Monthly #Writing Update

Image Source: Insider Monkey/Google Images

I wasn’t able to post on Saturday as planned so figured I might as well wait until today, the last day of the month, to post and do it as a monthly thing. I have started using the Write All Year Excel sheet to track my word counts and other little things so it just feels right to do it like this. The main reason I am not doing it tomorrow is because I have errands to run and it is 1st September, Back to Hogwarts Day, so I suspect I will be distracted and will forget. It does mean that this is not a full monthly update.

Whether or not this will be the only Monthly update or it continues, I don’t know.

Weekly Word Count: 2,963 words

Monthly Word Count (so far): 8,081 words

So I am still shy of my 10k target for this month but either way, that is a lot of words.

I didn’t exactly do all of my aims from last week. The idea story does have some mileage in it but I ended up putting it aside and the plans to completely rewrite the first chapter of my Novella MS in favour of my Camp story. I do want to go back to the idea story with the magical spy character but I suspect it is going to come down to motivation. The Novella MS will just have to stay on my list of things to do.

The Camp story meanwhile, keeps being pushed on and on. I don’t know why I seem so fixated on it. I am just really enjoying writing it. Maybe it is because of the time of year or maybe it’s because the story keeps throwing up new ideas and announcing stuff I was not aware of was included in the story. This might sound weird to a planner but to someone like me, who plans but also allows the characters to take the lead on stuff, it can happen. It is not without its problems though.

There is a definitely Hogwarts feel starting to come to it as the characters announced that there were houses at the school, based on personality. I am not entirely happy with the personality aspect nor how the pupils are divided up between them: observations from staff, Head Boy and Girl and the Prefects who then decide who goes to what house. I am trying to think of a much more magical way for it to happen and no, a Sorting Hat is not an option! I have looked to see how places like Harrow and Eton house their pupils but it came down to complimenting the current cohorts in those houses in terms of skills, academic and sporting.

If anyone has any suggestions that might help, comment below.

Two other things have cropped up that have stopped me writing. One, the look and layout of the school buildings. I have found pictures of a building in New York that I feel is right for the school but also encompasses the equilateral and uniform design of Georgian mansion architecture. I can see it in my head because of those pictures, stuff I did at school and my local area however as I had my characters start exploring the school, I realised I needed to review parts of the design to figure out where everything is, like shared and separate facilities. I might need to do some drawing out of some stuff but for the most part I think it is sorted.

Another thing that cropped up whilst I was having two characters argue was the social structure of the magical society. It is probably going to be along similar lines of class structures within society like upper, middle and lower class at its most basic but not quite. It was a bit silly to think that this wouldn’t come up as a hierarchy of sorts with the schools is already at major play. Another thing is that one of the characters in the argument I suspect is titled so I may need to look up maybe died out titles within aristocracy or perhaps invent new ones. Is that possible?

This month, I definitely did not meet all the aims and goals I set myself but I feel I also succeeded in doing a lot too, including attending my first NaNoWriMo Write In. My local group does them year round so it’s great to be able to jump in without the pressures of NaNoWriMo itself. Hopefully, I am going to be able to attend more now I have actually managed to navigate and get there and back without hiccup. With a new month beginning tomorrow and the run up to Halloween, NaNo and Christmas as well as the events themselves, it could be a very interesting time to say the least for how much or little continues to be written.

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International Literacy Day-September 8th, 2014

Today is UNESCO International Literacy Day 2014, a day designed to champion literacy and how it can create sustainable development for the people of the world. More information can be found by going to UNESCO’s website.

If I had known about this before, I would have posted about it a few days ago however it must have been fate that I only found out today anyway as today is also the day that the Daily Mail, a UK newspaper, and BBC News are carrying reports that children and adults alike are struggling with their literacy and, in the adults case, numeracy.

The Daily Mail is reporting that the UK’s literacy levels are down and they are predicted to be even worse by 2025, particularly among white boys from poorer homes whilst BBC News says that adults are unable to gain the vital skills they need because they cannot access the training they need.

You can read these reports if you are interested by going to 1.5m Children “Won’t Read Well”- Daily MailHalf of poor white boys struggling to read at 11: Children more likely to read text messages than books, study finds – Daily Mail and Urgent Help Needed For Adults With Poor Skills, Say MPs – BBC News.

This seems crazy that children and adults are growing up and struggling with the very basic skills that will help them getting GCSE’s (the very basic level of qualification necessary for most jobs in the UK), holding down jobs, doing household bills and administration and so much more. The closure of our libraries certainly do not help as, for many families, this is probably the only place they would have access to books for free to read. We also have a state education system designed to give everyone the chance of getting the very basic skills in literacy and numeracy.

Therefore, I definitely support UNESCO’s International Literacy Day.

Fated Audiobook and Hidden Release Date

04edc-img_0664_edit_3-1-200x300Just a quick post to say that Benedict Jacka has announced on his website that the UK release of the audio book of Fated (the first in the Alex Verus series) will be coming out on September 2nd 2014, the same day as book 5, Hidden!

If and when the other books in the series will be released as audio books is currently unknown due to issues you can read about by heading over to his website but if you want a preview of how the book will sound, got to Hachette Audio UK’s Soundcloud page.

Book News

The release date of the last Skulduggery Pleasant book has been revealed!

Derek Landy has revealed on his blog (found here) that the next book will be released on the 28th August 2014 and it is roughly coming in at 100,000 words now, just a bit shorter than Kingdom of the Wicked. He has also said in the same blog post that he will be posting the cover art for a Skulduggery short story collection, called Armageddon-Outta-Here,  later this week. Next week, the full wraparound cover will be released and the week after that, the title of the ninth and final book will be revealed!

 

Benedict Jacka has also been talking about the next two Alex Verus books on his blog. Hidden, book five, is on schedule to be ready for a release around September time this year. Book six, currently being written by Jacka, is said to be quite different from the earlier books and he is unclear what the ending will be.

After the ending of the earlier book and from what Jacka is saying, I am willing to bet the next two books are going to be game changers and that Verus’s world is going to be turned completely on its head.

So what do you guys think? Are you looking forward to the next Landy and Jacka book? What do you think is going to be happen? Be mindful of spoilers please!