Novel Update

I haven’t posted much about my writing recently but I have a little good news to share about my novel for those following my progress: I finally finished the novel’s outline last week and as I couldn’t sleep last night as it was so hot in Sydney, at about 5:30 am I sat down and officially started on the first full draft of my novel. So it’s finally getting there.

To be honest I was so tired that I only managed a few lines but after more than two years planning it and all the backstory, it feels great to have finally started on it properly and I’m very excited with how it’s turning out. Can’t wait to get stuck into it later tonight.

As you can see in the photo I’ve given it the working title of Hallowden; at this stage I think it will probably be the final title as well, although that might change with time. Hallowden is the name of an ancient city where the majority of the novel is set and while I considered some other titles as well, in the end I thought it was the most suitable title as the city defines much of the novel. It also adds a bit of mystery to it that I like as well.

So what’s the novel about? Well, without giving too much away, the novel is about a man who returns to his home in Hallowden after fighting in a distant war, only to find that during his absence the ancient city has been taken over by extremists and is being torn apart by civil war. In the midst of the civil war, his lover has disappeared, feared killed in a brutal terrorist attack, and he must descend into Hallowden’s underworld to find the truth of what’s happened to her, to Hallowden, and to find her if she’s still alive.

The novel is set on an alternate Earth where magic and science are the same and it’s essentially a modern fable about religious extremism and the cost of war. It’s a bit of an adventure and a bittersweet love story as well… I guess I’m just trying to write the kind of novel I’d like to read and hopefully it will turn out well.

I hope to have this first draft (basically a rough draft without any dialogue or exposition) finished in about a month, then will start on the second (main) draft which will probably take about three or four months to write. There’ll probably be some revisions after that as well but with luck, hopefully I’ll have the whole thing finished in about six months.

Now that I’ve started I’ll be posting an update on my progress about once a fortnight and I’m also currently writing a short story set in the same world which I will post sometime in the next few weeks. If I have time I might also write a few other stories to help explore the novel’s backstory as well but I’ll see how I go first.

As far as my other writing goes, I’ve also almost finished a new poem which I’ve been working on for some time now and hope to post shortly. It’s a bit different to my normal poetry and I’m quite happy with it so far.

I’ve also been thinking about putting together an ebook collection of some of my previous works as a few people have suggested it to me now. The main reason I haven’t before is that I don’t think I own the copyrights to some of my published stories, so I’ll have to sort through my other stories and see if they’re of a high enough standard. The full novella version of The Life Artist might be an option… we’ll see.

I’m also still working on restoring my great-great grandfather Isaac’s memoir. I have a version of it scanned but the quality isn’t very good, so I need to type it by hand, which is a little time-consuming at the moment. I’m not sure when it will be finished but if anyone wants to read it in the meantime, I can send them the scanned copy. Just let me know.

In any case that’s where I’m up to with my writing at the moment. The novel’s coming along well and it feels great to finally be working on the first draft. I’ll have a bit more to reveal about the story once the draft’s finished as well.

Thank you to everyone who’s left comments or sent me emails recently as well. I haven’t had time to reply yet but I’ll be answering them properly tonight. ~ CJ.

Blog Updates

Saying Goodbye

Saying Goodbye
My mother (right) and Colette, an old friend visiting from England. 

This is just a quick update to thank everyone for their comments and emails after my last post. I’m still not feeling that well at the moment and so haven’t felt up to replying properly yet; I’m over the effects of the infusion now but it also made my migraines a lot worse and they’re taking a while to get back to normal. I am starting to feel more like myself again now though and just wanted to thank everyone for their thoughts and messages; I really appreciated them and I’ll be answering properly over the next few days.

I’ve had time to think about what happened more fully now and looking back, I still can’t believe how little I was actually told about the infusion before the procedure or how my concerns were never listened to. I expected a lot more, particularly from the Prince of Wales. I’m thinking about changing specialists once I’ve looked at my options or at least getting a second opinion about what to do next… my next appointment isn’t until late October, so at least I’ll have had time to have fully recovered by then and to think about what to do.

In any case I thought I’d post a couple of quick updates as well as I haven’t posted in a while. First, I’m back writing again now… well, sort of. I’ve written a few pages so far and I’m still just easing my way back into it but I’m happy what I’ve written so far. I’ve got a little further with my novel and just started writing a new poem which should be finished in the next week or so as well. Might have a short story done soon too.

As far as the novel goes, I’m about 80% of the way through the rough draft now. I’m at the point where Continue reading

Video: Do You Remember?

Didn’t really get a chance to mention this in my last post but I’m starting a new project I thought a few people might be interested in. I explain more in the video above but basically I’m starting a kind of video diary while I’m writing the novel; hopefully it will show how it all develops over time.

I’ll be doing videos about some other things as well and I’ll also be reading some of my poetry and short stories from time to time. I read one of my poems, Do You Remember?, in the first video.

I’ll be posting most of the videos on the blog but if you want you can subscribe on YouTube, and it’s also on Vimeo as well. Hope you enjoy it. Let me know what you think! 😉