Following a self-imposed alcohol ban last week I finally managed to update my site with improvements that I have been wanting to do for a long time now but could not do due to my hectic writing schedule.
I am excited to announce that I have added a section where I have published all of my short stories. These are available to everyone to read and share.
Not only does this section include my 400 word short stories that I wrote for competitions but also after much deliberation I have decided to make my Horror-themed short stories available to everyone. I have so far published:-
The Resurrection Men
Der Devil Komando
The Calling – Will be issued by the end of September
Outbreak – Will be issued by the end of the year
I have also added new pages for my current books which will be regularly updated to show current status. This section includes a link to buy ‘From the Toon to the Trenches’ which is available to purchase from Amazon.
I invite you all to check out the newly updated site and as always please feel free to contact me with any questions or comments you may have.
Id appreciate it if you could share this blog and help grow my following.
Hi everyone…. before I start with this blog I need to apologise to everyone for the long gap between my last post. All I can say is that things have been very hectic on the writing front for me during the first half of 2019.
I set myself a demanding writing schedule for this year, and touch wood I have stuck to it.
The picture above is of me writing in the mountains of Azerbaijan in the soaring heat, where I had a great few hours with the crazy and talented photographer Sasha.
As well as writing I have also surprisingly found time to discover two amazing authors who series of books have been keeping me very entertained in between writing. I hope my writing can be of a similar high standard one day. The authors are:
LJ Ross – Author of the DCI Ryan series set in Northumberland and Newcastle.
Chris Carter – Author of the Robert Hunter Series.
If you are looking for something new and fresh to read I highly recommend these two authors.
A Step into Darkness – Update – July 2019
As I updated last year, I received some very promising feedback on ‘A Step into Darkness’ which is my first, stand-alone crime thriller set in Northumberland UK. He recommended I rewrote a few scenes, however, once I started my rewrite, I realised that my writing in the later part of the story was far superior to the writing I made in the first half. I didn’t want to let anyone down, let alone myself so I have painstakingly gone through the story page by page. I believe it is now a much more polished story and I hope my readers will also too.
The book is now back with my editor. I should have feedback by the end of summer so wish me luck and watch this page.
Further Writing of 2019 from Kids stories to Horror
January, February and March were horrendous this year in Baku, with ice-cold temperatures, rain and lots and lots of wind (it is nicknamed the windy city). For some strange reason, as I knew I was going to be cabin bound for some time, I got it into my head to try another genre in order to improve my writing skills.
Remembering how I used to enjoy writing stories even as a child, I decided to try my hand at writing a children’s book, aimed specifically at 3-6-year-olds. The planning and plotting stage was really fun (it wasn’t so difficult to take my mind back to that of a child’s 🙂 )
Anyway, after much deliberation, I came up with my character – ‘The Adventures of Horace the Hesitant Hare.’ My first Horace story is planned to encourage youngsters to eat more fruit and as well as having a simple storyline it is colourful with the odd rhythm inside to keep the kids entertained while reading. I wrote this on Powerpoint and really enjoyed the experience. I have enlisted the help of a local illustrator and not really sure how this will pan out just yet.
In May I took part in Camp NaNoWriMo which is an international writing competition where you set your own target and have a full month to complete. After enjoying my first taste of horror writing last year I decided to start a compilation of short horror stories that I hope to be ready for Halloween. In May’s competion I surpassed my 12K word target and wrote the first two stories.
I am now in the second week of Julys Camp NaNoWriMo and plan to complete a further two spooky short stories. I’m progressing well with 4K words down so far and have my plan prepared for both stories.
I have a few ideas about what to do with the compilation once complete but I will let my followers know. I can promise though that it will be available in some format.
The Compilation is called ‘When Darkness Beckons’and the stories completed/planned so far are about:
Victorian Grave Diggers
Subhuman Soldiers of the SS during WW2
Devil Worshipers and Human Sacrifice
Chemical Fall Out
That brings me to the end of my blog. I just want to share one message. As you can see from my update, writing can take many shapes and forms and there is a style to suit everyone. Never be afraid to start, do it for yourself and do it for fun.
Hope you have all enjoyed this blog. Please don’t hesitate to leave some feedback or ask any questions (I promise to answer).
I am happy for this blog to be shared and if you haven’t already – please sign up to my website http://www.laughcryandwrite.com to receive regular updates.
Enjoy your summer everyone and as always …. one love
P.S I have also just updated my website… check it out and see what you think
I trust you all had a fantastic Christmas and I wish you all the very best for 2019.
Last year was a real turning point for me and my writing. I completed my first ever draft, set up this website, completed my Writing Course and produced a few short stories.
2019 is going to be even greater for me and my writing. I hope to improve with my writing style with experience and I have just sat down and planned out my whole writing schedule for the year, which I am going to monitor my progress against.
For 2019 my main plans are to complete the final re-write of ‘A Step into Darkness’ ready for returning to the Editor for review. I plan to complete the 1st draft of my second novel ‘A Silent Scream’. I am looking to self-publish a compilation of Horror stories in time for Halloween and I’m going to prepare and hopefully complete NaNoWriMo in November which will set me up lovely for my third novel.
Back in November 2018, a close friend sent me a copy of his Grandad’s Journal from the 1st World War. It had been discovered by his cousin 100 years later. The reason my friend sent me the Journal was two-fold:
He knew of my passion for all things related to WW1 and WW2.
He knew I was a writer.
After reading the story two or three times I sensed that there was a real story crying out to be told. A one of heroism, courage and of the barbarity of life in the trenches during that time.
After gaining permission from the family, I have been working over the festive period, tinkering here and there, formatting, editing and adding some missing information.
This is now all complete and the Journal has been self-published on Amazon in the Kindle format under the title ‘From the Toon to the Trenches.’
The short story will be priced at 1.99p with all sales being donated to the British Legion.
For me, it as a wonderful read, sometimes shocking and occasionally humorous and I ask you all to have a look and share the word.
The link to buy from Amazon is:-
I am immensely proud to have been chosen to assist in the sharing of this forgotten Journal.
As always I wish you all happiness and I will update you soon with the progress of my work.
P.S. Please share as much as possible and encourage everyone to sign up to my website.
Share this - it only takes a minute and means a lot to me
Chapter 1 Jesmond Old Cemetery was deserted. Its gates were firmly locked, only one light from the watchkeepers cottage was lit. The two men hiding in the shadows opposite waited patiently for the light to be extinguished indicating that the old watchkeeper had retired to his bed. They were in no hurry, they were prepared for the wait. The night was airless, nothing moved, The clear sky above provided the perfect canvas to display the full moon in all its beauty. ‘When will that old bastard take to his bed?’ Murmured Arthur Price the leader of the two. The man supposedly with the brains. ‘Soon, soon. He will be having his little nip of the hard stuff now that he is all locked up,’ replied the man standing next to him, Owen Kelly, the brawn of the outfit. Arthur nodded at his colleague, he had to trust him, it had been he who had been stood at this spot for the last two night’s making sure that all their planning and preparation was in order. It wasn’t that he didn’t trust Owen, they had worked well together as a team for long enough, it was just that Arthur was all too aware of Owen’s fondness for the ale and he would not put it past him to give in to the urge for a nice pint or two beside a nice warm fire. Arthur and Owen had worked together for the last six months. Without messing about with fancy job titles, they were merely grave robbers working in a field where demand vastly outweighed supply. They had met in a graveyard in Northumberland by chance, both creeping up on the same target. They had frightened the life out of each other and decided that the sensible thing to do, rather than fight it out, was to share the work and share the fee. The development of medical science had plateaued, Doctors and surgeons were struggling to find fresh bodies for them to experiment with or to run trials on. By law, they had to rely on executed criminals or bodies that had gone unclaimed by relatives. In the quieter areas of the country such as Newcastle, this resulted in low numbers being made available, much to the frustration of the doctors and surgeons. Soon a fee had been offered, many people in these parts did not regard this act as a sin and quickly took up the offers, others, so desperate for money that they would undertake any foul task proposed to them without a moment’s hesitation.
Arthur and James had been successful in their chosen field and always delivered results. Because of this, they were the first choice for a lot of professionals in Newcastle and the surrounding area. When Dr Rueben had contacted them at the Rose and Crown three nights ago, a price had been quickly agreed and the promise of two fresh bodies, delivered to him by the end of the working week, for him to play with his specimens over the weekend. Staring out onto the cemetery both men were relieved when the light to the watchkeepers cottage finally went out. They picked up their bags, checked that the streets were still clear and made their way to the far side of the cemetery. Reaching the iron railings, hidden from view, Owen grasped two railings, one with each hand and gently pulled them free. He had sawed them both loose the previous night in preparation. He laid them quietly on the path and stepped through the gap, disappearing into the darkness. Arthur followed suit, bent down and lifted the railings from the floor and replaced them. To any passer-by, nothing would look out of place. Arthur stood rooted to the spot, waiting for his eyesight to become accustomed to the darkness. There was a rustle in the bushes.
He held his breath.
Owen stepped through the bushes grinning.
‘Don’t worry, nobody here tonight except you and me’ As both men ventured into the cemetery, they were unaware of the thin wisp of grey and black fog, that had appeared from nowhere and snaked it’s way behind them, catching up with them and wrapping itself around their ankles.
Arthur had to stifle a cough, the fumes of the dead were strong. They attacked his throat and stomach, causing him to gag and retch.
Decomposing bodies and recently exhumed corpses caused toxic fumes to hover around. He withdrew his hankie from his pocket, pressed it over his mouth and nose and continued.
The fog had danced ahead of them by now, they were unsure if they were on the right track. The still air had been replaced with a fresh breeze that picked up everything around them and spun them freely in the air. Neither Arthur or Owen detected this as they blindly trundled along in search of their quarry. In the misty darkness, Owen called out. ‘I can’t see a bloody thing with all of this dam fog.’ Before Arthur could reply, he heard a collision, and his friend cried out in pain. Arthur was expecting the worse, ran to his friend. He located him lying down next to a fresh grave fitted with a Mortsafe.
He was rubbing his shins and cursing under his breath.
A Mortsafe was a crude and effective deterrent. An Iron frame encased around the grave to prevent grave robbers easy access… or if others were to have you believe… positioned to keep zombies inside.
These were often only removed after the corpse had decomposed.
Bending down, he gently lifted the hem of Owen’s trouser, revealing a small but nasty gash. Owen took his hankie out from his pocket and wrapped it around the wound to stem the flow of blood. He looked up, annoyed and hurt. ‘Nearly fucking crippled me that thing. The grave we want is next door.’ Arthur walked slowly over to the next grave while Owen struggled to get up and joined him, they both stood for a moment staring at the cheap, homemade cross, who’s epitaph merely read. Ann Simmons Aged 8 Died 27th October 1844 Neither of the men experienced any remorse for the gross act they were about to commit. No sadness at the tragic loss of life at such a young age and no empathy for the grieving parents. Their only concern at this moment in time was how much their victim would weigh once recovered. ‘This is it. Time to get to work’. Instructed Arthur.
He dropped the bag that he had been carrying over his shoulder to the floor. He emptied the contents out and selected the wooden shovels and length of rope. Selecting their tools, they attacked the fresh grave with vigour. It hadn’t rained recently, and the soil was still soft and comfortable to remove. They were silent as they undertook the labour intensive task, each lost within their own dream about how they would spend their well-earned bounty. Within twenty minutes they had dug the required six inches to reveal the coffin lid. The removed earth was in a neat pile ready to be re-laid once their job was done. Jumping into the exposed grave, both men pulled the lid of the coffin free and laid it at the side of the opening. Above, in the night sky, the moon slipped behind a dark rain cloud, reducing visibility in an instant. The victim, lay motionless, eyes firmly shut, dressed in a plain but pleasant summer dress. A Single red rose had been lovingly placed in her hair which was swept back from her peaceful face. Arthur and Owen each grabbed an ankle and attempted to slide her free of the coffin.
Nothing. She did not move an inch. Cursing, Owen crawled further up the dead body. ‘Shit!’ he cursed. ‘She got a coffin collar fitted, she isn’t going anywhere.’ Arthur scrambled up beside Owen. Sure enough, a crudely fitted wooden collar was fitted around her slender neck. Heavy duty bolts could be seen, no doubt securely installed to the coffin base. Arthur was just about to tell his friend to leave it when the moon passed from the dark clouds and illuminated the grave below
. The red rose turned black. Both men sat stunned. As they watched, the right eyelid of the small girl slowly opened, revealing an egg white orb crisscrossed with rich red veins. The eye stared coldly ahead, Unmoving. Arthur and Owen both felt their stomach turn, and their bowels turn to water. The right eyelid of the little girl also started to open slowly. As both men stared transfixed, the eyeball was revealed. Grey and dark, dried out, partially eaten away in places. Matter and decay evident. The eye fully opened to reveal the small sack of a spiders nest secreted within the corner of the eye, entwined in a fine web. To their horror, a small black spider exited the nest, paused, looked up at them and opened its tiny jaws, revealing two rows of sharpened teeth. Both men screamed. Chapter 2 Arthur and Owen both jumped back in shock, hearts beating through their chests like a brass band.
Arthur gazed upon the corpse. She was lying peacefully with her eyes closed.
The single rose was once again red.
‘We need to get her filled back in,’ he whispered to his ashen friend.
Arthur turned and went to exit the grave. He was just about to lift himself above ground when he checked behind him.
Owen was bent over the fixed corpse pulling at the young girl’s arms.
‘What are you doing you fool, we need to leave.’
Without turning his head, Owen replied.
‘I’m not leaving here with nothing.’
Arthur leant forward for a closer inspection as to what his friend was up to.
He shook his head in disgust when he realised that he was trying to unclasp a small bracelet from the dead girl’s wrists. Fumbling around in the semi-dark he was not finding this an easy task.
‘You must have an urge to feel the hangman’s rope around your neck, my friend.’
‘Eh. What do you mean? Leave me be.’
‘You will swing if they catch you, you must know theft is a capital offence.’
‘They catch us tonight, and we will both hang.’
‘That is where you are wrong. What we are doing is a misdemeanour, What your doing is a felon…….punishable by death.’
Both men were silent for a moment as they weighed up the options.
Arthur was about to abandon his friend when Owen cursed and released the girl’s wrist. It fell limply back into her coffin.
‘OK. Ok. Let us get a move on then. There is still a profit to be gained from this night.’
They clambered from the grave and picked up their shovels. Scooping up the soft earth they quickly re-filled the grave. Hopefully, it would be a few days before any mourners returned, by this time mother nature would have taken over and hidden any signs of their presence.
Both men had a sense of urgency about them this time. The earth needed merely to be scooped up not dug out this time. They finished the job in ten minutes and stood looking for any signs that they may have missed that could give them away.
The air had become cold and still once more. Nothing moved in the cemetery. The mist that had followed them on their journey all night started to rise. Soon it entrapped both men and visibility was reduced as it swirled around freely in front of their eyes. They could barely see past the length of their arms.
Owen tugged Arthurs’ arm and pulled him in close.
‘Follow me. The next grave is just around the corner. I want to be out of here as quick as I can.’
‘Ok, Don’t worry I will be by your side, Something feels wrong tonight.’
Arm in arm they blindly stepped deeper into the foggy cemetery.
They had taken no more than a dozen paces when Arthur realised he had lost grip of Owen. He panicked and spun around. Nothing. Nothing anywhere, just swirls of fog.
He wanted to cry out Owen’s name, but he knew to do so, would be at risk of waking the watchkeeper.
Arthur took one step forward. From nowhere a giant winged skull loomed in front of him, hovering in the still air, silhouetted against a blanket of a grey.
Tonight it was his turn. He had been chosen.
Arthur closed his eyes tightly shut and flung up his arms in front of his face in an attempt to avert the inevitable.
A firm hand clasped his shoulder and pulled him back to safety.
Laughing Owen whispered ‘Watch where you are going, old man. You will hurt yourself.’
The mist shifted position, and the winged skull was revealed in all its glory, encased in a concrete gravestone.
Arthur shook his head. He was getting too old for this game. He had seen enough of the dark side to ensure he would have nightmares for the rest of his days.
Owen tugged him again on the shoulder and directed him to the next grave, the next victim that he had selected for them to plunder. This was five meters away from them, and they quickly covered the ground together. Removing the shovels and rope from their bags, they started to dig again.
Arthur did not look at the gravestone, inside he just prayed for this night to be over.
The earth here was thick, more compact and harder to dig into. After five minutes both men were sweating profusely and removed their jackets. The cold air assaulted their sweating bodies, and soon they were both shivering and cursing. They could not rest, they had to be gone from the area well before sunrise.
Owen’s shovel was the first to hit the cheap wooden coffin lid. Smiling he dropped to his knees and started brushing away the light soil with his hands, revealing an adult size coffin lid.
‘We have hit the jackpot here.’ He cried out triumphantly.
Leaning forward he curled his fingers around the underside of the coffin lid and started to lift it free from the top.
‘Be careful, slow down,’ whispered Arthur.
Owen could sense that tonight was going to be rewarding after all, he ignored Arthur and carried on lifting the lid.
There was a loud explosion, the shallow pit filled with Gunsmoke and the smell of cordite.
Arthur wiped his eyes clear and observed Owen lying on his back next to him.
Most of his head was missing.
Arthur was rooted to the spot, he stood staring blankly at first his fallen comrade and then at the exposed coffin. His mouth opened, but no words came.
The coffin torpedo had surprised them both. It had done its job well.
The second Owen had attempted to open the coffin lid, pressure had been released from the homemade booby trap, and the cartridge had exploded, instantly firing into his exposed face.
The cartridge had been crude but effective. It had spread upon discharge and travelled easily through his soft fleshy face, tearing away skin, bone and muscle. The charge had ricochet off Owen’s jaw bone and had been diverted upwards, where it exited the back of his head, dragging out the majority of his brain.
He had died instantly, no pain, no fear and no warning.
Arthur had heard rumours of such traps being placed by wealthy families in London, but like others, he did not expect their use to have travelled so far North as quickly.
He could taste iron in his mouth. He wiped the sleeve of his tatty coat over his mouth, and when he looked down, he was shocked to discover it was covered in warm fresh blood, globules of matter and bone clung to the fabric.
He spat the blood from his mouth, directing it to the wall of the grave and took stock. He knew he did not have much time. The gunshot would have woken the watchman and no doubt he would be hot-footing it to inform the peelers.
He glanced at Owen, the front of his face was an indistinguishable mess, He would not be easily identified. He decided to leave his friend where he lay. He did not have time to take him with him or hide the body.
If he did not hurry up, he too would receive the same fate as what his friend had in store for him.
Cut up and fed to the wild dogs that roamed the deserted streets or buried in a paupers grave, Where no one would know of his passing, forgotten and ungrieved.
Discarding the obliviated corpse of Owen from his mind, Arthur lent forward an hooked his arms around the bodies shoulders. He grimaced at the sight. The coffin contained the body of a male, perhaps thirty years old. He was of average build, but Arthur knew he would be awkward and cumbersome to lift, let alone carry.
The corpse showed early signs of decomposing. His jaw was locked tight with rigour mortis, and the once white face was turning to do a dark grey, the body was beginning to bloat as the gasses inside putrefied.
Trying not to gag, Arthur lifted the corpse from its resting place and manhandled it out of the grave, dumping it unceremoniously on the grass beside.
Knowing he would struggle to carry the body, Arthur gripped the still corpse by the legs and dragged him to the edge of the cemetery. He was aware of how eerie silent the cemetery had become, and he was sure the noise from the crunching gravel would be heard from miles away.
He braved on, never once stopping for breath. The clouds in the sky had disappeared, and the bright light of the moon illuminated everything.
He threw the body through the gap of the railings were it landed in a heap on the cobblestones outside. He clambered through and replaced the railings.
Glancing around, the street was still deserted, so he hoisted the corpse over his shoulders and crossed the road, bent double to the alleyway where they had waited earlier, and where their handcart was hidden.
Thirty minutes and with not a moment to spare as dawn was beginning to break, Arthur wheeled the handcart with the corpse wrapped up in an old tatty blanket, up a back alley to the side of his bosses house.
He knew his boss would be waiting for him, excited and eager to start work on his subject.
At the rear of the house was his bosses laboratory, private and secret, hidden away from prying eyes where he could be free to perfect his skills in medical science alone.
The door to the laboratory had once been painted black, the paint was now crumbling away, and dirt and grime clung to the decaying wood.
He knocked twice, careful not to be too loud. He heard a chair scrape on the floor inside and the sound of footsteps approaching.
The door opened, and a bright light shone through from the laboratory. Dr Reubens, dressed in a dark purple smoking jacket and slacks peered out.
‘Come in, come in,’ he ushered quietly.
He stepped back to open the door fully while Arthur removed the corpse from the handcart.
‘Where is your friend?’ He enquired taking in Owen’s shocking appearance.
Arthur could not look the doctor in the face, his eyes alone frightened him half to death.
‘He had to go home, he was feeling unwell,’ he muttered staring at the stone floor.
Arthur proceeded to the centre of the room where a lone ceramic slab hooked up to a single light, and a water hose was situated. He laid the body down detecting blood stains of past, still clinging to the whiteness of the slab.
Behind him, Dr Reubens slowly and quietly turned the key in the door.
He stepped back for Dr Reubens to inspect the body for the first time.
‘Excellent. Arthur, once again you have excelled yourself. He is perfect for my needs.’
He turned and looked around the room. His dark beady eyes missed nothing.
‘And where is my second body? I can only see one specimen before me.’
‘I’m sorry Sir, it has been a difficult night. We could only acquire the one body.’
Dr Reubens shoulders sagged, he did not turn around.
Quietly he chanted ‘No, No, No, this will not do at all.’
Arthur could tell his boss was disappointed with him and knew he needed to make amends quickly.
‘I will go back out tonight and bring you another body, Sir.’
A draft blew under the door into the laboratory, and the candlelight flickered madly casting shadows deep into the room.
Dr Reubens turned around slowly, a thin smile on his face. He looked straight into Arthur’s eyes.
‘It’s ok. I can make do with what I have in the room.’
Arthur sighed, He was scared of Dr Reubens, just now he could have sworn he detected evil in his eyes.
Before he could express his gratitude, Dr Reubens hand whipped forward.
Owen caught a brief glimpse of a scalpel he had concealed in his hand. It glimmered as it travelled through the air and he felt the tiniest of nicks against his throat.
Arthur stood transfixed as Dr Reuben stepped back, looking at him with a look of admiration on his face.
He lifted his hand to this throat and felt the tiniest of incisions. As his hand rested against his skin, he could detect a faint flow of blood starting to exit the wound.
He looked in disbelief as Dr Reubens stepped forward again.
Arthur felt the wound in his neck open up. In an instant, his strength deserted his body, and he sank to his knees aware of the river of blood forming on the floor.
Arthur felt as if his head was secured to his neck by a single twine only, sure that it would fall free from his neck if cut again.
His body felt cold, and he started to shiver uncontrollably.
He could see Dr Reubens standing over him, watching him slowly bleed out. He had a look of happiness on his face that Arthur could never recall seeing before.
Blackness finally engulfed Arthur.
For Dr Reubens, it was time to go to work.
He had a long day ahead of him.
I hope you all enjoyed this tale.
Feel free to share or tell your children.
This story was written on a whim. I have never written anything about horror before. It just goes to show that you can be inspired to write by almost anything.
All it took was an hour research on the internet and I had my story plot. Yes, the story isn’t perfect, it has had minor editing only and is probably littered with grammar errors and spelling mistakes, I just wanted to get it out there. Yet I feel I get across what I planned.
Happy Halloween everyone
Share this - it only takes a minute and means a lot to me
I’m nearing completion of my first novel which has been a wonderful journey full of ups and downs. Having had to learn the craft of writing along the way I have used many different tools and resources to help me including writer blogs, tips and lessons. One of the main subjects I often stumble across during my research is the subject of writer’s block, those 2 little words that every author fears.
My own personal opinion is that writer’s block cannot be overcome by standard identified actions alone, it has to be unique to the writer and will differ from writer to writer. With that in mind, I want to share what has worked for me in the hope that may help someone just starting out.
Writer’s block is not to feared it just needs to be overcome.
Re-read your notes and research material. Is there anything that could trigger you to start up again.
Re-read your previous chapter – For me, this got me back into the feel of the story and my mind was ready to race over the finish line into the next chapter.
Go for a walk, blow the cobwebs away and let your mind run free. Do not be afraid to push the boundaries with your thoughts. It only needs one idea or moment of inspiration to make you want to turn around and race back to your manuscript. When your out walking take only your phone or tablet with you. You need to immediately record anything that might help. Record it on notes or voice recorder and email it back to yourself so it is sitting waiting ready upon your return.
Watch a movie or read a book on a similar genre to your story and look for prompts or ideas. By this, I don’t mean for you to plagiarize. There is so much stuff out there that could easily be reworked, twisted around or adapted to suit your stories development.
Work with a story planner. I set up my story planner on PowerPoint which breaks down each chapter identifying key points and that I plan to achieve per chapter. Do this for your whole story. Revisiting this every day and updating the planner has helped me loads.
You will know your story off by heart in your head and hopefully you will have a detailed story planner, the chances are you will have an idea on how other chapters start or how certain scenes later in the book will unfold. Write them down. Writing is writing and don’t be afraid to write out of sync.
Do not allow yourself get stalled at the beginning of the chapter, Sitting for hours and hours is just dead time, if you know the end of the chapter then write it down and come back to the start later.
When completing your target for the day, go beyond this and write one or two sentences or paragraphs into the next paragraph/chapter so that you can pick up the story straight away the next day.
Really really stuck, then leave it! work on a short story, a writing competition entry, prepare the elevator pitch for your next story. This is all writing and before long your confidence in your ability as a writer will return.
If all else fails. Save everything. Turn off your laptop, Drink a bottle of wine (for starters) and dance naked around the house. Writer’s block may still be there in the morning or it may not, either way, you will have let off some steam.
I hope this helps. Like I said this is what works for me. There are loads of interesting articles out there so don’t be afraid if you encounter writer’s block – We all do. Why should you be any different 🙂
Firstly I’d like to apologise to everyone for not providing regular updates as promised. It has been a hectic few months what with the F1, friends visiting me and my UK vacation. I am now back on track and raring to go now that the finish line is in sight for me.
A Step into the Darkness is now 75% complete. I have decided to set myself a deadline of the end of July to finish the first draft and I’ve also set myself a writing target of 2hrs a night in order to achieve this. Without setting this I was worried I would become easily distracted and loose the flow of the story. I am now clear and focused on what I need to do and where I need to be so fingers crossed.
In the UK I met up with a fellow author and retired Chief of Northumbria Police who supplied me with a clear insight on not only police practices but on how my story could be improved to make it more engaging for the reader.
With this in mind I am pleased to announce my story is set in my hometown of Cramlington. It was originally called Elmdene but as all the other locations and geographical references within the story were accurate and as I was basically describing Cramlington within the majority of scenes (Write what you know and where you know). Changing the name will make it easier for readers to identify with if they know it is an actual town not a fictitious setting. The only thing I have done is made all street names, characters and character names fictitious.
Once the first draft is finished I plan to put it away for a few weeks in order to clear my mind of the story (2 years in my head now) allowing me to start the dreaded editing process with a fresh mind.
Dame Vera Baird QC has kindly arranged for me to spend some time with a 24/7 Response Officer from Northumbria Police and this is something I’m really excited to participate in and is tentatively planned for when I’m back in the UK in August.
I intend to use the experience gained from this opportunity to fine tune and clean up any grey areas within the police procedural side of the story and I will hopefully capture it all in my first few edits. Not sure yet as to how many edits I will require as I have been editing throughout when I have not had the chance to write.
A Step into Darkness was originally planned to be a standalone novel and writing a novel has always been a dream for me since childhood but since I have embarked on this project and after taking numerous writing courses I now have many other stories which I plan to write and share. Entering short story competitions, passing conversations, news reports and things I have observed have all led to a number of ideas forming in my head that I feel I can do justice to.
Once A Step into the Darkness is completed I am ready to write my second novel and It looks like I may take a few of the characters from the first story with me and see if I can develop them more in future stories. At present unless anything changes or if new ideas appear my next book is going to be about rape, betrayal and revenge set over three decades!
At the same time as this I am going to research into a second writing project which is something new for me (I love the research and planning). I’m looking to write a compilation of short stories based on the Second World War recounting tales of valour and bravery from unsung heroes focusing on all of the countries from the Allied and Axis Powers that were involved. I want these short stories to be fast paced, engaging, exciting and as historically accurate as possible. The short stories are going to be a hybrid of non-fiction and fiction with multiple points of view written in both first person and third person.
I know I have set myself a major challenge here but if all becomes too much my priority will be the second novel.
If all goes to plan my next update will be tell you all I’ve completed the first draft.
Take care everyone and enjoy your summer.
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Apologies for not posting recently. I was having a wonderful vacation in the UK and got side tracked.
I will post my book update next week as a I’m now nearly finished the first draft and a few interesting things took place when I was home.
For now Id like to post a short story I wrote about Inspiration for a writing competition earlier in the year. I hope you all enjoy.
Stubbing out his umpteenth cigarette of the day into the already overflowing ashtray, Dan pushed himself back into his leather chair, his mouth tasted foul and nothing was going to take away the feeling of decay inside.
Picking up his cup of tea, his face twisted as he spat the cold contents back into the cup.
‘Come on, come on” he forced himself.
His mantra fell on deaf ears; his plea for inspiration was ignored.
‘Give me something…anything…please.’
Glancing at the clock displayed at the bottom of his monitor Dan was gutted that only five minutes had elapsed since his last time check. He was confident that it would have been at least an hour.
Lighting yet another cigarette, feeling repulsed by the smell and taste, he started rocking himself back and forward on the castors of his chair whilst gripping onto to the front of his desk. Hey he thought, this could be a new office workout routine.
Snapping himself back into reality he rose and paced impatiently around his small office.
Yesterday had been the same. Same brick wall and same blankness.
Last night it had come to him though, deep in his dreams. Clear as day.
Why then was he struggling again today? He had entered his office full of confidence but now annoyance and frustration were starting to well up inside him.
‘Bugger this for a game of Soldiers’ he exclaimed and left the room.
Five minutes later, he was getting into a bath. Nice warm water, filled to the brim, encapsulated with bubbles from his Radox bubble bath.
He sank his head under the water enjoying the feeling of tranquillity that swept over him in an instant.
Five minutes later he leaped from the bath like a breeching Humpback Whale, water cascading over the bathroom floor.
Hastily pulling on his robe, he sprinted back to the office still soaked, trailing wet foot marks across the carpet, his unsightly bits jiggled from his exposed body as he jumped in front of his PC.
His fingers danced on the keyboard, the click of his key strokes non-stop.
Forty five minutes later, he was done.
‘Best get the bathroom tidied up,’ Dan thought to himself smiling like the cat that had caught the cream.
I hope you all enjoyed this. As always please feel free to comment and share.
Enjoy your weekend.
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The first ambulance left the scene with lights flashing and siren blazing, desperately weaving a safe route through the crowded street. At the end of the road the ambulance turned left, immediately speeding up onto the dual carriageway, making its way as fast as possible to the nearby General hospital.
The second ambulance however did not leave the street to the same fanfare as the first. No lights flashed and no sirens sounded. The ambulance left the scene under a sombre atmosphere. The gathered crowds silenced and lowered their heads respectfully, stepping to one side to allow it to pass.
No one in the street knew who was in the second ambulance, but they all secretly prayed that it was Gary Jackson.
Sadly the second ambulance contained Faye Jackson.
Her body at the age of twenty two was so severely savaged and abused, that in the days to come; her own mother would struggle to identify her.
Despite attempts to save her at the scene Faye Jackson had died minutes after the arrival of the ambulance.
Now unconscious, Gary was blissfully unaware of her passing.
Hi everyone. Hope you all enjoyed that little snippet from A Step into Darkness. Any comments would be greatly appreciated
Going back to UK tomorrow for 3 weeks so wont be able to write much, however plan to do a lot of editing and research in-between drinking copious amounts of good white wine and nibbling on French cheese and pate which are the things I miss the most from England when I’m in Baku.
Not certain but I’m hoping to make an announcement on my return…. Nothing major… well for me it is…so don’t get to excited ha-ha.
As always Id like to leave you with an inspirational quote.
Thanks everyone and take care.
Until next time
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The Madness of Passion My god! Had he really been so stupid? So blind and so arrogant that he had failed to miss all of the now painfully obvious tell-tale signs. Dan looked at the message once again on Fiona’s I-Pad and shook his head in utter disbelief, his stomach was in knots and his mind was racing. ‘Look forward to seeing you tonight sexy. Soo excited! Love K xxx’ Flinging the I-Pad onto the sofa Dan stood up and paced around the living room of his and Fiona’s tiny apartment. Dan had thought that they had been living blissfully together, but this was clearly not the case. ‘You stupid, blind bastard’ he thought to himself, as the temper and rage all fuelled by jealousy welled up inside him. It was now obvious to him what had been going on behind his back, frequent nights out with the girls, secretive text messages, coffees and catch up, the new desire to purchase fancy underwear; Fiona had always been a comfy cotton panties type of girl. Christ! How they must have laughed at him. Grabbing his car keys, he slammed the apartment door behind him and headed to the apartment block car park. Taking the lift to clear his head and plan his revenge. “K” could only be Dr Kilpatrick, the slimy new Dr that worked at the hospital with Fiona. They had been round to his house once for a dinner party and Dan could still recall the address. Knocking at Dr Kilpatrick’s front door, Dan was surprised that Dr Kilpatrick did not seem phased or shocked in anyway by his unannounced appearance. Before he even spoke, Dan lashed out, punching him full on in the nose, where he fell back into his hallway with blood and snot tricking down his face and slowly staining his cream cashmere jumper. Following up with a swift kick between the legs Dan bellowed ‘Stay the fuck away from my girlfriend’, before leaving Dr Kilpatrick whimpering, prone on the floor with a look of sheer terror and bewilderment written all over his bloodied face.
Opening the door to his apartment, Dan stepped inside and froze. Fiona and another woman both dressed in fur coats were stood facing him. They both opened up their coats in tandem to reveal matching white silk lingerie with stockings and black high heels to complete the look. ‘Dan, meet Kaitlin,’ purred Fiona running her tongue teasingly over her glossy ruby red lipstick ‘She is going to be sharing our bed with us from now on’. Dan looked again, blinked, took a deep breath and then smiled like a simpleton before muttering “whoops”.
Hope you enjoyed my short story which I wrote for a Valentine’s Day short story competition.
Would appreciate any feedback.
Enjoy your week everyone.
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