Showing posts from 2013

Competitive writing - it's the new jogging

A good friend of mine, (and great writer) Lily Childs , is working on her novel as I work on mine. We found that we are about the same way through in terms of word count (Lily has just hit 50k and I am just over 48k as I write this). Now the interesting thing is that we have been 'racing' each other to see who can hit the 50k mark first (curse you Lily for beating me). Whilst word count is just a number and it is the quality of the writing that matters as well as the strength of the plot plus a hundred other things people might want to throw into a debate, this provides a good motivator. Writing is potentially a lonely business, just you, a computer screen and your own, twisted imagination to keep you company. As someone without a book deal lined up, there is no one out there waiting to know when the next piece from me is coming out and no deadline to pressure me other than those that are self-imposed. I have a life away from writing, family commitments, work commitments, th

Elephant Words

A few weeks ago, I was invited to go and play over at the excellent Elephant Words website run by the talented Nicolas Papaconstantinou. As the site says: The premise of the site is simple: Every Sunday, one writer will post a picture, and every day for the next six days, they and five other writers will interpret it for your entertainment. The writers can be as literal or as “out there” with how much they allow the image to inspire them, and their brief is to write whatever they want, as long as they do it interestingly and on time, so you as a reader may get to enjoy prose, poetry, maybe the odd cartoon, in genres ranging across the board, from fiction to anecdotal autobiography, science-fiction to period drama… Really, the possibilities are only limited by our contributors’ imaginations. I want the creators here to have as much fun as the readers, and stretch their wings a little, so we can’t guarantee that you will always get to read what you expect, but then, who would want to?

200 pages!

Not the biggest news in the world but just wanted to note that today I hit the 200 page mark in my novel. I'm really chuffed with that and am about 60% through writing this bad boy. Onwards, ever onwards!

The Warrior's Journey

Visitors to this blog may have noted that work on my own novel stopped for a couple of months recently. One of the reasons for this was I agreed to do some editing work for Anarchy Books  owned by author Andy Remic . I have had the pleasure of working on Edward Drake's forthcoming fantasy novel The Warrior's Journey  which is due for release on 1 August.  The Warrior's Journey is an epic fantasy set in a mystical dark age where monsters roam the plains, mages wield powerful sorcery and arguments are settled by the honour of the blade. In the land of Castille, Garrick Chilver is a soldier trained in combat by his honourable father, Sir Nickholi. The tale follows Garrick and his companions, an enslaved pair of outcasts, an old knight returning home to his family, an imprisoned murderer, a young innocent marked for great power, and a mysterious sorcerer – as their land is struck by a series of terrible and catastrophic disasters. As demons and dark sorcerers roam the lands

Halfway there!!!

Bloody hell - just realised that I am halfway there to completing my first novel. Still a long way to go but I'm quite proud of that. Also just two thousand words from officially having a novel length story (40,000 words). Whilst it's quality of writing and not quantity of words I'm still using this as an indicator.


Just a quick note to say that I had a short story I submitted to a publisher accepted a week or so back now. Not sure when I can say more about it but it was great to have someone enthused enough by something I wrote to want to put it in an anthology. It's been a while since I've actively been putting short story submissions out there but it really helps with that lonely working away at a novel which you know no-one will see for several months until finished to get that boost. Without it you can get to wondering if your writing is any good or not. Will give more detail when I can.

Writing since The Prediction

Well, it was a tough decision to give up on hosting The Prediction, having loved every single word presented by the vast array of talented writers that would visit my humble blog each week. My reason was to concentrate more on my own writing. So, was it worth it? I do have to say that I have missed being host but, in the end, it is looking like it was the right decision. In the time I hosted The Prediction I managed about 14,000 words over about nine months on my novel. In the two months since, I have added another 12,000 words; a total of 26,000 against my target of between 80k to 90k. Whilst word count can be meaningless, it's more about how good the writing itself is, I do feel like I am now making progress on something I have put to the side too often. I plan to be finished writing my novel by summer 2013 (see the way I avoid naming a month there) and then start the lenghty process of trying to find a publisher willing to take it on. In the meantime, for anyone reading this, do

The Prediction - thank you my friends, thank you

And so it is here, my last time to judge the entries, a task made so hard week in, week out through the sheer quality of writing which has been poured forth onto these pages. My winner this week is an absent friend who returned this week. That friend is  Crimson Archer  with his entry Try and Try Again . Paul - I thought that the writing was exquisite. That opening line "A whole shattered into fragments becomes an enigma." was just beautiful and there were so many other phrases to admire. And then that shock of an ending. Wow. I do hope you won't be a stranger to The Prediction at Colleen's place with writing like that. No runners-up but, and this is the second time of me doing this, a more than honourable mention to RR Kovar and Colleen for their Nate and Seth series. I have become seriously addicted to this series and am not sure if it will continue at Prediction Fiction . It feels like there is still a bit more to come and I would love to read it. Now this is

The Prediction - shall we dance one last time?

Well, this time next week I shall be posting up the winners for the final time before rushing on over to Colleen's place at  to find out what the new words will be. Exciting times. I for one cannot wait to continue the party over at her place! But, before I announce this week's winners, I have some news to share. I was greeted with a rather wonderful package in the post today. Sandra Davies has collated her tale The Blacksmith's Wife, crafted at The Prediction (both under Lily's and my watch), into a wonderfully illustrated printed version and more can be found out about it on Sandra's blog . Thank you so much Sandra - a pleasure to be re-acquainted with her and to see her in print. Now this week's winner I suspect will not come as much of a surprise to anyone looking at the comments made. With a runner-up spot in his last visit, David Barber  goes one better this time round with God's Work . Dave - you made me we

The Prediction - opportunity knocks

Gosh, it's getting closer with every day now. In two weeks time I shall be switching off the lights for The Prediction at Phlambler's World before passing the baton to Colleen Foley over at  from 1 February. If you've not visited or favourited her site yet then do so (but not until you've seen who the winners are this week). Before we do that though, a couple of opportunities to plug. Kobo are holding a competition to win free enrolment to a Curtis Brown online novel course. The Jeffrey Archer Short Story competition requires entry of a 100 word piece (hmmm, sound like something you guys can manage). More details here  and thanks to Chris Allinotte for flagging it to me. Do take note of the eligibility criteria as it is restricted to certain countries. Secondly, check out the post below this one for details of how to submit to Siren's Call Publishing  for their female horror writer's month in their monthly publicatio

Submissions to Siren's Call - closes 1 Feb 2013

Hi all, I'm not sure if Lily is going to have time to do her February Femme Fatale (FFF) this year as I know she has oodles of things she is working on (do correct me Lily if you are though). However, I came across this open submissions for female horror writers which closes on 1 February for Siren's Call Publishing  (details at the bottom of the page). Similar to FFF and they have a version for men in April. Go check it out and good luck to anyone who enters. Cheers Phil

The Prediction - the saviour is here

For those of you that haven't clocked it in the comments section of last week's Prediction challenge, I have great news about the future of The Prediction. Colleen Foley has kindly agreed to take on hosting The Prediction from 1 February 2013 and has even set up a new place in anticipation. Do go and take a sneak peak at her new site here: . I couldn't ask to hand it over to a better person, with her great serial about Seth and Nate (written in a tag style fashion with RR Kovar) and her always supportive comments, I am sure that The Prediction will continue to florish under her watch. Thank you Colleen for accepting the next watch. Right, I still have a few weeks left and have judging duties to do. So, here are my winners for this week. In the top spot I have chosen  Shaun Adams with A Pit of Yellow Stars . Shaun - you captured the bleakness of war here with a man lying in an open grave surrounded by death. You teased us with

The Prediction - decisions, decisions

Firstly, may I wish you all a happy new year. May it be full of opportunity and joy for you all. Secondly, I have news this week, something which I have been pondering for a little bit and something which I hope you will understand. I have decided that I will retire from hosting The Prediction, having taken it on from Lily back in May last year. Whilst it has been a great honour to host such fine writers over the past eight or nine months, I am finding that my time is getting more and more limited in life and my own time for writing has dwindled greatly. Something needs to give and, unfortunately, it is The Prediction. Please be assured it is not a decision I have taken lightly and I have changed my mind a number of times (even whilst writing this) but this feels (kind of) the right decision for me at this time in my life. My biggest concern is letting you all down and I apologise that I will be unable to host this wonderfully supportive group in the future. If anyone would wish