Monthly Archives: November 2012

Winning Feels Good (NaNoWriMo)

I’ve been a bit quiet on the blogging and tweeting front for the past couple of weeks because pretty much all of my writing energy has been directed towards creating 50,000 words for National Novel Writing Month. I achieved my goal on 24th this year 6 clear days ahead of the deadline. Last year, I was still beavering away right up to the evening of the last day.

I can’t tell you how wonderful it feels to achieve this writing goal – it’s about so much more than just achieving a wordcount. This year, as last year, I’ve met a lot of fellow participants (NaNoers) at the local support events organised by our Municipal Liaison officer, Meg Kingston, and made lots of new writing friends. To me, their friendship and support is every bit as important as the common goal that unites us. At the end of the month we will all go our separate ways – some of us will perhaps never meet again but I’m sure, as happened last year, some new and lasting friendships will also be formed – I certainly hope so – only time will tell.

In Wales alone (a relatively small country), well over ten million words have been written so far and, at the time of writing, there are still a few days left. Probably, only a tiny proportion of these stories will ever be published but who cares. The creative energy unleashed is fantastic and a lucky few, who maybe started this project on a whim, may well go on to become best selling authors. But it’s not about getting published, it’s about forming a disciplined writing habit, finding your inner voice and ignoring (for one month only!) your inner editor. It’s like running a marathon, many drop out for a variety of reasons but for those of us who make it the achievement feels great and the camaraderie feels even better!

That’s it for now – I’m going back to my novel – I may have hit the wordcount but the novel isn’t finished yet and I aim to keep going until it is!

And here are the stats to prove it…



Filed under Writing

If Gardens were literature… (Autumn Photos)

If gardens were books then Stourhead Gardens in Wiltshire would surely be a timeless classic. I do hope these and other beautiful gardens and woodland are not spoiled by this Ash virus spreading around the UK.

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Filed under Photography, Random

The Magic Is Mostly In The Edit

Castell Coch

Remove distractions and add warmth and colour when editing

On a rare sunny day this November, I set out to capture a picture of Cardiff’s fairy-like Castell Coch (which is Welsh for Red Castle) surrounded by glorious autumn colours. Unfortunately, by the time I found my chosen location, the sun had gone behind the clouds and some of the trees looked distinctly bare! Also, although the view was beautiful, unsightly distractions like telegraph wires and lamp-posts spoiled it.

The photo on the left is ‘As Shot’ and, like some of my first drafts in fiction, it feels a bit dull and lifeless. The wonder of digital photography is that, just like fiction, with a few judicious editing adjustments, one is able to erase the distractions and tease out the richness of the colours to end up with the photo on the right. Those colours were lurking in the trees all the time: they were just hidden from view.

So if you feel the first draft of your novel, or short story, has too many distractions and lacks warmth don’t give up on it. Maybe all it needs is a few deft cuts and a tweak of colour to turn it into a masterpiece.

If you want to know more about editing first drafts then why not spend eighteen minutes in the company of my good friend and fellow writer Paul D Williams who’s done a Video Blog on this very topic.

Here’s the link:


Filed under Photography, Writing