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18/05/2015

How do you plan your work?

Firstly, my apologies. I know it has been a while since my last blog post but, as you may have seen from Facebook, I have taken over a tools stall in my local market in an effort to pay the bills. Well that's the idea anyway. Market stalls in Britain in late winter/early spring are not necessarily the best place to try and earn a living, unless of course you are lucky enough to be inside. So far I've been paying for stock and bills for the stall instead of the other way around, but the warmer, and hopefully drier months are to come and hopefully customers will come with it... If you wish to learn more then check out Tiverton Tools on Facebook.

 

I was, until the end of October last year, working for a reasonable wage, in a job that was killing me slowly. I decided it was time for a change and took the bold step to give notice. It was either that or I was going to fallout with my employer in a big way. Anyway, I am a great believer that you should follow your instincts and that there are no such thing as coincidences. Therefore, something would come along d'reckly as we say in Devon. [Usually used in the contexts “I'll zee t' it d'reckly.” This gives the impression that it will be done directly or straight away. This is not the case. D'reckly means later on, sooner or later or more usually when I get around to it.] I also made a bargain with myself, that if I gave up work to live off of my saving I would also have to give up smoking. And so far so good, I now happily “vape” and haven't had a fag since I finished work.

I'm meandering so back to the point. Whilst going through the hoops and hurdles that comes with trying to find employment these days, I used the time to write the second book in the Lyonnesse Tales series, Quest in Time. However, whilst this was going on, and since a large advance from a publisher is not yet forthcoming and my savings are a finite resource, I happened upon the tools stall in the market that I frequent only to find that the proprietor was retiring and the stall was going. It seemed like I was in the right place at the right time so I bought out the remaining stock and the fixtures and fittings and took it over. The idea being that I could hopefully earn a living whilst still being able to write when the stall was quite. I have had to extensively rework the stall to try and make best use of limited space and spend a sizable chunk on restocking. This has left me with almost no time to write and a good deal poorer. Thus my tardiness in writing a fresh blog post.

And so, after much prevarication, we come to the crux of this post, how I write. I'm not one of those authors who plans out everything meticulously and has every nuance of the plot mapped out, every character recorded on a card index and maps of my fictional creation adorning the walls. I do have some idea about the storyline and the characters that will be involved. However, it is very rare that I sit down to write and know what is it that I am going to write. I let the story unfold as I type. In this way I am effectively being led by the story, not the other way around. I get to be the first person to read the tale as it unfolds, almost as if I was reading something written by someone else.

For many this would be too chaotic, and I can understand this. Besides the Lyonnesse Tales light-hearted fantasy stories, I have several more traditional fantasy novels that I want to get down on paper, and because they have far more intricate back stories, unique political systems and are set in a world that is far removed from our own, they require more diligent planning.

The other great thing about planning a story out is knowing when it is going to end. Whilst the couple of months of unemployment have meant that I was able to write the follow up to Bubble of Time. Quest in Time has turned out to be a trilogy in its own right as there was so much story left at the end of the book. So, Quest in Time will have a beginning, a middle bit and an end. It has had good reviews from the people who have been kind enough to read it in its raw, unedited state.

With the promise of some newspaper work that has yet to materialise, I have treated myself to a newer laptop. It’s not quite as bad as the steam driven one I had before, but being on a budget, it is far from being the latest thing. It has, however, enabled me to edit the first part of Quest in Time whilst I sit watching the world go by from my, currently, cold and damp market stall. I have also been able to go through the final revisions for Bubble of Time and release a second edition, and sort out formatting for the paperback. I’m just waiting for the proof copy to come through and it will be released.

Newsflash

Today is a very exciting day! Quest in Time: A Beginning, will be released on Kindle on the 1st of September and is now available to pre-order

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Quest-Time-Beginning-Lyonnesse-Tales-ebook/dp/B013IGVLIW

The paper back will be out later in September!

Another 5 star review on http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B00BNWH4KI

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