Sunday Girl

I’m not a girl, but it is Sunday, and here’s Debbie Harry and Blondie just because:

So far today I have visited my usual two cafes – Marks & Spencer’s cafe in Pudsey and the wonderful Geek Retreat in the centre of Leeds. These are the places I like to write, places where I can step away from the rest of my life and just focus on my imaginary worlds.

Recently that’s been hard work, for one reason and another I’ve been a bit stressy and that’s dried up a lot of my creativity. I’m not one to whine about “Writer’s Block” as if it was some romantic affliction and a symbol of how damned wonderful I am at the rest of the time, but recently I think the parts of my brain that tend to daydream have been less focussed on “here’s a lovely story idea” and more on “Arrgh things might go dreadfully wrong”.

All nonsense of course and something I’m prone to from time to time.

Anyway, my work on The Crow Journal has been slow for many weeks now, trudging my way through the last two or three chapters in the part of the book that ought to be the punchiest and fastest moving. I know why too – there are a lot of things I need to fit in to this section: elements of foreshadowing, tying up previously set-up threads and making sure there is a genuine pay off to some key elements. And because my processing power has been tied up running round in circles that means that every time I got the chance to write I had to look at a blank page and then try to figure out what to put next. Not my usual style at all.

So to get past this I just decided to write what needed to be written in baby-language almost. “Barnaby and Emily see a tower. They go to the tower. What could be in it? Oh no it’s a monster.” etc (not a genuine example by the way). In the space of a couple of hours starting with this drivel I’ve now mapped out exactly what needs to be in the final three chapters of the book and that means I can start writing them out properly without stressing about what needs to go where.

I suppose it’s the textual equivalent of a rough pencil sketch, and it may not be anything new or innovative to the world at large, but it’s the first time I’ve tried it and it seems to have unlocked the right parts of my brain.

Here’s to the next three chapters and the downfall of malign Faerie!

Finn’s first novel A Step Beyond Context is available on,uk and and a few others as well. It’s a punchy genre-busting mystery with a heroine who is a Regency lady, a high tech mercenary and much more.

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