Time to Jonty up – Progress Report – 15/4/13

I learnt this lesson the hard way: rugby and writing don't mix!  (Credit: NZPA/Dianne Manson)

I learnt the hard way: Rugby and writing don’t mix!
(Credit: NZPA/Dianne Manson)

An interesting week for And Here The Wheel. I’ve released the third episode of the Commander’s Log, a bumper episode that required alot of audio work. I’ve kept writing, as I always do, though I made the mistake of trying it at a friend’s house while the rugby was on. It was an interesting game, but not much writing got done:)

Word Count for the week: 9,051 words. Damn, not much over the weekly goal. It has been a bit of a struggle. In this part of the novel everything I am writing is being thought up while I write. My synopsis is not very detailed at the moment, due to the rush to get it replotted after conversations with Frontier Developments.

I am effectively ‘pantsing’ the story, a term used by writers for those who plan the story as they write or write ‘by the seat of their pants’ instead of planning before hand. It’s an equally acceptable method, but one that doesn’t suit my strengths and definintely isn’t the right method when you are trying to power draft. On same days I’ve actually spent ten minutes or so writing a page worth of synopsis so I can then get on and write the scene the way I like to write. These scenes worked a lot better than those done off the cuff and I’ve made a mental note to really shine a light in the eye of these scenes when it comes to editing time. For now though the draft is still moving forward which is what is important.

Total Word Count: 93,586. Half way through a scene which was one of the first I thought about for the whole story. Its a scene which I love but in the back of my mind I fear I may have to reposition this scene. Then there is the climatic battle and the aftermath. Those are two pretty important scenes which I’ll discuss after I have got there.


93,586 / 105,000 (89.0%)


Quote du jour:
Robert spun Hayden around and crunched him in a bear hug. Just for a second. “You guys are ok,” he said, then stepped toward Tiwhe and punched him in the shoulder. Hard. “When your boss sends you a message to see if you are alive the decent thing to do is reply and say ‘yes sir.'”
“We’re alive Sir,” said Hayden.
Tiwhe rubbed his shoulder. “How come he gets the hug and I get the punch?”
Hayden gave him a shove. “Because I’m better looking.”

Commander’s Log Podcast

The cover art for the Commander's Log podcast

The cover art for the Commander’s Log podcast

As mentioned above and in the previous post, episode 3 has been released and is available on iTunes and this website. Thanks everyone who has given feedback so far. I really appreciate it. People out there might not realise it but feedback of any sort is very important to writers or anyone who puts their product out in the public. I guess at a base level its a good ego stroke to know that someone cared enough about your work to spend a minute writing a comment, but on a higher level it helps to polish and fine tune the whole experience. Feedback allows me to improve areas of the podcast that might be weak and look at the parts that are great and see how I can make the rest of the cast the same.

Because lets face it. I had never done podcasts or audio editing before I started the podcasts. I’m an absolute rookie. A rank amateur. And feedback is how I get better. Its the same with my writing. The magazines that give feedback on my submissions allow me to tune the story toward something that they require. Every magazine requires something different – different tastes, different readers, different goals, and feedback is a vital part of the process.

So what am I getting at?

Please let me know what you think of the podcast 🙂 Constructive critisism, good old fashioned rave reviews, I’ll even take a slap in the face if you are prepared to swing your arm.

Writers Forum

If you follow me on twitter you would have heard about my publishing contract. The question was raised in the writers forum on whether there would be a contract for all the works of fiction that will be published and the answer was a resounding ‘Yes!’

So as we speak, a publishing contract is winging its may via mail to my house in little ol’ New Zealand.

Yes, you read that right. MAIL, not EMAIL. Frontier want me to sign a printed copy and then mail it back to England. Sure, I don’t mind getting contracts in the mail. I just have to make sure the kids don’t spill anything on it before I can mail it back.

Authors continue to publish drabbles ready for the Elite:Dangerous newsletters. I haven’t done one yet and I’ve been asked by a few people: ‘Why?’

There is a couple of reasons. Firstly my brain is in power draft mode. I’m not in plotting mode – I’m in getting the words on the paper mode and I’m so close to finishing the draft that I want to complete that goal, get it ticked off and then shift my brain into drabble mode, complete that goal, and then shift into the editting phase.

The second reason is quality. If I know what I am writing I can punch out 100 words in a few minutes. That’s nothing. But that’s not the true cost of a drabble. Like any piece of fiction I write I don’t want it going out to the public unless it is as good as I can make it. That means edits. For a drabble, with only one hundred words to play with, that means making sure that each word is the best, most precise word that I can use, that conveys the right connotations and measures. This can’t be done in a few minutes, for me at least.

So I will be doing a drabble, just not right now. And when I do it, it will be somethin I am proud of.

Otherwise the writers forum has been pretty quiet. No new topics popping up, but there has been a bit of continuing discussion on current topics. Nothing particularly news wothy unfortunately.


That’s this weeks report done and dusted. See you next time.




4 responses to “Time to Jonty up – Progress Report – 15/4/13

  1. Hey John.

    Really enjoyed the podcast. Particularly liked your referencing of Dean Koontz and Lee Childs. They are two of my favourite authors. I’ve read all of the Jack Reacher novels, bar the latest so far. One day I hope to read all of Dean Koontz work but that’s quite a challenge!

    I’ve also checked out one of your earlier updates and will be picking up a copy of Million Dollar Outlines by David Farland. I have an ambition to write a novel so I think this may well be fate. I get to learn bit more about writing while helping a good cause.

    If I had any advice to give you about updates it would be to post a note on Indiegogo every time an update is released, so your backers receive an email. Otherwise I tend to forget to look for it and see the stellar work you’re doing (well done on the word count by the way). With your podcast I’ve bookmarked it so it’s waiting for me in my iPP Player.

    Keep up the good work.
    Unkie Steve.

  2. Thanks Steve. Glad you are enjoying it. Good advice about Indiegogo, thanks.

    And another thanks for supporting Ben Wolverton. He is twitching more and seems to be more responsive, all semi-good signs. Still in a coma however.

  3. No worries John.

    Just noticed I’ve written Lee Childs (an extra ‘s’). I guess I really wasn’t awake when I wrote that! 🙂

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