New ways of working – what tools do you use?

I am currently taking a small break from writing a new short story – a slaughterhouse tale – one that is definitely stretching me in unexpected ways, due to the amount of research I am needing to do, and the restructuring that I need to do to the plot to make it work for me. As a result I am having to learn new, more grown up, ways of working. Mainly because I tend to write instinctively and throw things together, then force them to bend to my will, rather than plan everything intelligently from scratch. I tend to see it in my head and go for it and that is why I often get bogged down later on, when the process is interrupted by the stress of my day job and then I struggle to remember where I was going with something and the mood I was aiming for at the time. I am slowly forcing myself to plan, to plot, to make notes, to research and delay the actual writing process until I am truly ready. It’s quite a demanding process and a bit too much like homework for my liking.

And this hopefully brings me around to the actual point I am trying to make [and badly]: that I am curious as to what tools you [Dear readers] use to construct your masterpieces?


Published – The Girl with White Hair

Drops of Crimson just published my short story THE GIRL WITH WHITE HAIR. Please go and check it out and let me know what you think.

I had a hard time shaving of 1,500 words from it to make it fit, but like to think it still retains enough of the central core to make it a worthwhile and enjoyable read. Pity they didn’t retain all of my formatting, italics on the dream sequences and indenting etc. But I guess beggars can’t be choosers….

It’s a vampire tale, set in the London Goth club scene and features two characters who appear in my first feature script entitled LAST NITE IN SODOM; a script I still have to rework in order to enter competitions later this year. It was my first experiment with a stream of consciousness type of fiction. – where the drinks are free

Mariner Software launches free WritersPub for writers 

(Thanks to Peter Cohen

Mariner Software announced the launch of, a free web site for writers of all standards, enabling them to interact with each other. Users can upload stories and other written works, create groups and write reviews.

The site utilies a point-based reward system — the more you review others’ work, post comments and contribute to the site, the more points you earn. When you earn enough, you can post your own stories for review.

The site features a forum, the ability to view members online at the same time, friend invitation, browse by author or genre and more.

Mariner Software’s stable of products include several aimed at writers, including Mariner Write, MacJournal, Montage and StoryMill.

The Festive Season… a creative time or a curse?

Merry festives to one and all!

I hope that many of you are able to relax, share happy moments with loved ones and even create the odd original work too! I know I’ve been blessed this year, with the time and a lack of family visits to enable me to actually get my head down and work when I’ve needed to. So far I have created a new short story – THE LEG MAN -, started editing THE GIRL WITH WHITE HAIR down to a more printable length and been asked to produce a short film in LA for Black CAB Productions at some point in 2009.

But rather than get down about the family visits, when they do occur, I have also noticed a positive effect when the small talk runs out…


To cut or not to cut? and if so where?

I sometimes write prose as well as screenplays. I know… the shame… delusions of being able to say in polite company that I am a ‘published’ writer, often work on my inner lack of success, as do watching awards ceremonies and thinking “If only my screenplay had been produced” – which is why I steer clear of them now.

Frustrated by certain scripts remaining unproduced, I often decide to adapt them – partly as a learning experience / for the practice, but also because I believe that certain ideas can work equally well in both formats. I’d be just as happy being produced, as well as being published.

The important thing for me is that these ideas are [hopefully] enjoyed by others. And you’re not lynched afterwards for crimes against ‘the rules’…

My main issue as a writer of prose, mainly short fiction, is that I suffer from StephenKingitis – or Overlyverboseprose syndrome as it’s known in certain circles. (more…)

So Long Schlong

This morning, after a pitiful night’s rest, I was surprised when I not only had an interesting idea for a story but I also felt compelled to capture it in more than just my usual note form. I set myself a goal of writing only 750 words, no more no less. None of my usual ‘Novelletes’ 10,000 word max epics. I did it and I am quite proud of the piece, even if anyone I told about it seemed horrified by the idea of me penning a tale about a vampiric pecker and then wasting more time agonising over many morally questionable puntastic title choices than the actual story writing. I settled for SO LONG SCHLONG… but now I am torn between that and THE WORM THAT TURNED…. but the most important thing is that I wrote a proper piece of Flash fiction and that I also used a female narrator – as I am rather conscious and ashamed of my habitual use of male main characters – and got to work the occupation of ‘fluffer’ into a story too; a pitiful long term goal of mine. ;0)

It was only afterwards when I was wondering what subliminally inspired it?