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About this blog

Musings as I continue to write a story that I originally envisioned as being 'around 80,000 words' and which is now reaching 170,000. Thoughts on the creative process, the way feedback can bring new ideas and the twists and turns of plotting.

Entries in this blog

Character Development

I've been away on a writing course this week and would like to share some of the exercises we did. Much of it was concerned with character development. Here's one of the first ones we did: Close your eyes. See a character walking towards you. At first, they are indistinct, then as they come closer, you start to pick out some features. What are they wearing? What do they look like? As they come closer still, notice their face and hair, the texture of their skin. Closer still, what do they sm

Mawgrim

Mawgrim in Writing

Writing Course

Tomorrow I'm off on a week's writing course. I'm really excited about it. There's nothing like immersing yourself in a writing environment and talking with other people who are on the same wavelength. Getting out of the usual routine is also inspiring and visiting a new place always gives me lots of ideas. For anyone who is following my stories 'To the Weyr' and 'Hidden Secrets' don't worry - they will be updated on Monday and Thursday as usual, although I may be slower replying to comments

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Mawgrim in Writing

The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

The Good: I've booked myself in on a residential writing course at Arvon in mid April. It's not because I lack inspiration, I just want to get better at what I'm doing. Plus, there hasn't been much opportunity for travel these past few years and it'll be good to get away. The next story I'm working on is set in Yorkshire, not too far from Lumb Bank where the course is being held, so I can do some research at the same time. The Bad: Bloody health again. Had an expected call from the hospital

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Mawgrim in Health

A New Story

At last, Hidden Secrets is ready to read. I've spent a long time editing, tweaking and getting it just right (hopefully). It's a paranormal mystery, set in a cinema. The story originated as a NaNoWriMo project, but as part of the process it has been altered and extended. Before I began, I never realised writing a mystery was such hard work. In order to keep track of all the threads, I found I had to make much more detailed notes and outlines than usual. I certainly couldn't have written just a f

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Mawgrim in writing

Winter Ghost Story

During these dark, short winter days, the possibility of ghosts rises to the surface. On a bright, warm, summer day, it's easy to put our fears aside, but on a foggy December afternoon, as the light fades, they rise out of the shadows. Our ancestors used to gather around their fires as the snow swirled outside and tell ghosts stories. Nowadays, we can just post them on the Internet. Here's my latest spooky offering: Bad Vibes - Shortly after moving in to new offices, Luke and his staff

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Mawgrim in Writing

The end of one story...

Well, 'Threadfall' is almost at an end. It was originally intended as a short prequel to 'Gone Away, Gone Ahead' and has ended up far longer. There are a few more short stories to come in the 'Dragonriders of Pern' fanfic series and hopefully a longer third part, taking up from where 'Gone Away, Gone Ahead' finished. Finishing a story is always slightly sad, but it gives the mind an opportunity to start thinking about new ideas as well. Coming soon: 'Hidden Secrets' - A murder myst

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Mawgrim in Writing

Writing Updates (and a bit about health, too)

Started new treatment last week after a couple of difficult weeks when I was in and out of hospital. I don't let it disrupt my writing schedule though. Pleased to say I averaged 1,500 words a day whether inside or back home. It's weird being in hospital. You get institutionalised so fast. The food is pretty dreadful, but thankfully the hospital near me has a Marks & Spencer food hall on site, so I was able to add some taste to the unappealing stodge with such goodies as feta and beetroot sal

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Mawgrim in Health

Schrödinger's Cat

Waiting for CT scan results is a bit like being the cat in the box. You aren't sure if it will be good or bad news, if indeed you will be pronounced alive or dead once the result comes through. Today, I got the news I - kind of - expected. Not for any particular reason except my usual cautious pessimism and the feeling things had gone too well for too long. You can tell by their tone of voice, even before they actually say anything.  The lesions in my liver are spreading and there is a need

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Mawgrim in Health

Working on something new

Over the past week, I've started working on another story. Several years ago I took part in NaNoWriMo when I was suffering from writer's block. It certainly did the trick, as I managed to write 52,000 words during the month of November. The story I'd planned out had lots of my favourite elements in it; cinemas, the supernatural, a mystery and romance. As I was writing it at a rate of about 1000-2000 words a day, it was rough in places and the ending was a bit rushed as I wanted to finish a compl

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Mawgrim in Writing

Revisions

I was reading a blog entry by @Comicality the other day concerning revisions of old stories. It struck a note (and has an awesome example of revision in an iconic scene from 'Star Wars') as I have lately been digging out some of my old stories and re-reading them. Some of these things are so old they were printed out on a dot matrix printer (don't ask, kids) or even typewritten, complete with Tipp-Ex corrections. It's always interesting to read back your own work. Sometimes it makes you wince; c

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Mawgrim in Writing

Time to write

I've been spending quite a lot of time over the past few weeks making sure I am several chapters ahead of posting. There are now only two more chapters left of 'Gone Away, Gone Ahead' before reaching the end. I have had a few comments asking if there’s going to be a sequel and over the past few days I’ve been seriously considering that. I'm still working on the prequel, 'Threadfall', and estimate there's probably another 20-30,000 words to go on that. If someone had said to me that I would manag

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Mawgrim in Writing

Finished!

Well, that's it. Apart from a little editing, 'Gone Away, Gone Ahead' is now finished. I was tempted to extend the number of chapters, to keep it going a while longer, but I realised that the story I had originally planned had reached its natural stopping point. I'm not someone who plans out a story in great detail. I know what needs to happen and roughly where it's going to happen, but sometimes the characters start taking me down other paths and bring in more twists and turns on the journ

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Mawgrim in Writing

The Last Chapter

I have just written the last chapter of 'Gone Away, Gone Ahead'. I've still got several thousand words to go before I reach that ending, and I know that the way I write means there could be a few twists, turns and alterations before I finally get there. I'm not one of those writers who carefully plots every single detail. Most of the stories I write, whatever length they turn out to be, start from a single idea; a concept or a character. 'Gone Away, Gone Ahead' began like that, too. Just ov

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