Creative analysis, Writing

“We’re back in hardware mode”


While NaNoWriMo encourages participants to rework what they wrote in November, and I thought maybe I would look in on it again, I no longer want to revise it. Instead, I’m doing something else.

And don’t fret, that “Tiger Sharks” project is still happening, just more slowly than hoped. Actually, it’s going more slowly because it looks like I won’t have to publish it alone. Anyway…

Hardware mode

There’s a moment in Iron Man 2, when Tony is just picking himself out of his lowest ebb and is “trapped” in his Malibu pad and talking to his droids, when he says, “Get ready for a major remodel, fellas. We’re back in hardware mode.” And that’s pretty much how I feel about what I’m doing in my spare time right now.
See, during Christmas I had an idea for an urban fantasy kind of mystery thriller novel thing. And I was so taken by my idea that I started research on Boxing Day. It’s why I read Chuck Wendig’s Blackbirds – I was looking for material to help familiarise myself with the genre a bit more. I may not have droids and state of the art computer systems, but I do have the internet and know people relevant to what I want to write.

Other than reading fiction (I need to dig out Stephen King’s The Dead Zone from wherever I put it) and non-fiction, I’m in the process of arranging interviews with people who know about things like working in night clubs and policing. Things I don’t have any experience of, but would like to portray to a believable degree of accuracy. Actually, if you know anyone who’s done DJ work for a large metal night in a night club – I would love to interview them too.

I always try to interview relevant persons rather than relying on just written accounts when I’m really, really, really serious about a writing project. You always get a more three dimensional look at the topic you’re researching as opposed to just reading books or webpages. And if you interview people who have aspects to them similar to what you’re looking for in your characters – then it really helps you imagine them and bring them to life.


But what’s the novel about? It’s about a woman discovering that a serial killer is operating in Plymouth and the subsequent rush to discover and capture the killer before they kill again. All rather simple stuff, but I’m giving it an urban fantasy slant, which I don’t want to be going in to more detail here at this time.

The current plan is to self-publish this new novel. That’s unless someone, whose opinion I trust, reads a second or third draft of the thing and thinks that I should approach an agent with it. I’m only going towards self-publishing because I want to get something out there this year and not because I’m afraid of the inevitable series of rejection letters that would slowly trickle through in the event of going the traditional route.

And if you’re wondering: I actually like Iron Man 2.

Recommended reading
Tips for Interviewing by Ken Metzler
The Dead Zone by Stephen King
The Psychology of Serial Killers Investigations by Robert D. Keppel and William J. Birnes
Blackbirds by Chuck Wendig


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