Pleased to meet you - Word count 37,936 (wp) 46,000 (pr)

Sunday, November 05, 2006, 8:56 PM

So, here's my first post. Will anyone ever read it? Am I talking to myself? Who knows.

Anyway - let's lay it all out here...


I'm a thirty-four year old male, a moderately successful businessman and an accomplished musician. My life so far has seen me try many occupations. I have scored feature films, been a hand double, a teacher, a shop assistant, and more.


I live in the United Kingdom, and my exact location will remain a secret for the time being.


Ever since I can remember I've wanted to write novels. I remember sitting in my bedroom at the age of seven with a pad and pen creating an incredible story that involved a plane going down on a mysterious island populated by -- gasp! -- dinosaurs! Damn that Michael Crichton for stealing my ideas! I think I managed about ten pages before more important things, like drawing on the pavement with chalk, got in the way.

My next attempt was as a teenager, this time a sci-fi novel. I wrote a whole chapter that time before deciding it was stupid and tearing it up.

And so it went on. Over the years I've had many ideas, developing them in my imagination, with the intention of one day writing them down. Sometimes I tried. Sometimes I would put together a few pages and see how it panned out. Inevitably the fact that I have never written anything in my life that has been published would rear its ugly head and insecurity would halt the project.

A few years ago I came close to finishing one. I don't mind saying I thought it was pretty damn good. It was original, fast paced, and set in a world I knew well - the Internet, or more accurately, its grimy, sordid underbelly. I took the brave step of showing the opening chapters to my best friend who also happens to be a Doctor of Literature. He is a harsh and honest critic, but to my surprise he thought it was good enough to be developed further.

Bouyed by this I ploughed on, racking up 60,000 words within a couple of months. My story had reached its critical point, the corner leading to the home straight. The end was in sight. A couple of weeks would see it done.

So, what happened?

It fell apart, that's what. I just couldn't get my characters to the place I needed them to be in order to bring everthing to a logical and satisfying conclusion. It was heartbreaking and I didn't write another word for three years.

Until September 2006. I don't know what triggered it, but one evening I sat down to write a novel I'd been fermenting for some time. It started out ok, with a catchy intro - a man waking up! How original, I thought. It was 10,000 words gone when I started doing some research online, finding lots of useful websites, and the information I garnered made me look at my fledgeling chapters with a more objective eye. I realised it was garbage and stopped right there.

Then I thought of one of my other ideas. It was one that had come to me in a dream (no, really...) several years ago but I hadn't tossed it around upstairs much. It was three characters and a situation. That's all. I started writing and it has flowed almost effortlessly since then. It is a paranormal thriller (my favoured genre) titled CONDUIT.

So, I have decided to create a journal of my experience. Whether it will be of the slightest interest to anyone except me remains to be seen. From a practical point of view, it will provide an outlet for me as I have told no-one, not a soul, about my new project. I made the mistake of telling a handful of friends about the nearly-novel of a few years ago, and I now recall that with embarrassment. So, the existence of this work will remain our secret.

Just between you and me, understand?

I will periodically post here about the development of this novel, and if I can complete it, I will further regale you with the tales of agent chasing and the quest for that most elusive of prizes ... publication. Incidentally, I have ruled out the last resort of the desperate writer - vanity presses. No, not me, I won't be going down that road.

Just for your information, I will post current word count with every blog entry. That will be in the form of the Word Processor count (wp) and the Printer's Rule count (pr), the former normally working out around 20% less than the latter. Any comments on that particular topic would be gratefully received.


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