NaNoWriMoLax 2017

Philip HarrisNaNoWriMo, Writing0 Comments

All around the world, writers are taking part in National Novel Writing Month and battling to write a 50,000 word novel in one month.  NaNoWriMo as it’s known is an annual tradition that’s been running since 1999. It started with 21 people but now hundreds of thousands of people take part. Writing a novel in 30 days isn’t an easy task – the success rate in 2015 was roughly 10%. I’ve yet to seriously attempt NaNoWriMo. The timing never quite works out. This year was close – I was supposed to have finished the novella I’m working on and could have started my next book, but the novella turned into a novel. I guess in theory I could count the words on that novella as a NaNoWriMo project but that seems like cheating. Next year I’m definitely going to try to get organized, though. For a lot of people who are taking part, now is about the time where things get tricky. Thanksgiving is coming up, the original idea is starting to seem stale, and the words get harder and harder to come by. Which is where NaNoWriMoLax comes in. Here are 50 plot twists to get you going again. … Read More

Dead Eyes – A Serial Killer Z Excerpt

Philip HarrisSerial Killer Z, Stories, Writing0 Comments

It’s almost Halloween so I thought I’d post an excerpt from my latest book, Serial Killer Z. It has zombies, knives, lots of blood, and a serial killer. Dead Eyes The dead man lunged across the road toward me, too-white teeth clacking as they chewed at imaginary flesh. Its eyes were sharklike black orbs, and they tracked me as I moved. Its right foot had been crushed and was dragging behind the zombie, slowing it down. Rancid breath laced with the smell of carrion and blood washed over my face and caught in my throat. Backing away, I swung my knife at the creature’s face. The blade swept across its forehead and sliced through the gray flesh. Thick black blood ran from the wound and spattered the ground at my feet. With its eyes locked on mine, the zombie took another lumbering step. My knife’s handle was slick with sweat. It felt like I was trying to hold on to a fish. One wrong move, and it might break free, leaving me defenseless. The zombie shuffled forward, clawed fingers grasping at my face. The air was thick with the smell of decay. I attacked with the knife again, an upward sweep … Read More

“The odd uneven time”

Philip HarrisBooks, Chatter, Metrics, Movies, Writing0 Comments

August was vacation month for my wife and me. We spent three weeks back in the UK, visiting family, Cardiff, and London. We normally go back at Christmas so this was the first time we’d been back in the summer for something like seven years. Of course, the weather didn’t cooperate. It didn’t rain all the time, there were some very sunny days, but as the photos show, it was fairly grey for our trip to London. We had a good time though. I’ll probably post more photos from the trip (including a visit to The Doctor Who Experience) in future. There was writing, of course. Total word count for August was 17,038 which is the lowest word count since March. Most of that time was spent on random scenes for a possible urban fantasy series. They were a lot of fun and I may well try writing a novella to see how it goes. I did finish a new short story that I wrote specifically for a very cool anthology. I submitted it a couple of days ago so now I have my fingers and toes crossed that the editor likes it. Time will tell. Talking of short stories… my … Read More

Zombie Novel Three, Draft One, Complete

Philip HarrisBooks, Metrics, Movies, Writing0 Comments

July was a good writing month – 34,092 words in total, mostly on the third novel in the zombie series. That’s slightly less productive than June but it’s entirely down to the fact that I spent most of the month revising rather than writing new words. More important than the raw word count, I completed the first draft. I read through the entirety of the first, “zero”, draft and fixed the structural and continuity errors (and tweaked a lot of the sentence and word level stuff as well). Before After This is the part of the writing process  that I a) like the least and b) find the most difficult. It’s a relief to get that draft zero cleaned up. Even better, it seems like a good book. There’s still at least two more drafts to go before I send it off to my editor, but those are more about refining the book rather than ripping out chunks and replacing them. I did write the first draft of a new story, tentatively called The Last Soul Diver. My process for this one was a bit different – I dictated it using Dragon Dictate. It’s the first time I’ve used dictation … Read More

Coming Soon – The Leah King Trilogy

Philip HarrisIndie Publishing, Writing0 Comments

If you’re on my mailing list you already know about this, but for everyone else, the box set of all three Leah King books (The Girl in the City, The Girl in the Wilderness and The Girl in the Machine) launches on Wednesday June 14th and for a limited time, the complete set will be available for 99c. Preorders have been going very well and you can join the fun by clicking right here and the set will be delivered to your Kindle when it launches on Wednesday. I’ll be sending my short story collection to all of my newsletter subscribers once it’s complete so if you sign up now, you’ll get four free ebooks, plus the new collection later this year. CLICK HERE to get started. [Coming Soon – The Leah King Trilogy by Philip Harris first appeared on Solitary Mindset on 12th June 2017]

The Ides of May

Philip HarrisBooks, Chatter, Indie Publishing, Metrics, Movies, Writing0 Comments

No, that title doesn’t make sense. So, May wrapped up a few days ago, so it must be time for a quick progress update. First up, writing. The entire month was spent working on the fourth of my zombie books. I wrote 27,411 words and it felt good. I love writing first drafts. The editing process is slow and painful for me and I spent a lot of time editing the previous books in the series this year so it’s been good to just sit down and blast through the story. I haven’t got summaries to compare word count from previous years but May was definitely my most productive month of 2017. So far. June is already shaping up to be even better. It was an urban fantasy sort of month for reading. I read all three Eric Carter books by Stephen Blackmoore and continued my audio re-listen of Jim Butcher’s Harry Dresden series with Grave Peril and Summer Knight. All five books were good, not the best I’ve ever read but still well worth checking out if you like a bit of fantasy in your urban. I’m behind on my Pinterest page on the movies I’ve watched this year (too … Read More

New Words

Philip HarrisChatter, Writing0 Comments

Yesterday, I finally started working on a new book. Pretty much the entire year has been spent on revisions for the first three books in the zombie series I’m releasing later this year and my short story collection. I broke 4,000 words for the day. I didn’t realise until today that I haven’t written that much in a single day since October 27th, 2014. What a slacker. I’m hoping to break the 4,000 word mark today as well so I’m going to head back into the myth lab and see what I can come up with. I’ll be sending that short story collection to all of my newsletter subscribers once it’s complete so if you sign up now, you’ll get four free ebooks, plus the new collection later this year. CLICK HERE to get started. [New Words by Philip Harris first appeared on Solitary Mindset on 30th April 2017]

Is it Really February Already?

Philip HarrisChatter, Writing0 Comments

My January 2017 update is only eleven days late compared to the thirteen days it took me to get to the January 2016 one so I’m going to call that a win. January was a busy month for me. First up, I got to trade in cold and wet Vancouver for warm and wet San Francisco for a few days (thanks day job). While I was there I got to experience delayed flights (booo), a California storm (wet and windy), San Francisco traffic (ugh), good food (two thumbs up) and Uber (got off to a shaky start but then two thumbs up). The trip ate into my writing time significantly (although I kept my writing streak up and reached 1312 days of writing) which isn’t helping me hit the aggressive schedule I have laid out for the beginning of this year, but I did get both Zombie Book 1 (working title) and Zombie Book Prequel (working title) finished and off to my editor. That was pretty much all the writing I did, apart from a final editing pass on Pod Fifteen, a science fiction short story which will be published in Tales from the Canyons of the Damned later this year. Total word count for the month was a … Read More

Sold! – Pod Fifteen and Immersion Therapy

Philip HarrisStories, Writing0 Comments

2017 has got off to a great start (on the writing front at least) with two short story sales over the last couple of weeks. First up, my dark science fiction story, Pod Fifteen will appear in Daniel Arthur Smith’s fantastic Tales from the Canyons of the Damned. Canyons as it’s known by its fans is a monthly magazine that features a selection of new dark science fiction, horror, & slipstream stories every month. It’s a great magazine, and I’m very please Daniel liked my story enough to accept it. More details on this nearer the release date. Next up, my spooky story, Immersion Therapy, has been accepted by the excellent Dead Oaks Podcast for their season 2 finale. This is the first time one of my stories will be available in audio form and I’m really looking forward to hearing it. My story will be airing in June but you can check out Season 1 and the first few episodes of Season 2 right here. Sign up for my newsletter and get four free ebooks. CLICK HERE to get started. [Sold! – Pod Fifteen and Immersion Therapy by Philip Harris first appeared on Solitary Mindset on 1st February 2017]

Draft Four – The Final Conflict

Philip HarrisWriting0 Comments

Last night I wrapped up the fourth draft of The Girl in the Machine. This morning I sent the manuscript to my editor for the next step along the road to publication. He’ll send back his edits, I’ll do another revision pass accepting most of his suggestions, then the new manuscript will go back to him for another once over. Then I’ll do another pass over any new suggestions and then the book goes off for three rounds of proofreading. When it’s all laid out like that it sounds like there’s still a long way to go, and in some ways there is. But the heavy lifting is done. The 65,217 words that go to make up the final part of Leah’s story are pretty much in the right order. It’s a satisfying story that I think people will enjoy and I think it wraps up the trilogy well. The various threads I scattered through the first two books (including some threads I hadn’t even realised where there) are all tied up and it feels like a complete story without being unrealistic or contrived. At least, I think it does. Hopefully everyone else will agree. The Girl in the Machine will be released in the next couple of months, depending on … Read More