1,000

Philip HarrisMetrics, WritingLeave a Comment

On the 30th of June, 2013, I decided that I would start writing fiction every day. I haven’t missed a day since. The goal of starting the streak was to help motivate me to keep writing, even on days when Ethel the  Muse was absent or the whole idea of writing seemed like a colossal waste of time. It worked. There were a couple of close calls, and some very short writing sessions, but overall it’s been relatively painless. During that time I’ve written 725,072 words (510,217 of which were on new writing, 175,076 on revising and 39,779 on outlines). That doesn’t include time spent blogging which is another significant chunk of words. All that writing took up 49 days, 20 hours of my life which actually doesn’t sound that much to me. That’s less than 5% of the total time. Clearly, I’ve been slacking. If I wasn’t writing, I’d probably have frittered that time away. Or maybe watched 1595 episodes of awesome TV. Here’s how those words break down on a monthly basis. (This is calendar month and I started on a random date so the first and last months aren’t a full 31 days). The best month was August 2014 at 33,637. At that … Read More

The Unbearable Lateness of Being

Philip HarrisMetrics, Writing2 Comments

So, yeah… I was planning on doing a monthly update on writing type stuff but it seems February has kind of gotten away from me. Of course, the obsessive compulsive part of my psyche won’t let me get away with not posting a January round up so if everyone could just pretend this is being posted at the beginning of February rather than the middle, I’d appreciate it. Thanks. January was pretty well dominated by my day job. We’re just finishing up a new game and we’ve reached the part of the project where we try to squish all the bugs. This is the point in development where all the dumb mistakes you made a year ago come back to bite you in the life-work balance. So, my days have been filled with seemingly endless bug reports and requests for “one last change”. We’re nearly done, at least with that bit, so with luck things will ease up for the next couple of months. Despite that, I managed to maintain my writing streak and hit 946 days at the end of January. I’m in full on editing mode at the moment but still managed to reach 17,971 words for the month which puts me ahead of last year’s January total of 15,720. … Read More

50 Ways to Unblock Your NaNoWriMo Novel

Philip HarrisWriting, Writing Advice1 Comment

National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) has rolled around again. If you’re not familiar with the concept, basically the goal is to write a 50,000 word novel in one month and despite the National moniker thousands of people around the world take part in the challenge. As usual, my day job takes up too much time for me to commit to the 1,667 words a day it takes to hit that goal but I know a lot of people who are attempting it. Today is the halfway mark of the month and it’s become traditional for me to post some helpful prompts for people who’s NaNoWriMo novels aren’t progressing as well as they might like. So, without further ado, I present to you NaNoWriMoLax 2015 Giant worms erupt from the ground and swallow your hero whole A malevolent AI shuts down the Internet The hero’s best friend/husband/parents are revealed as aliens A firestorm hits the city Earthquake! Zeus appears in the sky and sends your hero on a quest to find a golden goblet/sword/cheese The hero has been poisoned The hero has misheard something he’s been told and does the opposite of whatever it is he’s supposed to be doing A trip to the bathroom turns nasty … Read More

Amidst the Settling Dust

Philip HarrisChatter, StoriesLeave a Comment

It’s been a hectic few weeks since the launch of Glitch Mitchell and the Unseen Planet. My time’s been split between promoting the book, a busy period at my day job, renovations on our new apartment, a birthday (mine), and trying to get back to running after an extended period recovering from a niggling injury I’ve had for years. Time has been hurtling past at an alarming rate. I’m managing to write though – my streak is still going strong (839 days so far) and I’ve got several projects on the go at the moment. The bulk of my time has been spent on my zombie novel and it’s going extremely well. I’ve also been working with a very talented cover designer on a cover. I’m really pleased with how it’s turned out and it’s inspiring me to push even harder to make the book the best it can be. I’m aiming to release it early 2016, editors permitting. The edits on my Apocalypse Weird novel, Siren’s Call, came in this week and I’ll be working on those today. Not sure on the release date for that yet. And finally, I have a new short story coming out in a very cool anthology called UnCommon Bodies. My story … Read More

Out Now – Glitch Mitchell and the Deadly Follicle

Philip HarrisFree Fiction, Glitch, Stories1 Comment

Earlier in the month, The Leighgendarium posted an interview with me and as part of the feature I ran a giveaway for a free copy of Glitch Mitchell and the Unseen Planet. Entry to the giveaway involved inventing a cliffhanger involving Glitch that I would then use to write a new short story. I picked a winner at random and ended up with Glitch being trapped in Donald Trump’s hair! After some deliberation, I spent last Monday writing Glitch Mitchell and the Deadly Follicle and it was posted on The Leighgendarium on Friday. If you’d like to know how Glitch, Anderson and Doctor Zheng ended up in such a dire situation, and if they manage to escape – you can read the story here. It was a lot of fun to write, and hopefully as much fun to read. For a limited time you can pick up Glitch Mitchell and the Unseen Planet on all ebook platforms including Amazon US, Amazon UK, Amazon Canada, Kobo, Nook and iBooks for just 99c. The paperback edition is also as cheap as I can make it – $10.95. You can find out more about my upcoming releases, and get four FREE books by signing up for my newsletter here. [Out Now – Glitch Mitchell and the Deadly Follicle by Philip Harris first appeared on … Read More

A New Story

Philip HarrisChatter, WritingLeave a Comment

Ethel the Muse struck this morning, just as I was getting up. I’ve had a new story sitting in the back of my mind for a couple of weeks now, and today Ethel decided to provide me with an intriguing opening to get things going. I didn’t want to lose the words so while I was eating my breakfast I fired up Scrivener and wrote the first few sentences. Here they are, unedited and unexpurgated. It wasn’t until the fifth doctor appeared that I really got concerned. Even then, it wasn’t just that there were five doctors clustered round the scanner pointed at my leg. That was to be expected. After all, I’d come to the Medical Centre specifically to get a scan, in an effort to find out exactly what was causing the rapidly growing lump on my shin. My concern was triggered by the child-like look of delight on all five of the doctor’s faces. I don’t have any idea where the story is going, whether it’s a short story or a novel, or even what tone it is, but those things will sort themselves out eventually. For a limited time, I’m giving everyone who signs up to my mailing list 5 free books, … Read More

How to Write Every Day

Philip HarrisIndie Publishing, Writing, Writing AdviceLeave a Comment

On 30th June 2013, I sat down and decided I would start writing every single day. I haven’t missed a day since – which means a couple of weeks ago I hit the two year mark in my writing streak. I’ve already posted a by-the-numbers breakdown of my streak so far, but I thought I’d also post a few tips on how I’ve kept that streak running. I’m talking specifically about writing here, but the same principles apply to forming other habits – like running or push ups or monkey juggling. So, here are my tips for anyone trying to get the writing habit to stick. CHOOSE YOUR GOAL WISELY The first thing you need to do is decide what habit you’re trying to form. I kept mine very simple – write or edit some fiction every day (blogging doesn’t count). No word count goals, no time goals. As long as I write at least one word, I’m done. In reality, I try to get down at least 100 words, otherwise I feel like I cheated. The key here is to not overstretch yourself. Pick something that you are confident you can achieve. It’s very easy to get overexcited and commit to something that’s too hard. Goals like “write 10,000 words a day” or “write a novel … Read More

Two Years of Writing

Philip HarrisMetrics, WritingLeave a Comment

It’s been a while since I made a pure metrics post, I’ve been focusing on writing and editing, rather than writing about writing and editing, but I recently passed a milestone that I thought was worth talking about. On 30th June 2013, I sat down and decided I would write every day, and I haven’t missed a day since – which means a couple of weeks ago I hit the two year mark of my writing streak. So, what does 2 years of writing look like? (Click to enlarge) To save you getting your calculators out, all those spiky lines add up to 535,588 words (366,065 of which were shiny new stuff, the rest were revisions). I spent 37 days, 14 hours, 56 minutes of my life writing those words. That’s 593 words per hour overall but that rate increases to 790 words per hour when I’m writing something new. This graph shows how I split my time between outlining, writing new words, rewriting old work or revising. (Click to largify) It’s pretty clear from that what I’ve been doing for the last few weeks – revising. That’s good though, one of my goals for this year has been to revise the almost finished stories and novels I have kicking … Read More

Building the Apocalypse – The Middle of the End

Philip HarrisApocalypse Weird, WritingLeave a Comment

After three rounds of my own revisions, my Apocalypse Weird novel, tentatively titled Siren’s Call, has gone off to Wonderment Media’s editor, Ellen Campbell. Now the waiting begins as Ellen reads through the draft and tracks down any issues – not just bad grammar and spilling mistales but also parts of the story that are too slow or don’t make sense or just basically need to be improved. A lot of writers find this bit of the process very nerve-racking, and to some extent I do too. But I also enjoy making the book better and getting other people’s perspective is a key part of that. I’ve used editors on all my indie books and that won’t ever change – I just can’t bring myself to put a book out there until it’s run past several fresh pairs of eyes to catch as many issues as humanly possible. By the time it’s finished, Glitch Mitchell and the Unseen Planet will have been through five different editors and proofreaders (as well as one or two beta readers). There’ll still be issues, I’m sure (even the big publishers miss things), but I’ll have done everything I can to get it as close to perfect as possible. An editor can really make or break a project. Thankfully, … Read More

5 Things I’ve Done Since I Last Posted on My Blog

Philip HarrisChatter, WritingLeave a Comment

It’s been a while since I last posted here, over a month in fact. I’ve been very busy during that time, but here’s a few highlights to get me back on the blogging horse… 1 – Wrapped up Siren’s Call At least, I’ve wrapped up the fourth draft which is the last draft before I send it off to Ellen Campbell, the editor who’ll be whipping it into shape. I’m really happy with how the book turned out. It was great fun to write and feedback from the people who’ve read it so far has been excellent. I can’t confirm the release date just yet but you shouldn’t have too long to wait. 2 – Saw Kieran Strange and The Doubleclicks Perform Live Neither of us were familiar with Kieran Strange but we enjoyed her show. Anyone with a song called Merry Undead Christmas must be good. This was the first time we’d seen The Doubleclicks live and they were predictably awesome. Their brief rendition of the Doctor Who theme was worth the price of admission on its own. 3 – Watched Mad Max: Fury Road If I get some time, I’ll post my thoughts on the film but suffice to say, I loved it. So much that I’m tempted … Read More