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NaNoWriMo 2018 I didn’t ‘win’ …

… but does this mean that I ‘lost’? I have an issue with the vernacular used by the burghers of National Novel Writing Month. If you achieve the target of 50,000 words during the month of November they tell you you have ‘won’ NaNoWriMo. This implies that I, who achieved ‘only’ 32,022, somehow lost.

Okay, so I didn’t meet the target that I started the month fully expecting to do – having done it two years ago. But life intervened. Namely, railing against the total chaos that is Brexit.

On the plus side, NaNoWriMo forced my imagination into gear and I have the bones of a novel that I believe will be my best yet. It’s innovative and challenging in terms of plot, character and structure and I’m excited by the prospect of finishing it during 2019.

So thanks, NaNoWriMo, even if you think I’m a loser.



12 2018

Treading water

Can I be catching up and falling behind at the same time? For those who don’t know I am participating in National Novel Writing Month 2018. It happens in November.
The idea is to write the first draft of a novel of 50,000 words  in thirty days.
My first mistake was to fail to clear the month in my diary. This meant that I started off with a deficit and I’ve been catching up ever since. But the relentless daily target of 1667 words means that on the days I write, although I’m writing more than the daily target (catching up), I’m still falling behind.
Today’s par for day 12 is 20,000 words and I’ve written 15,318. Luckily at this stage in the process quality is not an issue it’s all about the number.


11 2018

“Churlish and grudging” review

Yes, I have been churlish and grudging about Jonathan Coe’s novel Number 11 that I have described as “totally absorbing”. To find out how this is possible please follow this link to the review on Goodreads. Enjoy.


11 2018

What A Cock Up!

I really thought that I was onto something new when I was inspired to write Out of Such Darkness by scenes and characters in the film Cabaret. So much so that I started describing myself as the founder of a new sub-genre of literary fiction called ‘Film Fiction’. (See my previous blog.)
It transpires that I am deluded. I have not been disabused of this notion by a sharp-eyed follower of my musings (would that my musings had followers) but rather by my own reading of Jonathan Coe’s novel Number 11. Parts of the book refer back to the Winshaw Family who appeared in an earlier novel of his and to the film What a Carve Up! Coe’s earlier novel had the same name.
I read the novel What A Carve Up! many years ago and I know that it often referred to the film. I’m pretty sure that I believed then that the film Coe weaved into the plot was one he imagined – a film he had populated with real British actors from the early 1960s Carry On films. It only takes a quick Google to learn that the film that inspired Coe’s early novel did exist. It was made in 1961. Here’s the poster:
Clearly, after this discovery, I have to defer to Jonathan Coe as the real pathfinder in the matter of ‘Fliction’ and acknowledge that my three novels (one published, one a completed manuscript and one in progress) merely follow a trail that he blazed so brightly with his bestseller.


11 2018

What is ‘Fliction’?

I’m a film enthusiast and find that the movies I admire offer a rich seam of inspiration for characters and plots. So much so that I believe I have invented a new sub-genre of literary fiction that I’ve called “film fiction”. One of the people at one of my talks shortened it to “fliction”.

The first novel ever in this genre (as far as I’m aware) is Out of Such Darkness inspired by the film Cabaret. I have recently completed a manuscript that has echoes of Chinatown and my work-in-progress has links to Groundhog Day.

If you’d like to know more about Fliction and my novels please follow this link to learn about my talk on the subject.



10 2018