Writing

 

I like to read Chuck Wendig when I’m feeling lazy and that new app I downloaded weeks ago entices me away from the keyboard. All you have to do is write 350 words per day over 260 days and you have a new novel. Problem solved. 1,000 would be nice, but it’s good to know such a low threshold won’t make you feel guilty if you don’t reach that number.

I have reached neither lately. I’m a sloth.

Except, I’m not. I’ve just about finished editing somebody else’s novel, I have a short story compilation coming out soon, I’m a quarter of the way through my second novel, Moorlands, and I’m reading a ton of stuff – partly for this blog and partly to see how others write.

However, I have a couple of jobs, both involving running about in the New Jersey sun with a ball. Once I finish all that I feel like Sean Connery in The Hill. All I want to do is stare at a white ceiling and pee in a tin bucket. My wife says “No”. That’s fine, it makes you creative. I write on bits of paper and Evernote on the iPhone. Writing on an iPhone makes you surprisingly efficient. It stops you trying to write like Charles Dickens and makes you wonder if James Ellroy composes on a handheld device. It also stops you constantly checking the last paragraph you just wrote to make sure it sounds alright as scrolling up and down is a royal pain in the arse. The spare prose is fleshed out in the editing, and the word predictor can take you off on tangents (99% of which are not recommended, but that 1% – blimey).

I do all this in the car between jobs. I could do it on a laptop at a Starbucks, but my cheese-ometer prevents it – maybe when I sell a million. Otherwise, well, have you seen that South Park clip?

Stuff which got me going recently:

Winter in Madrid by CJ Sansom – spying, history, bad things happening to good people.

Roachkiller & Other Stories by R. Narvaez – a bunch of crime shorts where bad things also happen to bad people. Result.

The Last City by Nina D’Aleo – a crackpot science fiction epic that is not usually my cup of tea, but I really enjoyed it.

Cliff Diver by Carmen Amato – really good police procedural set in Mexico. I wanted to picture the heroin as Salma Hayek and ended up with J-Lo. But at least it was J-Lo in Out of Sight.

Erin Cole – This short story is brilliant: Hand in Mine

Paul D Brazill – a noir writer. Have a short story collection of his to read, and I really like his blog.

Chuck Wendig – I don’t think I’ll read all his novels, but some of them look great. Plus, he writes like a beast. Tons of novels written in the last 2-3 years. Remarkable.

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