Tuesday, 19 October 2010

Fiction in life

It's happened again! One of my unpublished story lines is reflected in true life. This time it's about porn movie stars contracting HIV.
In my novel, Apsaras III, the Californian porn stars finish up in Thailand where their condition is not important. To read more you'll have to wait until the story is published.

Wednesday, 11 August 2010

Update 2

Slow progress. In fact with the heat of summer in Southern Spain, I've almost ground to a halt. The main problem is the middle of the story. I've got an end but working towards it with a coherent , logical and plausible story that builds the tensions is coming too slowly.

I have taken time off to look at other projects, hoping that inspiration will come from an enexpected quarter and fuel my imagination again. I have completed five stories for my book of short stories about a football club called 'The Squad'. Another eight or nine needed.

I have also thought about Apsaras, the name for my Jack Benson novels. I have decided to rework the second story, 'The Sixth Ring'. I was never happy with it and have now decided to split it into two parts. The first devoted to Hafiz and the piracy stories. This will pave the way for the second part which features Jack, the twins and Bella. It will need a complete rewrite but I've already split the story and will tackle the rest once I'm happy with 'Revelation'.

Coming back to this, the third story, I'm determined to take my time and get it right. Some of the issues, some of the subjects brought up in the story are, to my mind, too important not to be given important consideration.

Thursday, 22 July 2010


Since I last commented I've rewritten two novels, the 'Lamb' and the 'Green man' and added three more short stories to my collection provisionally called the 'Squad'. There is to my mind, no doubt that the reworkings have enormously improved the stories.
In the case of the 'green Man' there was an idea that it could be turned into two novels but to date this has proved too difficult. The threads of the story are too intertwined to easily disentangle without detracting from the either story. Sometimes the original story, freshly conceived is the best one.

It is sometimes beneficial to take a break from a work to give alternative scenarios an opportunity to present themselves and I think this has happened in this case. Not only wiuth the 'Revelation' but also with my third 'Saigh Valley' tale the 'Red Lion' at Nippley. It came to me in a flash of inspiration but if you want to know more you'll have to wait. Sorry!!

The negativity of the last blog has been replaced with some new  confidence. I believe that I now have a talent for telling stories and I must respond to this gift by continuing to write. Some of my new ideas for Revelation are to my mind, inspirational.

Monday, 26 April 2010


It has become clear to me that my other works need amendment if they are ever to be published. Accordingly, I'm going to put on hold the writing of Apsaras III until I am happy that I can go no further with the 'Green man' and 'The Lamb'.
I feel that the series based on the pubs is a good idea and a possible winner. Therefore it seems to me to make sense to promote these works before I move on to other stories. It is not going to be easy as some of the measures I must take are to do with my style of writing. Accordingly, passages that read okay to me, may be incorrect, grammatically or in some other way.
It is a sobering thought, that because of my style, it may be that my stories are simply not good enough for publication and will never see the light of day.
I shouldn't be surprised. I know I shouldn't think negatively, but if I'm honest, my writing like every other endeavour will end in failure, mired in the ocean of mediocrity that swamps everything I ever do.
Well, we must nevertheless make an effort. I owe it to my family to keep on going; to keep on improving and produce the book my efforts deserve.

Wednesday, 7 April 2010

Progress 2

Well, we've reached the 50,000 word mark. Progress is slowier than I would have liked but we are well passed the third mark three months after starting. I had hoped to be finished by the end of June but I think the end of July is more realistic. Why is it so slow? The start went well and the end is more or less worked out, so it is the detail of building the story, making it exciting and coherent from start to finish, weaving together the various threads so that as we reach the finish, the whole is completely satisfying.
This being the third story in the Jack Benson series, there is an added problem with making sure that what I write is consistent with the earlier stories. I'm not very good at it but establishing a strong time-line is important too.

Some of the best parts of creative writing comes from the detail; from doing research. With the internet, authors have a great range of tools to research situations, places and technology. Never leaving our homes we can tell stories from afar using images to describe the action and location. It is not a new technique. When he wrote Robinson Crusoe, Daniel Defoe had never before been to the tropics; I doubt he'd ever left England but he wrote convincingly about life on a tropical island, his intelligence coming from reports in his newspapers about explorations.

Friday, 26 March 2010

Inspiration from Life

I guess I am about a third of the way through, having written 45,000 words. It's been a struggle lately, balancing other activities with writing, particularly as I haven't been particularly inspired. It's all changed now and I'm excited, not only about the story but because as I'm writing, so much of what I'm saying has relevence in real life today. Stories of the widespread corruption in the Roman Catholic Church involving child abuse, not only in the United States but Ireland too. Even the Pope himself is not immune fron criticism; almost unbelievable given his position as 'Vicar of Christ'.

Saturday, 6 February 2010


The story has grown to 30,000 words after I made progress on the second thread to the story.

Following the start, the fight to reach and find the third Sumerian/Babylonian clay tablet, I needed to etablish the story of Phailin and her ambition to win Taekwondo gold at the London Olympics and at the same time introduce a new love angle for Jack.

A third thread has also been introduced with the Thai police contacting Jack and asking for help in finding the owners of a high class club in Krabi. Suspected of using trafficked women, the club attracts the business of the wealthy and well connected in Thai society. Soon, the police are inexplicably withdrawn and Jack is left to either forget it or press on to help the girls. Readers of 'Apsaras' will know that this is not an option.

Tuesday, 12 January 2010

Frustration- computer failure

My laptop has let me down. whilst downloading the Vista SP1 pack which should improve how my computer operates, the power failed midway through. Now the computer fails to boot and has been sent to a computer doctor, leaving me frustrated. Sadly I hadn't backed up to my memory stick, thereby making it impossible to pick up the threads of my story with the second computer. The plot however, is rapidly developing and being written in my notebook to await the return of the laptop. I miss it as it's part of my day. Writing is what I do and I like to work on my own machine.

Wednesday, 6 January 2010

The Start of a Novel

I have now written parts of the first six chapters, some 17000 words of Apsaras III. I have only written parts of the chapters because I know what else is needed for their completion and I'm keen to build the skeleton of the story; introduce the various streams that make up the story. I'm pleased with what I have written but now is a crucial part, taking up many hours lying in bed in the early hours, working over different plots to find one that satisfies. I find that these times are never wasted and that a plot always emerges if you keep the main themes in mind.
Once the skeleton of the book is built, I can go back and fill in the detail. Other writers may have different ways of constructing a story but I find this works for me. If you like, it's like a painter starting his picture by putting on his successive washes and raw outlines on which to later paint the fleshy bits. If I deviate from this euphamism of painting a picture, its that I sometimes can write the end before I've finished the story. I remember when I wrote Apsaras I was so excited by the ending I just had to write it down while it was fresh in my mind.
How long will the book be? As long as it takes to tell properly is the right answer, but I feel that it ought to be no less than 100000 words. To my mind the public, when buying a book, want it to take more than one sitting to finish. Some will say that size doesn't matter, it's the quality that counts and while I have some sympathy with this view, I hate to be enjoying a book I've only just started but with only a few pages left. Books over 150000 words long can become tedious. Have you ever been reading a story wishing it would finish so that you can start a new one? I know I have.
The Apsaras stories are about 130000 words long, which I view as being about right. The Saigh Valley stories work out at between 110-120,000 words.
In this blog I shall be regularly recording the process of writing this story.

Tuesday, 29 December 2009

Apsaras III. Revelation

I have started the third novel in the Jack Benson series of stories.

Following on from Apsaras II, the story begins with the search for the third Sumerian/ Babylonian clay tablet. It's discovery throws the world of organised religion into anarchy with new truths about the origin of the scriptures.
Phailin, one of the Thai twins who share Jack's adventures has taken up Taekwondo and prepares to represent Thailand in the London Olympics.
As the Mayan date of change draws ever closer, Jack is urged to take steps for his and the refuge's survival. What he discovers puts his life in danger but can he convince the world of the truth.

I hope to finish the novel by mid 2010.