“Fevered. Feeling hot, hot hot”

Philip HarrisThe Ghost Smuggler, WritingLeave a Comment

Vancouver’s glorious summer continues which means our apartment continues to try to roast us alive. Yesterday was the last day of my four day “writing weekend” and despite the heat I managed to get almost two thousand words added to The Ghost Smuggler and complete the second exercise for the brevity workshop. It was tough going though. Even my usual trick of sitting in the bedroom with my Chromebook didn’t help for long. I managed to make it to 4:30 but then gave up and went and bought far too many Angry Robot books (21 to be exact). Overall, my writing weekend was a success, despite the heat, and I ended up writing a total of 7,688 words. For a lot of people that’s not particularly impressive but for me, that’s good. I’m usually looking to average 500 words a day when I’m training for a marathon. Friday’s day off also helped me set a new weekly record last week – 8,871 words. That’s just over 2,500 words more than my previous best and it’s really down to how much I’ve been focusing on my writing recently. I’ve got my writing head on at the moment and more and more I’m … Read More

THE END (Sort of)

Philip HarrisThe Ghost Smuggler, WritingLeave a Comment

I wrote the last chapter of The Ghost Smuggler yesterday. It was a lot shorter than I’d expected but it ties nicely with the opening chapter and although the actual content is quite different to what I’d originally planned the overall tone is the same. I like it. Of course, the book isn’t actually finished yet. I finished off an earlier chapter this morning and then, as I mentioned yesterday, I’ve got two chapters to replace completely. I think there’s a new chapter to add as well. Once I’ve written those, then the first draft will be done. I fully expect that to happen this week. I don’t normally skip around like this but I’ve been using my Chromebook for writing a lot and because it’s not really practical to have the whole manuscript on Google Docs, it’s a bit harder to jump back and rewrite/fix the earlier sections of the book. Instead, I left them as is until I’d finished off the rest of the book and knew exactly what I needed to do with them. I also started a new story yesterday. I’m not even remotely ready to start writing it properly but I’m excited about the idea and what … Read More

Forward Progress

Philip HarrisThe Ghost Smuggler, WritingLeave a Comment

When we left our hero (that’s me), he was knocking on the door of the 70,000 word mark of his novel, The Ghost Smuggler. Yesterday, after some back and forth as I deleted and rewrote chunks of the book, I reached 70,310 words. The scene I wrote was a big showdown between Kaei and one of the protagonists and I think it turned out pretty well. There’ll be more work to do during the revision stage but I’m happy with it as a first draft. I’ve been targeting 80,000 words for this draft which is about 30,000 words less than my original first draft and a nice length for a first novel. Based on where I am now it’s going to come in pretty close to that number. Kaei has dealt with one of the main protagonists and is just about to deal with the other, then there’ll be a brief closing scene and I’ll reach The End. The first draft won’t quite be finished at that point. I still need to go back and replace a couple of chapters to tighten up the story and fill in some plot holes. I think that’s going to get me pretty close to … Read More

Writing Day Down

Philip HarrisMovies, The Ghost Smuggler, WritingLeave a Comment

My first “writing day” of the year was a reasonable success – 2,295 words added to The Ghost Smuggler. That’s not great but I enjoyed myself. I also spent some time posting the first exercise for the brevity workshop and critiquing some of the other students’ work which chewed up some of the writing time. And I got a free cookie from Subway. I was hoping to hit the 70,000 word mark yesterday but I found that by about 4pm I was getting tired and distracted. When I wrote a chapter that could be accurately summed up as “I walked to the top of hill, there was nothing there so I went somewhere else”, I decided I should stop and go for a run. The good news is that on the run I worked out what to really do with that chapter and in the process filled in a small plot hole I’d be studiously ignoring for some time. Unfortunately, this morning I realised there’s some inconsistency in the way I’m getting characters in and out of the spiritworld that I can’t ignore. As Brandon Sanderson is fond of saying, I can “fix it in post” and I think that fix … Read More

Like a Snow Day But Warmer

Philip HarrisThe Ghost Smuggler, WritingLeave a Comment

With the end of The Ghost Smuggler in striking distance and the temperature in Vancouver dropping, I decided to take today off from my day job and make it…a writing day. I’ll be locking myself in my office and hammering out words for most of the day. It’s a holiday weekend in BC as well and we have no plans apart from 42km of running. All of which means I’ve got four straight days available to write so this is going to officially be a “writing weekend”. I don’t think that’s enough to completely finish the first draft. I may get to “The End” but there are a couple of chapters I want to rework and I’m pretty sure there’s a hole somewhere that means the book won’t make sense to anyone but me. I want to get those fixed before I declare the first draft complete and put it in a virtual drawer to cool off before I start revising it. The day has already got off to a good start. I woke up early (as usual) and lay in bed for an hour or so, mulling over plot points and scenes and characters. I ended up with some nice … Read More