Monday, 10 September 2012


A couple of things falling under the title this time; first off, I intend to start giving my blog posts a little extra pazaz by finishing them off with a short sentence or two of interest. Secondly, I attended my second year induction today at college, and was excited to peruse the topics in each module - they look alot more interesting than last years A Level recaps (which is essentially what they were). Finally, given some down-time on the train into Preston this morning, and with nothing but my laptop in the way of entertainment (which I was loathe to go through the hassle of fishing out of my bag), I turned to my mind for entertainment.

With several regular topics at my disposal, not least of all Warhammer 40k, Black Library books (both coming soon and past) and writing in general, I settled on writing. Now last night I got back into the jibe of searching for writing competitions to enter - mainly free ones, and mainly short stories with a theme (I write better with an idea to hit me off) - so I started thinking about writing. My intent is to continue to enter competitions in the near future, and attempt to gain entrance into the "Black Library Authors" club through their open submissions window each year (which I stupidly forgot about the end of and missed this season). But I wondered to myself, how else could I get my foot in the door?

One way I've constantly heard about is to be published. Every time I've attended a 'Writing For Black Library' seminar or seen people ask the editors questions, the answer has been the same - if you've had work published anywhere else in the world (and that is officially published; it's been submitted and looked over by an editor or editorial team before publication) you can contact the Black Library office with a pitch (or several). I know it's a whole different world going from writing a short story for a competition with a theme to base it on and writing a short sample piece for a submissions window set in a pre-described universe to writing a whole novel by yourself, but the trick is, I've already started it.

Back in April I had the itch to write something different. I set about first chatting with one of my best friends over an extended Facebook conversation about what type of book I would like to write and, out of this list, ideas I had as to what to write about. Long story shorter, we hammered out a generic idea and from this I began to form a plot line. Further ideas shaped from brainstorming and some inspiration coalesced into a whole novel concept. Suffice to say I began writing it, got almost to the 5k mark and hated what I'd done so far. For me the flow was out, the story lacking the depth it needed to set the mood, and the character lacking just that. I dropped it, completely disheartened, and there it has lain, on my desktop, since.

So I'm sat on the train to Preston, idly staring out of the window as my mind turns to the story I had left behind. I turned it over this way and that, examining what I could remember having written and the plot shape from my plans all those months ago. Before I knew it, further ideas were forming, coming to me out of nowhere; characters I could adjust, scenes that could be added, details slotted in and several key points that would make the whole concept gel just so. It seems simple and obvious now, considering these points in my mind, what needed to be done to correct the story, and I fully intend to revisit and edit what I have so far to better reflect the ideas I had at the start and hopefully, if I can keep on-track and keep adjusting whenever I get bogged down again, I can complete a full novel!

First piece of pazaz in an attempt to end on an interesting note; I forgot what I originally was going to put here, so here's a less interesting one - the nickname/callsign I use, Phoenix, was the first ever Warhammer 40k character I wrote a prolonged piece of prose about. I've no recollection of where his first name, Corrigan, came from, nor have I heard of it since.

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