On A Scroll

Saturday we headed to near Bristol to spend a couple of days with friends who live there. There were only four of us (so within the “6” legal gathering). They too try to go out as infrequently as possible and follow guidelines, and we drove the whole 2 and 1/2 hours to there and back without stopping to do anything other than pull over to change drivers in order to avoid any other human contact.

As you probably experience too, even the most ordinary of activities we all do now requires careful pre-planning. Thus COVID-world.

While there, Sunday morning we had a socially distanced walk… and fresh air did me some good (I hope):

[Bristol, England. Wales is visible on the horizon just to the left of the tree trunk under the lowest branch. Photo by me, October 25, 2020.]

Being outside like that was necessary because I have spent a lot of time recently staring at and frantically typing more of the new manuscript. One thing I have learned since 2013 is that there is no easy way to write a novel. Don’t believe anyone who tells you it is not a big effort.

It might take me an hour to write a few paragraphs. So I stop regularly to clear my head for a few minutes.

Maybe I scroll Instagram and get advice.

[Printed and photographed, July 31, 2019. The only paper version of Tomorrow The Grace. Photo by me.]

Or I even find a bit of reassurance I am doing things right.

Or I get annoyed when I see posted on there what some are out there doing. Or, to be more precise, USED to be doing. All that we casually USED to do, that we do no more. (By the way, on Monday she above had a baby. So she won’t be doing THAT anymore for sure for at least, uh, 18 years. LOL!)

Or I scroll Twitter. Sometimes I find writing tweets that I think are worth sharing here. Call this thinking out loud (again) for a few minutes:

Uh, you cannot be a writer if you have someone else write your book.

Just to, you know, point out what should be obvious.

Yes, I suppose a “great” book may do that in some ways. However, I cannot say I am always all that interested in doing that. Usually I just want to see what THEY on those pages are doing.

Think hard also about many “great” books. Let’s be perfectly honest. Would YOU really want to live those lives on those pages?

Chances are, probably not – particularly not when it comes to any historical novel set earlier than probably about 1900, before decent medical care began to appear on the scene.

Ugh, not this.

November is obviously approaching again.

[Groan] Twitter is going to be full of tweets like that now. And this:

I have no idea.

It is entirely up to you.

No, I am in the midst of writing another novel.

Oh, dear God, remember it is group participation, too.

Just what a writer loves.

Not another one.

Although, that said, to be serious I suspect I am going to need a new editor for my next book – my first change of editor. The big problem is I do not really want someone I do not know well – someone editing your book is a very personal experience and you do not want just anyone doing it. So that is more stress.

And in case you have somehow not noticed, I do not like “Nano-nano-nano” and do not advise anyone to do it. Why do I feel that way? I explained it in detail a year ago if you click here: NaNoWriMo-NoNo.

A bunch of them.

But currently I would be truly thrilled – as would probably all the rest of us – just to be able to go to the supermarket in the town walking distance away without prepping as if I were about to enter a leaking nuclear reactor.

If you kill off the main character… you have no story:

Page 54:

“And Surpentis ran forward with his magical sword of Urgugangualant, but tripped over his own feet and impaled himself on the sword, within seconds breathing his last.”

The End.

A bit harsh that (but sort of true).

I have had several find out I based characters on them. My (now late) uncle especially. Surprisingly, they were flattered.

Another was the younger sister of a woman dear friend who had recently died tragically – and the deceased woman never knew I had fictionalized her. She told me her late sister would have been overwhelmed at learning how I had written of her. Losing her in only her young 40s was gutting to all of us who were her friends, so that praise from her sister was wonderful.

I devoted an entire post the other day to someone else asking the same question.

In short, this answer: How long is a piece of string?

No. His stories do not usually interest me.

My “go to” writing tip?

[Photo by me, October 2020.]


[An 1806 scene from the as of yet unnamed follow up to Tomorrow The Grace. Click to enlarge. Copyright 2020.]


Always remember that what you write will live on, somewhere, forever.

So do not write like a jerk.

Incidentally that draft excerpt above from my next novel is just under 400 words, and with a few other paragraphs around it totals nearly 1,000 words. I did those yesterday and it is not even November yet! I would already be nearly 2% to 50,000 for “Nano-Nano-Nano” with just that! LOL!

Have a good day, wherever you are. 🙂

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