Well, what happened in 2017? In June I began this blog with a post on the writing process. I was always a bit apprehensive about starting a blog. What have I got of worth to give to the world? I managed to shake that niggling thought. When someone suggested blogging to me again I was investing a lot of time studying the craft of writing, attending courses, watching lectures, reading books. I still do that today, when I can. So I decided to turn all the notes I had lying about the place into a blog to help my fellow writers of the world, and that’s where I came up with The Writer’s Tool Shed. Why the name? I tend to do most of my writing in a shed. I can’t smoke inside and when it rains, which is often, I sit in my shed. And in sheds, you store useful things!
I’ve enjoyed the blog a lot more than I thought. It cements information in my mind, and I get so much satisfaction knowing it’s helping people with their craft. It’s proven to be a wonderful way to connect with people too, readers and writers both. Without the blog, I wouldn’t have discovered so many of the fantastic writers I read today. You can check them out at the sidebar over there >>>
It’s been interesting to see what subjects readers have enjoyed most. The most popular was the guide to writing fight scenes, and in second the guide to archery. You blood-thirsty bastards. I’m always happy to take requests to cover topics you’re interested in. Just drop me an email. I love to hear from readers!
I cannot help but sense something great building in the fantasy writing community at the moment. Even in just the past six months, I’ve seen the memberships of writing groups soar. More and more people are picking up the pen and trying their hand at writing. I’ve always loved fantasy so much because of the escapism. Sometimes you want to flee reality and immerse yourself in a world of castles and dragons, wizards and monstrous beasts of the imagination. And it’s appealing to more and more people. Let’s hope it continues in the year to come.
In May my first ever short story, ‘Forgotten‘, a low fantasy tale set in a high fantasy world, was published by Aphelion Webzine. It meant so much to me, my first ever piece. That feeling will always stick with me. A few months later I had another two shorties published, ‘Ducks‘, by Writing on the Wall and ‘The Pigeon Catchers‘ by Far Horizons Magazine. Tall Tale TV did an fantastic audiobook version of ‘Ducks’ too.
Perhaps the biggest highlight of the year was taking the residents of Ranelagh House Care Home to the cinema. At the end of September, one of my best friends, Mark Brooks, and I self-published a story each to raise money to take the residents on a rare day out to the cinema. Growing up for most of them, going to the cinema was one of the most beloved pass times. Many hadn’t been in decades. Thanks again to all who bought a copy of The General & The Visitor. You can still buy it on Amazon and all proceeds go to Ranelagh House. Don’t forget to leave a review too!
So what does 2018 have in store? Editing. Shitloads of editing. As I write this I’m a chapter or so away from finishing the first draft of my novel. I’ll take a break for a few weeks and delve back into the world of short stories before picking up my axe and beginning to chop the novel to bits. I intend to hit learning about the craft pretty hard come the New Year. One of them resolutions. So that’ll mean much more for me to share with you.
Which brings me to you. With more content being published in the Tool Shed I’ll be looking to put the latest articles into a second volume of This Craft We Call Writing. I’ll also be exploring a print version if there’s a demand for it (let me know if this is something you’d like). I’m also looking to do more to help you out in any way I can. One of the things I love about writing is the collaborative spirit. Writers do not compete. They help each other. I’m always happy to give reviews of your stories or editing advice if you want it. And if ever you’d like to get involved in the Writer’s Tool Shed with a guest post you think readers would love, please get in touch!
And of course in the New Year, I hope to bring you more about this novel of mine, Magpie. I don’t know how many hours I’ve invested in it so far. There’s still a way to go, but I think I’ve got a story you’ll like.
As this year draws to a close, I want to hear from you. You’ve taken the time to read my articles and subscribe to my mailing list. What do you want to see? What do you enjoy? What would you like more of? I’m at your service!
Thank you for your continued to support. I hope you have a wonderful Christmas and New Year! Until then,