Update 31/05/2015

Hello everyone! Remember me? 

As those of you with long memories may recall, The Devil's Gate is currently in what I think of as the beta testing stage. Fortunately I've now got the feedback I need to make the next round of editing. It's extremely valuable to hear what other people make of the book, since thing that make perfect sense to me may turn out to be complete nonsense to someone who lacks the benefit of having written it themselves. 

It's taken longer than I intended to get to this stage, but that's probably a good thing: a) I've been so busy over the last few months I probably wouldn't have got much done anyway; and b) it's been sufficiently long now since my last edit that I can now re-read the manuscript with a little bit more perspective. The plan is to read over what I've got, making notes as I go, and then edit based on my own thoughts and those of the readers. 

We're not quite finished yet, but it's getting close. Watch this space! 


'Sorry-For-The-Lack-Of-Updates' Update 22/03/2015

So I've been rather quiet this month. Whoever first said 'no news is good news' clearly wasn't talking about publishing. This is partly because I'm waiting for feedback on the Fourth Draft, which I'll need in order to make my final revisions. In all honesty though it's been so busy for various reasons that I'm not sure I'd have achieved much anyway.

The good news is that I am finally moving in a week's time (I should have known better than to invoke the curse of 'completing before Christmas'). That means that soon I'll be living in Cambridge, and I'll be able to settle down to finish off my book. Or, alternatively, I'll be so distracted by the bright lights of the big city/Netflix that I fail to make any progress whatsoever. We'll see.

Update 01/03/2015

March, eh? What's that all about? Don't quite know where this first sixth of the year has gone. 

Haven't done much writing-wise for the last couple of weeks. Partly this is because I've been extremely busy with work and other things, but mostly because I'm waiting for feedback on The Devil's Gate. Initial reports have been reassuringly positive so far, but I'm sure there must be things worth changing before the final publication. 

In the meantime, I have done a bit of thinking about the next book. Almost started writing it, actually. I had done a chapter-by-chapter plan of it not long after I planned The Devil's Gate, but now the book is actually written I think the plan could use some revising before I actually put pen to paper. Or, thumbs to touchscreen. You know what I mean.

Update 25/01/2015

This has been quite a significant weekend for The Devil's Gate. I recited the magic words and carried out the secret computer rituals that turned a bunch of documents into a single EPUB file. This means I can now read it on my iPad like any other novel; for the first time it feels like a proper book rather than a simple manuscript. 

Obviously the cover is going to need a bit of work

Obviously the cover is going to need a bit of work

And I am reading it, once again. I'm picking up on some of the errors that slipped through the last edit, and I'm looking out for things that don't make sense (or could be better handled) when it's all read together rather than a couple of chapters per week. Hoping to finish this off before too long, and then it can finally be shared with my test readers. 

Of course, there will still be plenty to do after then. For one thing, I need to put together a proper cover. But I think we're getting close.

Update 12/01/2015

I've been working recently on the not-particularly glamorous task of transferring the edits of the third draft from paper to screen. It's hardly the most creative of tasks, but it has to be done if the book is ever going to come together.

Today I finally finished the job. Hopefully I'll be able to remember the arcane rituals and obscure scripts required to transfigure 27 Word documents into a single properly-formatted EPUB file. I'll then be able to see how The Devil's Gate reads as an actual complete novel.

The wall of old Tallinn

The wall of old Tallinn

Happy 2015!

Happy new year everyone! I know it's a bit late, but I've just got back from Finland and haven't had much chance to post anything.

2014 has been quite a decent year, at least for me personally. Not only was it very productive for writing, but I've had some great experiences along the way. RYLA was one highlight of course, but there have been plenty of other really good times too.

I don't believe in making traditional new year's resolutions, since once you've broken them the first time it's hard to find the motivation to resume them. Instead, I take the opportunity of the new year to set myself goals for the following twelve months, that I can work towards all year and assess myself against at its end.

The results this year have been variable. I've certainly finished the first draft of The Devil's Gate, for one thing. I've not quite made my target of kilometres jogged, but I have kept up with the jogging, which is the more important thing. I've not really made the progress in learning Finnish that I'd planned, but that's mostly because I've been working on the book. Overall, I'm quite pleased with how things went.

2014 went out in an appropriately fun manner. I've been to some good new year parties in the past, but this is the first time I've ended up in Tallinn for New Year's Day. My friends and I travelled on the ferry from Helsinki for a night's partying, and explored the capital of Estonia on the following day. The old part of the city is really beautiful and well worth seeing.

2015 has therefore got off to quite a fine start. I don't expect it to be parties and sightseeing all the way, but with an apartment to buy and a new book to publish in the next few months I think it's going to be a good one.