Woohoo! Finally, I have finished my MA at Birmingham. It has been a long journey and a lot of work, but I’m there and, by the look of things, I’ll be getting a distinction – which is wonderful, too. There is too much to say, so I’ve updated my MA Writing page with some comments and reflections. The long and the short of it is: if you are looking for an MA in Writing, seriously consider BCU.
What is does mean is that I can now move into a new normal in writing, focus on finishing some more novels and continuing other writing. Of course, I’ll be attempting the occasional competition, too, but a new focus is now possible.
So, what’s cooking? I’m writing a series of shorts adding up to a novellette for Warlord Games’ and Rick Priestley’s ‘Gates of Antares’ universe. The universe is a background for a game and it has a range of interesting factions with varying motivations and a new ‘ancient technology’ variation on interstellar travel. It has sparked my imagination, hence these shorts, and there may be more – keep an eye open!
I’m rebuilding aspects of a novel I wrote for my MA. There are a number of first readers who have given excellent feedback and I was also unhappy with a number of aspects of the submitted version. Rather than continue in genre-fixing it (into the thriller genre), I’ve decided to embrace the cross-genre aspects of it that were particularly appreciated (Historical Anti-Hero Crime/Coming-of-Age/Buddy) and go ahead. I’ll try mainstream but if not, it will be published through CreateSpace.
There’s a reflection, here. I eally enjoy the editing process when I’m focused on producing a finished book and producing another draft. I mentioned in my MA how difficult and demoralising it is to go back and rework something that isn’t finished, partly because you cannot see the end so you do not know what to focus on. In talks I’ve been to, a number of authors have stressed ‘Write, keep writing, finish it. Only then edit/redraft.’
I have to stress how good that advice is. Once at the end, you know where you’re going and how things best need to be changed for the effect and story you want. Hence finishing The Honey Killer and rewriting it: only now do I fully understand where it should have gone.
And it’s enormously satisfying to know where you’re going.
Have a good 2016!