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Rewrites are evil

For NaNo2019 I decided to be a rebel. I’ve not been completely happy with the Portal series for a long time, and NaNo gave me the push to start work. Can I say, rewrites are evil.

The best way to rewrite a piece, is to literally start with a fresh document and write the story again. So, that’s what I did. In proper NaNo tradition, I opened a blank document on the first of November and started writing. I knew the characters, the story, this should be easy, right? I even had a new cover, that needs changing too.

rewrites are evil

But no, it was hard, really, really, hard. I came across poor writing, did I really think that was good? There were whole sections of filler, pointless action that gave nothing to the plot or characters. I deleted more than I wrote. Characters no longer exist, characters changed gender, appearance. Relationships morphed into something different. Plot development scenes moved in the timeline. Place names needed to be changed when I realised my fictional town actually exists. Sorry, Wingate. With each change, tiny or huge, came an avalanche of other changes.

The sheer volume of characters proved impossible to balance, so several got culled. Some were simply superfluous. Other characters from later in the story would have been present, so they got an earlier introduction. More had to be given more depth, more identity.

It’s like writing the first book from scratch, again, with someone looking over your shoulder and telling you it’s wrong. The cascade of changes ripples through the narrative, washing away large sections, changing the course of the story.

Rewrites are evil, but necessary. I think I have a better book. It’s shorter, by about 20,000 words. In a couple of days it’ll be ready to send out to the first readers, trusted friends who will give an honest opinion.

I’m half expecting, “you changed it, I don’t like it.” But we will see. With luck, the new edition could be ready for release later this year. Then those snowball changes mean the other books will need to be rewritten too. Wish me luck.

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Book Sale

Book Sale

I’m having a book sale. My novels are going through a sequence of work that includes reformatting and new cover designs.

So, I have a box of the old cover designs and once the work is complete they won’t be current. A sale is in order.

I’ve updated the descriptions, double checked stock quantities and added them to the shop menu. It’s just up there on the second menu bar: Book sale.

There you will find every book I have a paperback copy of. Stock is limited, and once they’re gone then they’re gone. You might want to get in fast if you want one of these last few copies.

Most of the Portal Series is there, and the Earthlink book too. If you would like a short message, or a signed book, please let me know when you order.


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Writing again.

I’m writing again.

My writing journey began in 2005, when I first discovered the NaNoWriMo challenge. I took part, and completed the challenge for 8 years, and then I decided to take a break. That turned out to be a break from writing completely. I did finish a couple of projects, moved house, life changed, and the break turned into 4 years.

The characters were quiet, the stories not ready for telling. But this year, life changed again, and I’m writing again. I’d almost forgotten how intense it can get, typing word after word, sentence after sentence, as the story flows.

nanowrimo 2017, writing again

I think that sometimes you have to let the creative fire die back to embers, and then allow it to find fresh fuel.

I’m not sure if I’ll complete the challenge, 50,000 words in 30 days, this year, but I’m writing, I’m creating with words again, and it feels good.


After toying with the idea of trying something new, I found myself drawn to the familiar, to characters and a world that I know well. Lily is back. Years after I wrote her death, her younger self wants to tell her story.

Lily is around 18 years of age, as I write her now. She’s not yet had children, and is only just becoming the Mistress she will be in The Portal Between. She is with her sister, and their mother, as the magic grows and passes from mother to daughter, and as it pulls the family apart – which it seems to do on a regular basis. The magic seems to be more curse than gift, which is a theme for all my Portal books.

The sisters are searching for the man they meet as Lily discovers the portal magic by accident, and as she learns how to control it. But Samuel is elusive.

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Let the novel begin…

Nanowrimo has been part of my writing journey since 2005, and I completed the challenge several years in a row before life got in the way and I took an extended break from the whole thing for a few years.

The Portal series was pretty much written as part of, or as a result of, Nano challenges, and the Earthlink novella came from a desire to write something different.

This year, for the first time in ages, I found myself wondering what had happened to the characters, and from there intrigued more by the back story.

In The Portal Between, Lily arrives as a fully formed character. She’s Kate’s friend, Andrew’s mother, very enigmatic, and full of secrets. Some of the secrets are revealed through the series, but others are only hinted at. We know she ran from a horrific situation, and that she has powerful magic. But we don’t know why, or how. There’s story as yet untold.

Then a Nanowrimo email popped into my inbox, and I thought, maybe it’s time to give this another go. November 1st is rapidly approaching and NaNo looms on the horizon. I’m not sure I can fit in enough words every day, I’m not sure of there’s enough story to fill the 30 days, or the 50,000 word target. But I’m willing to give it a go again this year.

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