June 2012


Yay! I’ve won something writery! The UK Amazon Kindle forum on GoodReads had a competition: Write 200 words max on the given subject, and the entry with the most votes wins. So, we were give a piece of music to listen to, in this case the Meditation from Thais, and then we were asked to write up to 200 words of descriptive prose.

Here’s the music:

And here’s my entry:


The cannon were silent now. For days they had been pounding, pounding, without end. Even now their faint echoes, like sweet music, were ringing in my ears as I picked my way carefully through the mangled mess of barbed wire, craters, mud, and flesh. Once this had been pleasant fields and woodlands, green grass waving in the breeze, and tall, strong trees. That was until the war came through and turned it to blood and tears and mud.

Nothing moved. I peered into a crater, hoping for a cheery “hello”, but it was empty and so I moved on to the next. There were bodies, or parts of bodies. I couldn’t tell whether they were ours or theirs, it was all the same at the end, covered in the grey, gloopy mud. I said a silent prayer and kept moving on, hoping for signs of life, but finding none. I looked around, a pall of smoke hung over the ground, still and unmoving, grey smoke over grey mud, under a grey sky.

At last a ray of sunshine broke through the clouds illuminating a single poppy, brilliant red against the sea of grey. My ray of hope. 

You can read all the entries here. Why not have a go at the next competition yourself? You just need to think of a 150 word humorous anecdote about HMS Victory. The full details are here. Go on: You might win…

No battle plan survives…

11,300 words and counting.

They say that no battle plan ever survives the first five minutes of actual combat. Perhaps they should also say that no outline survives the first 5000 words of actual writing!

I’ve already got myself two new secondary characters.  The first I realised that I needed pretty quickly. Her name is Rosie, and she is younger sister to Flick and Adam. I’m not going to say anything here about her role in the story, but rather, the consequences of adding her to the mix. You see, what happened is that she changed the family dynamic; something I didn’t anticipate. Adam is now the middle child, surrounded by two sisters. Flick is a bit of a tomboy, and outcompetes him, and Rosie gets all the attention. So that added a whole realm of angst, anger and frustration that wasn’t there before, and Adam has become a bit of a bully and an attention seeker. Interesting.

Then I was trying to figure out this horrible piece of back story, trying to make it more interesting–show don’t tell, kind of thing, and I ended up taking Adam and putting him alone in a locked room, with a whole load of illicit tech. So of course he starts playing with it, at which point in walks….

Jessica Rabbit

Ok, well it wasn’t actually Jessica Rabbit, but you know the type: Sultry, sexy and completely unattainable. So of course Adam promptly kecks his pants, ‘Jessica’ does a White Witch number on him, which solves my exposition problem, and I get a whole new sub-plot to boot!

Isn’t this fun! 🙂

In a paragraph…

A small amount of progress today. I’m now up to 8200 words, and I can give you a slightly better descriptive paragraph.

23rd Century Britain is tough. There’s few people, no oil and no electricity (by order). Kingsmen rule the country with a rod of iron, and exact the severest of penalties for the smallest of crimes. When sixteen year old Flick Carter comes across an injured pilot from an illegal aircraft that has crashed, fixing him up is her first crime, and falling in love is her second. In a small town of just 150 people, it’s hard to hide for long, and when the Kingsmen find out her secret, the choice is simple: Love, or life.


Um, Hi. Is this thing on?

I’m Tim. well, obviously, since this is my blog, and my name is on the top. It’s kind of a giveaway. So why am I here, and what’s this blog about? Well, I decided to write a novel. And as if that wasn’t bad enough, I’ve decided to tell you all about it. As it happens (or doesn’t).

So why would I want to do that? Well, I kind of wanted to for a long time. I’m a software developer by trade, but I’ve done plenty of technical writing in the past, from user manuals to magazine articles and even some technical books (thankfully, long out of print!). And in the early 90s I was editor of the ICPUG Journal, which was a 96 page technical journal published six times a year. But I haven’t written seriously in the realm of fiction (i.e., making stuff up). At least not deliberately.

Now I have to confess, we’re not coming in here quite at the beginning. I’ve already done what I’m going to amusingly call my “research” — mostly visiting a few places, taking pictures and going to pubs, I’ve built an outline and storyboards, and I’m about 7000 words into the first draft. So I kind know where I’m going, even if I’m not entirely sure how to get there.

So what’s it all about? In a sentence:

When a mysterious boy falls from the sky, sixteen year old Flick must save him, but doing so could cost not only her freedom but also her life…

The working title is: Kingsmen