The Identical Boy: Draft One


Phew; the crappy first draft of ‘The Identical Boy’ novella is done and dusted. It’s clocked in at a little over 15,ooo words, but I know that will increase as I develop the bare bones in the second draft. I actually surprised myself by finishing, as I had planned a further two chapters, but realised, as I hit the last word of the (supposed to be) third to last chapter, that it felt like the right place to actually stop. The rest wasn’t needed. Get out early.

I get the feeling that this one will take a fair bit of work to get it into the kind of shape I’ll be happy with, but I’m looking forward to getting into that. But not yet. I’m going to let it sit for a few weeks and instead start revisions on the longer ‘Between’ book.

Oh, and I need to get around to finishing up the novella (The Headless Man) that I’m giving away to my email list subscriber’s. Thanks to those who have already signed up to that, I didn’t expect anyone to do so at this point, so big thumbs up to you mad fools.

So it feels as though I’m on track to get Boy and the other ‘Between’ book out for mid-April, which is cool. Next order of business, finish the third ‘Between’ book, so it will be ready to follow six weeks or so later.

Busy, busy!



I Am An AMAZING Cover Designer. TRUTH!

headless man

So I had my first little go (without looking into how to actually do it, basically just winging it!) at using the tool over at DIY Book Covers to design a front cover for one of my books. The result is to the left. It’s kinda cool looking, no? I was impressed for my first little go, anyway! After showing my girlfriend she found this Trainspotting cover; spooky..!

This isn’t for a book I’ll actually be putting up to sell, though it may work for the free book I’m going to be giving away as incentive for signing up to my email list.

As a result of my first clueless play around, I’m pretty happy with it, though I can see in this smaller version things to look out for when trying again. Some of the title words are tricky to read, for example. Always worth shrinking the image down to see how it would potentially work on a site like Amazon.

Anyway, this not totally duff first go makes me think with some actual knowledge and practice, I might be able to fashion some pretty nifty covers for the books I actually plan on selling. Which would be cool! And a money saver. Even if that does happen, I’m sure I’ll still reach out to pros at some point anyway, because I can fiddle and practice all I like, I’m never going to top what a seasoned pro will knock out.

But yeah. Stupidly proud for such a simple little thing!

Okay, this was my way of distracting myself from actually writing: BAD MATTHEW! On with it, then!


The Identical Boy

first lines

I’ve now hit the 12,000 word mark on the novella, which is nice. All being well I should finish up the first draft by the end of the week, hopefully topping off somewhere around the 17,000 word mark. Up to this point the title was ‘Boy Between’, which was rubbish. Straight up cack. The reason for the title was that I was trying to squeeze the word ‘Between’ in there somehow, as that’s the linking fantasy element of the first three books I’ll be releasing. But nah, changed my mind, this one will now be called ‘The Identical Boy’, which I like muuuuuch more. I’ll drop the ‘Between’ into the sub-heading underneath the main title.

My loose aim is to get Boy and the longer Between book out by mid-April, with the third title tossed up a month-to-six weeks later, plus a single book that will then contain all three, plus extras. A nice little funnel. So If I finish Boy this week, it’ll be on to editing the other book, then back to fiddle with this one, send them out for a once over, final polish, then ready to go. At the same time as the edit on those two I’ll be knocking up the first draft of the third book.

So writing aside, the next most important thing are covers. Now if you listen to any Indie Author podcasts, you’ll know about 99 Designs. I want to use them. Trouble is, the cheapest service they offer would set me back 200 pounds or more per cover. When I’m planning on releasing three almost at the same time, that’s quite an outlay. Especially if I’m going to be forking out for edit services. Especially, especially when any decent chunks of spare cash are earmarked for elsewhere this year. Crap. So what to do..?

Well I’ll tell you, if you just give me one God damn second, alright?

I recently found by Derek Murphy, which, for a small amount of cash, and lots of fiddling around and annoying practice, allows you to put together a decent cover yourself. There’s tons of help and ready-made templates to use as a starting point. I won’t bang on about it, follow the link if you want to check it out. I’m going to try it out first with the novella I’m planning to give out free to my email subscribe list peeps. Seems like a no risk way to test the thing out.

There’s no way I’ll put out a book with a shitty cover, that’s a waste of time, but I’d like to explore cheaper options before I have to come round to the more expensive option. And, of course, nothing is forever, I can always update the covers further down the line.

Yes, I realise this is probably a terrible idea, but worth at least having a go at. I also saw this ace article which explains how to get a decent cover for super-duper cheap using a place called Fiverr. So I might investigate that too. Seems worth commissioning a thing or two to test the waters if I’m only spending a few pounds a pop.

Okay, on we go, fingers crossed I get the first draft of ‘The Identical Boy’ sploshed out by weeks end…

Oh, and do let me know about any cover options you’ve discovered..!


Boy Between Progress


Well things have been going okay with the ‘Boy Between’ novella. I now have around five thousand words in the bank, if I manage to stay focused (i.e., write rather than looking at the internet for hours) then I should have an awful first draft in the can within a few weeks. Which is awesome.

Another awesome thing is a discovery I made this week. I intend to launch three books at the same time, all under the ‘Between’ brand. I’ve done two drafts on one of the stories, and it looks like this other one is shaping up well, so that leaves the third one. I’d been pondering what other story to tell, when I realised something I’d already put down four thousand words for could, with a little tweak, fit as a ‘Between’ story. That’s pretty handy..!

So I have my three initial stories, now I just have to finish first drafts of two of them, and then edit, edit, edit all three. It feels like I can see an end in sight if I stay focused. I’ll be a published Indie Author before you know it, and then the adventure and hard work really starts.

Oh boy.

Here’s a sneaky peek at some of the rough copy from todays writing:

The egg lurched suddenly, rolling off the pillow and coming to a stop on Sam’s duvet. It began to rock and jump as something inside fought to escape its bonds. A split appeared and tore the egg in two, and out of it crawled the most extraordinary thing. It was like a baby, but also not at all like a baby. Small and sharp and grey and mewling. It flexed its back and opened its eyes that were too large for its misshapen head for the first time. Arching its back it thrust its face towards the ceiling and let out a piercing scream from a mouth that ripped its way into reality across its face.

The creature sagged and panted, breathing air for the first time, gulping it down greedily.

Sam approached the creature, reaching out a hand to brush away the last remnants of the leathery egg that clinged sticky to its sickly hued skin.

‘Hello, friend. I remembered you.’

The creature at last brought its breathing under control and curled into a foetal position, a satisfied smile on its face.

‘Awake,’ it said, with a voice that scraped its way uncomfortably out of its throat, ‘Awake.’