Fortunately, that decision has now been made.
In recent years I have noticed an amusing trend in which some people will immediately cry out “plot hole!” when something they don’t like occurs in a book, television show or film. I often find that a cursory inspection of the complaint reveals that whatever plot element the person in question is objecting to, isn’t actually a plot hole, at all.
In order to help out these individuals, I will hereby take this opportunity to define and illustrate what a plot hole is; and conversely, what is not a plot hole.
This is a slightly revised update of a post I originally submitted back in 2014.
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It seems that many writers have a preference for silence when they sit down at their keyboards to work on their novels, short stories etc. There is an obvious logic to this preference, yet it is one that has never worked for me. Whenever I have attempted to write in complete silence, I’ve found that my mind is much more prone to wandering; meaning I am unable to concentrate fully, resulting in me being more easily distracted, which of course means getting less writing done.
Have you ever wondered why characters in the Superman comics never seem to notice that Clark Kent is obviously Superman? Chances are you don’t give it much thought, and you certainly don’t let it spoil your enjoyment of Superman. After all, you can accept the idea of an alien being who looks completely human, while possessing the ability to fly, super strength, super speed, super hearing and x-ray vision. So why would accepting that Clark only needs to put on a pair of glasses to fool everyone be any less easy to justify?