The Dreaded Bricks of Chapter Six

Those of you that know me or have been following my progress over the last few years, since way back when I was working on my first novel, The Camel Trail, will know my Achilles’ heel has always been (and likely always will be) the dreaded Chapter Six. Regardless of how long my chapters are, or how many words I have written of the first draft of a novel, as soon as I hit chapter six, I flail around a bit and flounder under the weight of my own words. Every writer will experience these questions at some point in their lives: What the hell am I writing? How do I fill the bit between chapter X and chapter Z? Who[…]

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Back on the wagon

“Back on the wagon” is probably the wrong analogy, but it’s all I could think of for now. After months of procrastination stemming from a violent bout of writers’ block, I picked up my laptop this afternoon and started tapping away at the keys. The first few hundred words came painfully slowly. It took me 6 hours to write 250 words (this blog post is already over 60 words and it has taken me 20 seconds to write!), but once I was in the flow, the words came readily. It is now 12:40am and I’m still writing. I’ve just come to a scene closure and I’m reviewing what I have just written. Now I know what it feels like when[…]

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Do or Do Not; There is No Try

In the almighty words of a certain little green man (that’s Yoda, if you hadn’t realised), Do or do not; there is no try. But what does that actually amount to? In a nutshell, saying, “I’ll try to be on time for our meeting” or “I’ll try to remember to pick up a couple of steaks for dinner” is effectively noncommittal and unjust. But just leaving out the words “try to” isn’t enough. As Yoda points out, you either do or you don’t. You are on time for that meeting or you aren’t. You remember to buy steaks on your way home from work… or you don’t. Trying is defeatist. “I will be on time for our meeting.” Will you? Can[…]

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Ailigh – a draft cover

As I do, from time to time, when the frustrations of writing get the better of me and I can no longer put finger to keyboard than I could successfully plumb a toilet, when that dear old friend of mine, Writers’ Block, comes a-knocking at my door and will not leave, I turn my attentions to drafting a mock book cover. I do this in the hopes that visualising my scenes, my characters, my settings, might just spark in me some mild gleam of a twist that could push that writers’ block from my head and get me writing again. And it did. Since creating this cover this morning, I have written another 2,500 words. Not a massive amount by[…]

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Updates on the Work in Progress

Not much of an update, I’m afraid. Lately, I have kind of fallen into a phase of writers’ block. I know where I want to go, I just don’t know how to get there. I fear I have succumbed to my age-old three-chapter block. It happens every time: I smash out three chapters, and then I get stuck. I know I’ll get through it, I’ve done it before (I’d never have completed any of my previous novels if I hadn’t). I’m just finding it hard to concentrate right now. I’ll be back with a new update once I’ve smashed through the wall. Until then, keep reading, keep writing, and keep smiling.

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In the beginning

It all started with my return to Ireland in March 2016. I had been itching to start a new novel for a long time and, after a few failed attempts (my computer is clogged with the first chapter of many, many novels that will never see the light of day!), I felt like I had lost my mojo. But within weeks or moving home to Northern Ireland, breathing in that vast country air, feeling spring grow around me, it suddenly dawned on me: this is your new novel. This is what you need to write. In Rider I set part of the story in Ireland. The first half of the tale takes place in Belfast, but I had never really made a point[…]

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Lynch

THE SURVIVORS: Eighteen months after their ordeal in London, Kane Rider and Margaret Bernhard are secured in witness protection and moving on with their lives. But Alberto Ramirez isn’t about to let them off so easily.

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The Science of Zombies

Are zombies real? Could some form of parasitic infection turn the whole world into a nightmare of the undead, a Zombie Apocalypse of disturbing proportions? Answer: probably. In various parts of the world, there is evidence that it may have already happened, in some form or other. But my question is this: If a global zombie apocalypse actually occurred, how would it go down? And could it wipe out humanity entirely? For years now, I’ve thought that the age-old and much adored zombie movies were getting it wrong. These slow-burning, groaning misfits sleeping during the day and shuffling through the streets at night searching for any surviving, non-dead human to either ‘turn’ or feast upon. And then along came 28[…]

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Who you are: Society, Labels, and the people they belong to

‘Can you remember who you were before the world told you who you should be?’ I didn’t know who Danielle LaPorte was when I saw the above quote this morning (turns out she’s a Canadian author and motivational speaker), but like every quote that rings true, it both spoke to me on a personal level, and also got me thinking about the novel I”m reading at the minute: Annabel by Kathleen Winter (another Canadian, as it happens). Annabel is about a boy growing up in Labrador, Canada, in the 70s and 80s, a boy who is unique, who was born a hermaphrodite, or ‘intersex’ as I’m led to believe clinicians now prefer to call it. There is such a raw[…]

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