#Writing Update June 2019

Word Count: 2,595 words.

A quick update. May turned into an interesting month.

Various RL stuff, including some that could or will impact my immediate future, means that my writing has continued to be a bit sporadic but I am keeping to one of my New Year Goals of writing at least once, every week. It was touch and go about if I would hit my target for the month of 2,500 words but I managed it in the end.

Last month also saw me starting to foreshadow certain things whilst tying up some plot threads that were threatening to be forgotten. I have been able to potentially find a way to start a mini subplot I have been wanting to put in as a bit of fun too. I have also discovered that the BBC series, Gentleman Jack, about Anne Lister, the lady they call the first modern lesbian, to be quite inspiring for the Hallie chracter in particular but also the Simone character. Something rings true between the two stories so I think the series is going to be joining ITV’s Victoria as inspiration help for the WIP.

Even so, I think fatigue with the Hallie WIP is also starting to set in, possibly because some planning and rethinking is going to be needed, for me to be able to move forward. I love the WIP and the idea but I just hitting a point where I think I am going to be switching to the SDR (Steampunk Dragon Rider) WIP for a while.

Never hurts to switch things up instead of being stuck in a rut.

Because of the changes in RL stuff, I have had to review my targets for this month and the rest of the year. My targets were already fairly low already: 2,500 words per month for June-August, 1,000 words per month for September and October and 500 words per month for November and December. I have felt it necessary to lower my June-August targets though as a precaution. My new target for this month and the next two is 1,500 words. It feels more attainable whilst still being a challenge, all things considered. Hopefully, it will keep me going, come what may.

How are things going for you? Happy writing everyone!

“Doctor Who: Yo…

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“Doctor Who: You want weapons? We’re in a library. Books are the best weapon in the world. This room’s the greatest arsenal we could have. Arm yourself!

(from Tooth and Claw in Season 2)”
― Russell T. Davies

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Book Review: The Good Thief’s Guide to Vegas by Chris Ewan

The Good Thief‘s Guide to Vegas is the third book in this series and follows Charlie Howard, part time mid list novelist, part time thief,  as he heads for Las Vegas, USA, following events in Paris. No sooner has he arrived is he pick pocketing a poor sucker at a roulette table for his wallet and checking out a magic show. The wallet happens to belong to the magician, Josh Masters, who takes quite a liking to Charlie’s agent, Victoria. Charlie isn’t one to hold a grudge but decides to use the key card he finds in the wallet to have a look round Master’s suite. Unfortunately, that’s when things start to go wrong, not least of all discovering a dead body in the bath tub…

This novel is great fun, written in the first person with wit and humour, and features everything that has come to be expected of Ewan. The series can be read out of sequence (I really need to read the other books!) as very little of the storytelling really relies on past events in previous books. All the characters are full of surprises and keeps you grip from page to page. The events in the books can be a little confusing if you are unaware of Vegas’s strip layout (even after watching over a hundred episodes of CSI:LV), especially the story takes place (mainly!) in two fictional hotels however that disorientation isn’t enough to break the suspension of disbelief and Ewan does explain the location of them at the end of the novel as an author’s note. The events and actions of the characters keep ramping up the danger the characters are in, especially Victoria reveals that she hasn’t been all that honest when playing the tables.  There are also a lot of surprises and twists and turns, making the solution to everything that has happened an enjoyable and satisfying ending.

This instalment is very much aimed at an adult audience as the themes of gambling, threat of death, betrayal, prostitution and sex are extremely prevalent. This might seem like an odd thing to note considering the novel is set in Las Vegas, the city of sin, but the story itself could easily appeal late teens and young adults who might not necessarily like having these sorts of themes so in their face. Of course, society often brings these issues into the public forum and many people read to escape that reality which makes this novel rather gritty and these themes not necessarily appropriate and/or wanted in a novel such as this.

As a rule, I don’t tend to look at reviews before reading a book or seeing a film but, whilst writing this, I have read reviews on GoodReads and Amazon which indicate that this book a bit like Marmite: either you really enjoy it and take the book as part of an excellent series by Chris Ewan or you hate it because the plot is holey and/or the characters are underdeveloped and/or the writing a little rambling. (I would note that the rambling might be down to the fact that the novel is written in first person and Charlie ends up exhausted which often leads to rambling).

In general though, I do like this book, it’s story and how well Ewan utilises his chosen location. It is definitely an adult book and can be read as a one off or part of the series. For me, I intend to track down the other books and get reading. I might end up doing reviews on those books in the future too.