Dammit, man, it’s bigger than Crime and Punishment…


231,000 words, give or take a few hundred. That’s how it ended up. I started the process of writing my ‘magnificent octopus’ (to quote Baldrick) in May, but this story itself in the latter days of September, I think. Seven or eight months, over 130k words of dead-end scenes pruned, and a lot of pondering. Ridiculous, really, the lengths a man has to go to to write. And after all that, the end result is too big by an order of magnitude.

But just recall what my conditions were. Start something and bloody well finish it. And I did – well, a first draft anyway. Achievement, er, achieved.

It’s very much a first attempt at writing. It’s got plot holes, story-line cul-de-sacs, inconsistencies and is, basically, meandering. But I finished something, which offers me some hope that I can finish something else. I have learned loads (posted previously) and, I think, improved. Now it isn’t so hard to dredge a scene out of me. Now I can do one almost easily. That isn’t the problem. The problem is the ever elusive storytelling skill. That is the work in progress.

Still, if you read my ‘About’ page on here you’ll see that was the intention.

It is called ‘Apt’, and is told from the perspective of an indolent young man, and is about finding himself being forced into responsibilities that see him brought low. It is about how he changes himself to battle the realities of his world, and to save his home. He’s no hero, he’s not much of anything at the start, but in the end he finds the reluctant hero inside.

Sounds vague? Well, that’s because , (a) it is, and, (b) I am not sure how to describe it. I’m a ‘pantser’, not a ‘plotter’, so I really just go where the story takes me. If I was forced, I’d say it was a story about adopting responsibility and exceeding your self-imposed limitations. See…vague…

It is set in a fantasy world with no magic. There are no dragons or monsters, save the all too real mortal ones among us. I try to write stories featuring magic – I’ve even worked out one or two derivative magic systems, only to feel foolish writing it down. I don’t want to write children’s or ‘young adult’ stories, and whenever I try to write about magic it just makes me feel stupid. Not sure what that means…

Anyway, onwards and upwards… With a friend doing some editing on ‘Apt’, I am busy making changes, but I also have other writing irons in other writing fires, so lets see where that takes me…


As both regular viewers of my posts will know, I am consistant in my inconsistency. I am 15k words into version 3.0 of my current project and I am at the point where I have to decide what my direction is, which has occurred on precisely two other starts of this story. It is a time of ponderous thought and introspection, which is what the regular blogger absolutely LOVEs. There’s nothing better than pontificating about yourself, even if you are pretty much the only person listening.

But you don’t want to hear about my woes, and my crippling inability to get more than a couple of thousand words out on a good day (an optimistic estimate) or how I have no actual talent for writing. No, you want to hear about something interesting.

Well sorry to disappoint, but the forging of a piece of writing IS introspection personified. It is no surprise that agoraphobics love to be writers, as do misanthropes and the perpetually angry, and the reason is that you can dwell on your opinions, your feelings and your peculiarities and use them as fodder to the writing. There are other reasons, but as an angry agoraphobic misanthrope I forget them.

Cathartic is the word. For me the writing is a chance to face the inner demons, of which I have a few –  impressive ones stacked away in my subconscious like angry bats. If I didn’t have my writing I would find my life significantly less bearable. Thank you, words.