Shadows of Autumn

After many trials, Shadows of Autumn is nearing completion. As I began the story, I wanted it to be a part of something bigger, part 1 of 4, in a standalone epic. That has not transpired. ‘Part 1’ eventually neared 60k words before I could even see the ending, and now with the last chapters on the way out, it’s closer to 80k. It couldn’t serve its original purpose without severe edits, so I’ve opted out of the epic idea. Instead, Shadows of Autumn became a kind of exercise, into writing a brand of fantasy fiction I’d never really dabbled in, and drawing upon a culture I had no experience with.

In that regard, it’s become a success, and I’ve found more ways in which to learn, develop and grow. I need to work on pacing and tension above all else, but most importantly, I’ve learned the value of planning. This was the first attempt I’d made at planning out a story, and it’s made my work so much stronger. I couldn’t be happier.

I’d considered it a novella, but at 80k, it’s well into novel length, and now I can seriously begin to consider moving forwards, towards representation and beyond. It’s an exciting time for me, riddled with anticipation and anxiety. Not since completing Long May Men Have Voices, have I finished anything quite so substantial. I’ve written shorts that ended up wandering around on their own until they decided to end, I’ve written a bunch of flash fiction, but nothing like this. Shadows of Autumn has, I feel, substance, and it gives me ways to move forwards.

I’m beginning to consider financing options. Editors are sooooo not cheap. If you read this, and at some point see something regarding a crowdfunding campaign for a little novel called Shadows of Autumn, please do stop in and have a look.

Here’s the full colour map I’ve recently finished painting. Just in case you wanted a teaser. I’m happy with this, too. Apparently it looks professional, but the inner critic in me is dubious.


Itsuba Wattpad


My NaNoWriMo, day 3.

It’s been fairly steady progress today. I reached the goal pretty easily, now I just have to focus my discipline, so that I can continue writing even after I reach the 1667 mark, or whatever the number is.

I don’t think I’m going to be posting every day, because frankly, I don’t think I have that much to say, and I’m not sure that many people are really interested in a blow-by-blow account of my quest to 50,000 words.

This WriMo business is quite handy though, there is a bunch of resources available, and the forums offer a river of tools to aid in the plotting, character development or narrative structure of your story. Whatever the result this year, I’ll definitely be coming back next year.

My NaNoWriMo, day 1. Goal is 5001.


I have quite obviously been very lacking in these updates. For that, I have no excuse. BUT, I celebrated my birthday on October 14th, which is really the beginning of the new year in my world, so I made a resolution; write, and write a lot. NaNoWriMo gives me the perfect chance to get back into fiction writing, to try and soothe my confidence issues and just get back into the flow of things. I wrote a 200,000 novel that may never see the light of day if I don’t sort out this confidence mullarkey. This new endeavour is designed with the hope of telling a new story in a way that I can be happy with. 

Right then, to NaNoWriMo. I’ve started a bit late and, in truth, never really intended to take part in the first place, if not for my struggling girlfriend, who needs a writing buddy. At any rate, I’m in now, and I’m fully expecting to start struggling somewhere around November 10th. In the mean time, I’ve got 5000 words to write before I’m caught up.

I like the idea behind NaNoWriMo, the ability to develop my… ability is always welcome, but also to work on discipline and developing constructive habits and routines is a monumental benefit. In order to keep on track, I understand that we need to aim for around 1700 words a day (rounding up), and traditionally I can manage that, but I’ve not put any thought into plot or structure, so it might get difficult.

This goes out to any other NaNoWriMo’ers who may come across this blog, my page is at – and I’m very much hoping to make/find some new writing buddies for a bit of encouragement and support along the way. I’m more than happy and, honestly, quite enthusiastic about helping out where I can or even just offering another pair of eyes. If I can meet some new writers (of fantasy preferably, or action, horror, supernatural, ya, sci fi) then I will consider the month of November a success even before I hit 50,000 words. 

For me, the world of the writer is one that should be filled with constructive criticism, support, encouragement and the sharing of ideas and beliefs. There should be nothing insular about it, it’s hard enough to make a successful career with nothing but a desire to build worlds from words and paper.

See you all on the other side, I hope.

Absent With Leave.

It may or may not have occurred to some that I’ve not posted on here in a long while, but that by no means should be taken as an indicator of how busy I’ve been. I assure you, my lack of productivity is completely unrelated…

I completed the 2nd draft, at last, which was a massive release, and a massive undertaking. Re-drafting almost proved to be more difficult than the first. It took some plundering of my creative depths to make the story work, in places, that hadn’t quite held up to continuity. It had become something of a wandering narrative.

It pains me a little, to realise that the end results didn’t quite match my initial expectations, but it certainly doesn’t mean I’m any less pleased to have finished. I’m hoping with all that I have learned, and will continue to learn, that the second book, tentatively titled ‘By the Light of Fire,’ will more closely adhere to my hopes and dreams. It is hard to pinpoint exactly what I wanted to achieve with this book, but it’s definitely fair to say, in one regard, that having completed the book at all is hugely satisfying. As it should be.

I’m hoping with the second story to make it noticeably darker, to blur the line between fantasy and horror. There are at least a dozen subplots which will take a centre stage, and several of them should allow me to better explore the darker side of my writing voice. So fingers crossed. I have a whole mess of new characters to introduce, some of which will take on a dominant role in the story. BtLoF will have a much more involved storyline, I hope.

Long May Men Have Voices was never intended to be a coming-of-age story, though it is most certainly so, at this point. Nonetheless, Tol’s story is something I’ve come to care about, and I was greatly pleased to feel the bond grow between myself and my characters. It’s not quite over yet, but the hard part is done, I think, though I have said that before.

My time is filling up now with plotting for the sequel, as well as chapters and erratic paragraphs for a couple of other stories I hope to pursue in the future; one fantasy and the other a real-world horror/fantasy set in Lancashire. Both enjoy an encouraging amount of detail, to the world and to the plots, so I see them happening one day. 

I think that about covers it. I was going to rant about the policies of a particular political group, but I figured ‘why bother?’ when I can just vote for the other guys and avoid all the non-sensical ramblings of the Ignorant. So I intend to do that instead.