Thursday, 26 June 2014

Progress on The Guardian

My first major novel, The Guardian, is now at the end of the second draft. It has become a readable, coherent novel. The next stage is that it will be placed in the hands of an editor whose job it will be to pick it apart. To question, suggest and cut as required.

This is a vital stage, as the editor can make or break the novel. So I am, of course, slightly nervous. But I will be working with someone who is very experienced, has a good eye and I firmly believe will be a great asset in getting the novel ready for publication.

This is the first of a planned trilogy. The full title is

The Guardian - Book I
Blood in the Sand

I will report more on the progress once it has begun.

Sunday, 22 June 2014

Morbid Curse

I was recently given the chance to have a sneak preview of a new e-zine being launched by the amazingly talented Katie Metcalfe. Called, Morbid Curse, it it a very Black Metal centric magazine that goes far beyond the music.

I am not a big fan of the harsher forms of Metal. However, I feel that I have a deeper appreciation now for what the music is about, what it is trying to accomplish.

I can tell you, it was an eye opener.

You can see what it is all about here

I offered my services as a proof reader. And I am very pleased that I did. In one evening I was astonished to discover a whole world that I barely suspected the existence of. I am not saying that I am now a fan of the genre, but recently I have been listing to an Icelandic band called Sólstafir. I do not know where they fit within the musical pantheon but the music is stunning and has inspired me to write. And that cannot be bad!

So, if you are fan of Bathory, or Burzum or Mayhem, then this magazine is for you. But if, like me, you were not really aware of the rich history and culture behind the movement of Death Metal and Black Metal then perhaps you might like to check it out too.

You will probably learn something and it might just astonish you. It did me.

The revision is upon me...

Blood in the sand has been sitting on a back burner while I tackled numerous short stories and started another novel. It has been about three months since I wrote the final scenes of the first Guardian novel, and completed the first draft.

But now I am back. I have some time off work, and I am going to work my way through the novel, rewriting one major plot point and generally revising as I go. Once this is done, it will be off to the editor for his turn. This is a process that I have been looking forward to for a long time, and it feels good to be finally getting to a point where the novel can be said to be 'finished.'

After this week's revision process it will be at the second draft stage, and hopefully one step nearer to a readable, full length novel. At around one hundred thousand words it is a decent enough length. Now the aim is to ensure that it is a decent enough quality.

Here is a teaser. The very first line:

"The naked woman with hair like a cascade of spun copper caressed the young man’s face gently, her fingers light against his skin, the knife pressing into his neck held firm."

I wanted to start the novel with a bang (It does. There is a terrifically big bang. I take things literally.) and at the same time I wanted to create a certain atmosphere. Here, we see our main protagonists struggling physically, which demonstrates the tone of their entire relationship. They are continually at odds with one another, a situation that culminates ultimately in murder.

Without wishing to give too much away, the novel unfolds as a flashback from that moment. And then interweaves a story within a story. The novel starts at the end, then we jump back to the beginning to see how we got there.

Like much of what I write, it concerns the meaning of death and contains metaphysical themes as well as such themes as sacrifice and duty.

But now I am eager to start work. Revision is calling.