I admit it. I don’t like editing.

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I finally started going through my editor’s changes to Glitch Mitchell and the Unseen Planet today. Basically, I couldn’t think of an excuse not to. Leah (working title) has gone to its editor, the Glitch cover is progressing nicely (and looking really good) and I’m waiting for editor feedback on the first fifty pages of The Zombie Book. Yesterday, I delayed things by working on the short story I started at Mary Robinette Kowal’s short story workshop – Reg vs The Martians but it didn’t go that well and I need to mull over the plot a bit more. That really only left Glitch. I got through two chapters, about 7,238 words out of 60,823 before I gave up. It turns out I really don’t like going through edits. I had to resort to Bob the Bahamas cat to get myself going again. It’s a holiday here in Canada on Tuesday so I’m taking Monday off and one of my tasks will be to get through at least three more chapters. We’ll see how that goes. [“I admit it. I don’t like editing.” by Philip Harris first appeared on Solitary Mindset on 9th November 2014]

On Genre

Philip HarrisIndie Publishing, Out Now, Writing1 Comment

My name is Philip Harris and I’m a genre hopper. More of a genre careener actually. One minute I’m writing a straight up horror story like The Bone Boy, the next my characters are discovering alien lifeforms on Mars, the next they’re talking to people made of newspaper. I’ve written horror, fantasy, urban fantasy, science fiction, science fiction horror, something that might actually be a fairy tale, and pretty much everything in between, Sometimes, I can’t even tell what genre I’m writing in. My story, Piece Number 7, (published in Garbled Transmissions) is about the profound effect music can have on a person. To me, there’s a speculative fiction element to the story but it’s firmly rooted in the real world. In the end I filed it under magical realism. Whatever that is. And don’t get me started on Only Friends, the ebook I give away here on the site. I have no clue what genre that is. Depending on how you interpret the story, there may actually be no speculative elements in that one at all. And it’s not just my short fiction. My novels are all over the place as well. The Ghost Smuggler, is science fiction with a … Read More

Metrics Monday – 7th July 2014

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It was all Glitch all of the time last week – 5,743 words of revisions and a completed third draft. Sunday’s 2,441 words was also my third most productive writing day – a direct side-effect of the need to finish the draft before sending off for editing. Next up, finalising the first draft of Leah – it’s a bit of a mess at the moment, all sorts of random chunks that need to be deleted or expanded or moved around. That should keep me busy for a couple of days. [Metrics Monday – 7th July 2014 by Philip Harris first appeared on Solitary Mindset on 7th July 2014]

Glitch – Draft Three Complete

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Celebration time! Despite the fact my office is currently hot enough to roast an author, I’ve just wrapped up the third draft of Glitch Mitchell and the Unseen Planet. Final word count was 60,577, about 5,000 words more than the second draft. Some of that is due to the fact that I added little introductory recaps and a slightly rewritten version of the previous couple of paragraphs to the beginning of each chapter – just like the old serials that inspired the book. I’m not sure what readers will think of that but I like it. It took me about eighteen and a half hours to get through this third draft so I would imagine there’s at least another thirty hours of revisions left to go before I’m willing to call it quits. I’m a firm believer in the old saying – “Art is never finished, only abandoned.” I’m doing something new (for me) with this book, I’ve hired a professional editor for a full content edit. I have had critiques and copy editing done before, but never a full edit like this. I’ve just sent the manuscript off so I’ll be waiting (im)patiently for her to get back to me with her comments. In the meantime, I need to finish off the first draft of Leah and decide whether I’m going … Read More

A Year of Writing

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It’s been said many times by many people much smarter than me that the secret to successful writing is to write every day. Even if it’s only for a few minutes, it exercises your writing muscles and makes them stronger. You get into a rhythm, you improve. With that in mind, on 29th June 2013, I set myself a challenge to write something, some piece of fiction, every single day. The last time I did was back in 2010 that I wrote every day for 197 days in a row before taking a break. As of Sunday, I’ve written every day for a full year and I’m a very happy bunny. As I’ve demonstrated previously, I’m pretty obsessive about tracking my writing so I have a fair amount of data on that one year writing streak. First off, I wrote 253,189 words. That’s an average of 694 words a day – a nice increase from the 665 words per day I managed over the first three hundred days so I’m pleased with that. Those words took me 16 days, 2 hours and 50 minutes to write, or 655 words per hour which is down from the 673 words per hour at the three hundred day mark. As you’ll see in a minute, … Read More

Metrics Monday – 30th June 2014

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Another productive week – I managed to write a total of 5,177 words. Not as good as last week, but still pretty respectable. The first four days were spent on the Leah (working title) short story and a bit of preparation for my next novel. Friday onwards was spent on the third draft of Glitch. The first draft of Leah is almost done and so far it clocks in at 15,513 words which is about 10,000 more words than I expected. I’m going to wrap up that first draft tomorrow as a break from working on the third draft of Glitch. With Leah almost out of the way, I needed something to write until we got back to Vancouver. So, I worked on the outline of my next novel project and wrote a bit of one chapter, just to get a feel for it. I’m itching to get going on that one although I should really finish the second draft of The Ghost Smuggler before I start another novel. As far as Glitch goes, my wife has finished her read through and I’m going over it again and giving it another tweak before it goes to an editor next Monday. I’m almost 25,000 words through after three days so I’m well on track to have it … Read More

Metrics Monday-ish – 23rd Jun 2014

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It turns out going on holiday gives my productivity a huge boost. Who knew? That’s a total of 9,006 words. Even my worst day, Saturday, broke the 500 word mark and Sunday’s post-Half-Marathon recovery session netted 2,643 words which is the second most productive single day I’ve ever had, at least as far as my fiction goes. A lot of this productivity comes from my new short story – working title Leah. I did wrap up the second draft of Glitch on Wednesday which gives me just over a week to do a quick third draft before it goes off to an editor. [Metrics Monday-ish – 23rd Jun 2014 by Philip Harris first appeared on Solitary Mindset on 27th June 2014]

Glitch – Draft Two Complete

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I’ve just wrapped up the final tweaks on the second draft of Glitch Mitchell and the Unseen Planet. This draft clocks in at 55,673 words which is quite a bit less than the first draft – mostly because I cut out a couple of chapters and a few big chunks that just didn’t work. I’m reasonably happy with this new version but it still needs another pass before it goes to an editor at the beginning of July. We’re heading out to Banff for the Banff Half Marathon tomorrow so I’ve printed it out and we’ll be taking it with us. My wife will read it and make some notes and then I’ll do the same. This is what it looks like printed out (I’ve gone for a smaller print size and margins to cut down on the amount of paper we’re carrying – probably a bad thing to do but we’ll see). If I’d thought ahead I probably could have found an app that would allow us to read and mark it up on our iPads instead. That would be much better. Should have thought of that before I started sacrificing trees. [Glitch – Draft Two Complete by Philip Harris first appeared on Solitary Mindset … Read More

Metrics Monday – 16th June 2014

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Last week was exceptionally good – a total of 8,358 words including 3,603 words on Sunday which is the most productive single day I’ve ever had. The week was spent on a mix of Glitch revisions and a new story that I haven’t settled on a name for yet. It bounces between Leah’s Story, Scavenger Girl and The Girl in the City. That big push on Sunday took me to the end of the main revisions of Glitch, I just need to go through some final tweaks and then the second draft will be complete. [Metrics Monday – 16th June 2014 by Philip Harris first appeared on Solitary Mindset on 17th June 2014]

Metrics Monday – 9th June 2014

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Despite packing in over 80km of running, I managed a very productive week. I spent a lot of time working on the revisions for Glitch but Ethel has been bugging me about a new story and I ended up writing the opening sequence and outlining the rest of it. The story’s currently called Leah but I suspect that will change. Total word count for the week was 6,044 which was a lot more than I’d have expected. Glitch is coming along very nicely. As I write this, I’ve got about 11,000 words to revise plus a couple of chapters to rewrite and then the second draft will be done. I still have a bunch of notes I made during this draft that I need to work through and I want to get my first reader (that’s my wife) to read it. That will result in a third draft but that one shouldn’t be as extensive and I’m hoping I can get it done this month. I’ll also be trying to fit some time in to finish Leah. Ethel has really got my attention with this one and I’m having a hard time working on Glitch instead. [Metrics Monday – 9th June 2014 by Philip Harris first appeared on Solitary Mindset on 9th June 2014]