Writing and painting: a comparison

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Over the summer holidays I was tasked with painting a spare room.  It’s a project I’m currently putting the finishing touches on.

Now it’s entirely possible I’m deliriously high on paint fumes, but I can’t help but draw some parallels between painting and writing.  They seem to share a few inescapable truths. Read more

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Sci-fi Story Update

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So I’ve just completed the first two chapters of a new story.  My budding sci-fi manuscript stems from the butcher’s paper brain dump I discussed here.

I’ve cast perfectionism aside and simply let rip with my thoughts, writing scenes, characters and dialogue as they come to me.  Just like with my last novel, I’m working on the principle of “what kind of book would I want to read?” then allowing myself the freedom to write it.  I’m going about it in a free-flowing, unrestrained manner, not bothering at this stage with spelling, phrasing and how fully formed concepts may or may not be.  I can refine all that later. Read more

Season’s Greetings

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2018 has come and (almost) gone, and so I just wanted to pass on a quick message as we see the year out.

2018 has been a big year for me.  Not only did I commence seeking ways to publish my debut novel, but I also set up this blog, commit to writing its contents, and used it to publish a serialised story.

I feel I have established myself as a writer and storyteller, and stopped shying away from my passion.  At one stage I would conceal my love for writing just in case others attacked me for it; now the secret’s out and I couldn’t be happier.  In doing so I have garnered a small following and, needless to say, I appreciate all your support.

2019 is set to be even bigger for me, with new frontiers to be explored both in my professional and personal life.  As we usher in the new year, I hope your 2018 has been a happy, healthy and productive one, artistically and otherwise.  I would also like to take this opportunity to wish you peace, joy and creativity for 2019.

Thank you to everyone for accompanying me on this journey.  It really means alot.

Have a merry Christmas and a happy New Year.

David.

 

 

Twilight of the Springs – Part Five

“Those Scion fucks are onto us!” yelled Benny into Beecherman’s leathery ear.  “Bloody hell Beecher, I swear, if you’re delivering me to them for a profit, I’ll…”

“Not true,” repeated Beecher ad nauseum, averting his gaze from Benny’s eyes and sniffing at the steering wheel.  “Not true Benny ol’ boy.  Here to help.  Where ya headed?”

Benny purposefully turned his gaze away in a cold and mistrustful silence.  He was unwilling to confide in Beecher about his search for Jen, and since they were heading in the right direction anyway, he had decided it was safest to keep his motives to himself.  He fixed his gaze on the car’s dust-flecked side mirror, noticing with alarm the phantom shape of the black BMW loom ever closer.  It was like an enormous vampire bat descending onto its fleeing prey.

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This is What a New Novel First Looks Like

Over the past few years, I’ve been struck by quite a few ideas for a new story.  Based in a brand new universe, I envisioned a grimy, futuristic setting riven by factional wars and scheming powerplayers, and which combined action and adventure with the odd detective element or two.

The problem was my mind just couldn’t seem to sequence all these ideas cohesively enough to generate a consistent plot.

Enter some good ol’fashioned tabletop mapping, using some curled and yellowed butcher’s paper I had scrounged from my cupboard and which were leftovers from art classes I used to take.

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Edited to preserve the sanctity of a future manuscript.

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Tips for the Time-poor Writer

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Over the years, I have visited many a writing resource on the web to help improve my craft.  I find that, invariably, their most highly sought after content does not concern novel structure, character arcs, or help with prose.

No, their most popular advice almost always revolves around how to find more time to write.  It seems there are alot of time-starved creatives out there.

Before I continue, I’ll be honest: this issue has vexed me my entire writing career.  At 37, I’m still astounded at just how time-consuming the phenomena known as “adulting” can be, and how little time is left over to pursue life’s passions.  I’ve become painfully aware that, if I don’t scrupulously monitor my usage of time, it can be quickly frittered away, leaving me frustrated and falling behind on various writing projects.

I have, however, found means to steal back precious moments from the relentless demands of modern day life in order to pursue my creativity.  The tactics obviously won’t work for everyone and require a degree of discipline to foment and maintain healthy habits.  But they have helped me, and I hope they can help you. Read more

My featured work in Amiga Point of View magazine

As followers of this blog will know, I am a lover of all things retrogaming.  NEO-GEO, Super Nintendo, MS-DOS – you name it.  I harbour a particularly soft spot for games released for the Commodore Amiga line of computers, which were all the rage throughout the late eighties and early nineties.

Amiga Point of View (APoV) magazine aims to cast a fresh eye over the glory days of the Amiga computer, whilst also attempting to recapture the sardonic tone and dry wit of pulp gaming magazines that were so popular at the time.  Over the years, it’s reviewed a number of games that made the Amiga such a tremendous home entertainment platform, with some of those critiques penned by yours truly!

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Double-barrelled game review: The Surge and Lords of the Fallen

Here I go again with the review equivalent of a two for one deal at your local burger joint.  This week I’ll be conducting a side-by-side comparison of The Surge and Lords of the Fallen.  This twin critique is made possible by the fact that both games were made by Deck 13, and feature similar gameplay mechanics.  In fact, you could say The Surge is the spiritual successor to Lords of the Fallen, despite taking place in a completely different setting (think how Starcraft was the psuedo-sequel to Warcraft).  So let’s see how the two stack up.

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A Shout-out to my Editors

Writing is a solitary pursuit, especially during the initial stages of drafting a major piece. The inescapable truth is that no-one else but you can translate those ideas drifting in your head onto the hard reality of the page.  It is a task that must be faced – and overcome – alone.

That’s not to say that help is not at hand once the difficult grind of drafting is complete.  This is the stage where external assistance can be recruited, in order to gauge audience feedback, polish up your work and take it to the next level.

Two individuals have been invaluable in helping me perfect my writing and guiding me thus far, and I owe them a debt of gratitude.

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Photo by Startup Stock Photos on Pexels.com

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Twilight of the Springs – Part Four

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The following moments were a blur of movement, action and reaction, all chained together in a spurt of survival instinct.

Benny found himself sprinting away from Travis’s mangled remains and up the treacherously soft terrain of the riverbank.  Concentrated gunfire stitched across the swamp, pluming jets of thickened water in his wake.  He raced up the slope, overstepping during his ascent and skinning a knee in the process.  Nevertheless he propelled himself onwards, the sting of pain nothing more than a distant tingle blunted by adrenaline.  It was only when he had stumbled midway up the embankment that he risked a backwards glance, over the report of gunshots shrilling in his ears and the thunderous tattoo of his beating heart. Read more