Sunday, 30 October 2011


Halloween weekend and my chance to have a decent sleep only to realize I've got to stick to my plan and keep writing. It's not that I wouldn't have anything to write. Nah, there's plenty of twists and turns that have either already been there or they just appear from nowhere (kind of fun). I feel tired though and having a day break on Friday, as I traveled up north to attend a meeting in Manchester, made things worse. However, my daughter impressed with her Halloween ingenuity.

They were having a Halloween birthday party (yeah, don't ask) and she pulled out her old costume only to find out several pieces have either been torn or broken. Tears at first but then with a little nudge she managed to rescue it all within a few minutes. Mum and dad team work made it so much easier and everything was sorted before you could say Jack Robinson. Trick-or-treats tomorrow with our friends so more fun to follow, bless her.

Oh yes, I also found some really fabulous writers on Twitter and it was all pretty much accidental. Here are some that are definitely worth following: @neilhimself (Neil Gaiman), @angelakulig (Angela Kulig) @ComicBookGrrl (Blake Northcott).

OK, let me finish my 2,000 words for today...

Wednesday, 26 October 2011

Writing tips

Here we go, I kind of need to say something about that as well, don't you think? After all, I am writing a novel and should at least be aware of some tips and techniques floating in the virtual space (if not beyond). Yes, yes, I did say this already but I am still amazed at the amount of free information available online! First of all, I've got to mention Amanda's advice on removing as many variations of the verb "to be" as possible. That by itself made me much more imaginative with my sentences. You need to get used to a new writing style but overall it actually isn't that difficult.

Reading good books helps as well. Pride and Prejudice is free on Kindle but there is also James Joyce who invented completely new dimensions in language creativity. I know all this because I watched Stephen Fry last night where he in his renowned demeanor painted James's story around language and food for that matter.

But in addition to the above I guess it is worth mentioning a few incredible sites where an eye paying attention to little details can find all sorts of impressively helpful advice. The Daily Writings Tips is one such source and I'm really glad people are so willing to share their experience and ideas. My novel is getting better and better every day just because of such contributions. I totally enjoy writing it and cannot wait every night to sit in front of my laptop and so some proper writing. You'll see, you will like it!

Monday, 24 October 2011

Fatherhood, mounting events, etc.

I regularly read various blogs that reveal more or less known novel writing tips. Some are better than others but all in all they mostly give away the inner working of a story, and all that free of charge. I'm really grateful for all the effort these bloggers have exerted just to tell others how to write well. Altruism clearly hasn't died yet.

I'm an engineer so Peder Hill's diagram immediately resonated with my thinking and I regularly use his recommendations to check my writing. On the other hand, his video on fatherhood made me think as well. It's interesting how life evolves in mysterious ways. Whilst I have selected novel writing to liberate my inner voice and escape the rat race of the 24hr academic life, Peder talks about the curse of non-stop fiction writing and in his words "stupid projects". No offence Peder but let me tell you, there are far worse projects out there that prevent fathers from spending their time with children, and I'm not talking about not being able to devote sufficient time to play with them and their growing up. What I am talking about is time wasted on stupid meetings and consequently not being able to see your kids at all.  AT ALL (well, apart from a day here and there but that surely shouldn't count)! So, I would alter his advice and recommend the marvelous video he created to everyone who falls under this second category because I believe novel writers spend several-fold more time with their kids than most academics or business people.

Oh my, that was now a rant on a painful subject. Anyway, coming back to novel writing tips I realized today that my crises, as Peder puts it, develop almost spontaneously and even I am intrigued by the mounting problems the main character is exposed to. It's interesting because this doesn't happen on purpose although I do craft my writing on a well structured plot. You'll love it as it really builds up the tension. So, I guess, it's worthwhile saying I can hardly wait till my next batch of writing tomorrow evening (after a whole day of academic stuff, that is... and yes, I do spend my time with kids every day).

Thursday, 20 October 2011

Ups and Downs

I was just thinking today why is it that we experience ups and downs. I woke up today in the morning feeling exhilarated and full of energy. Whatever I did during the day was blessed with a soothing feeling of accomplishment and it felt fabulous yet surreal. How is it that only a day difference can push you into a diametrically opposite direction and you almost feel as if the end of the world is nigh.

To my horror I then went about reading a little bit on Stephen Fry's experience with bipolar disorder, the mental illness that kills about 2,000 people a year in the UK alone (i.e. suicide). Good grief, this has scared the hell out of me! I think my own experience with ups and downs is nowhere near what Stephen went through but then again it made me think.

I believe my ups and downs are just a matter of perception and I refuse to accept that this is associated with any mental illness but I'm still intrigued by the dynamics of ups and downs as they appear and disappear for no reason at all. Whatever the case, should you experience anything of that kind and have suicidal thoughts, please don't keep it to yourself though! Speak to your doctor and your loved ones and don't let your mind kill you.

God, is that a depressing post or what! Sorry, just had to pour it out...

Monday, 17 October 2011

30,000 words

I couldn't really do much for the past week or so. My day job is really interesting but terribly demanding and running a block module last week meant I couldn't even Tweet anything. Having said that, I made a really good progressed and exceeded 30,000 words a couple of days ago. Should be at 40,000 by the end of the week but let's see. The story is developing really well although you will eventually decide whether it is good enough. I'm adding new and new circumstances and problems and continue exposing my main character to ever increasing challenges. I'm happy with the way the story builds on past complications of some of the characters but I'm sure I'll edit it several times before sending it off to professional editors.

There is one more thing that occurred to me in the past few weeks. Being an academic is fun in its own right but the academic world itself is sinking into an eve growing abyss of self-fulfilling prophecies of immensely arrogant quasi-academics who believe they are right in every single activity  they get themselves involved in apart from the time when they resort to procrastination. Mind you, there is really, really very little room for proper science in all this so I have now finally decided that academia is not what I want to be doing for the rest of my life. I much more prefer writing novels and running my own business where you know precisely what you should and shouldn't do. Furthermore, I can always use my own companies to do some proper and useful research as opposed to figuring out whether I am methodologically well positioned. God, what nonsense!

Anyway, I have found a couple of interesting professional editors so all is well on this front and my Chinese manufacturers are pretty damn good too. Ah yes, this is something I ought to write about in one my future blogs when I launch my new online store. OK, let's get back to writing!

Tuesday, 4 October 2011

20,000 words

No, I am not obsessed with numbers but a few minutes ago my typing reached 20,000 words and I am thrilled. You may wonder why though. Well, my plan is to type some 1,500 words per day and when the nighttime is the only period of the day you can spare for writing, this can be a challenge. Not to worry, I am not whining, it's just a fact, pure and simple.

I am also excited as my central characters' circumstances are getting increasingly complicated making typing faster but also more interesting as I get under their skin feeling all the terrifying moments they are going through. I'm not going to reveal more (for now) but the idea is to keep my readers on their toes all the time, or even increasingly so as they progress through the book.

Eh, what the hell, I'll say something, OK. Well, it's about a terribly wrong-footed romance, which gets ever more complicated (including numerous smaller and bigger twists in between).

That oddly just reminded me of the Meredith Kercher case (no, my novel is not even remotely connected to the case)! It's one of the most abused mystery murders ever and I'm sure many will be crowding round Amanda and Rafaelle for various obvious reasons.

Having said that, it's an intriguingly disturbing case and I cannot make up my mind what to think. They have released her and Rafaelle Sollecito so thinking about the case it is disturbing if they spent four years in jail for nothing, it is equally disturbing if they have released murderers who look like angels and it is also disturbing that all the focus is on Amanda and Rafaelle yet Meredith Kercher, who was brutally murdered has been all but forgotten. That's why I intentionally didn't write Amanda Knox case above...

...and to steer into a completely different direction, Krugman is brilliantly amusing in depicting economic reality. Before finding Krugman I never thought a person could laugh reading a blog on macroeconomics.