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Sunday, 26 May 2013

Holiday Weekend Freebies, & the whole word count issue

I'm starting to wonder if I'm the only author on the planet that doesn't write by word count. Just about every writer I know has a set amount of words that must go down on the page daily/weekly/monthly/by the hour, and then either do the happy dance when the goal is reached, or flog themselves bitterly when they've missed it. 
I seem to have the paddling-pool approach: I open the document, splash around as much as I can, and then get out to clean up the mess. Word count is usually the last thing I look at.

There are a couple of reasons for this. One of these is that I write on my phone during the work commute, and that doesn't give me a word count. It's just me, headphones on, ignoring the sardine crush around me, happily tapping away at the screen until my stop. I won't know the word count there until I transfer it to the laptop. This can be a bit awkward when writing shorts; the piece I wrote for Allegories of the Tarot had to be edited down by about 1K, and I had to kill a couple of nice little scenes, but it was a stronger piece for the edits. I tend to suffer diarrhoea of the keyboard, and while that can work in a book-size piece, it hurts a short.
The other reason, I guess, is that I'm a pantser, not a plotter. I have no idea what's going to happen in a story until I write it. (I've tried the plotting thing, and it was the most awkward, dreary bit of cardboard ever to hit my trashcan.) I know the story's going well when I re-read the last part and go "Cool! What happened next?" I write until the story is done, and some worlds write long (everything on the Crescent, by the looks of things) and some of them write shorter-ish (Blue Moon Detectives, although that may be about to change.)

I'm quite happy with writing this way, although it does sometimes feel a bit awkward when you're chatting to other writers and they mention their word count for the day, and then ask what yours was. Shrugging and saying you got a couple of chapters in sometimes gets you the same kind of look as the strange guy who sometimes wonders down Kentish Town road with his underwear on his head. 

In the spirit of the long weekend, I have Blood Moon Dance and Quarter the Moon free on kindle for today and tomorrow. If you don't have a kindle, but want a bit of lip-smacking free-story goodness, hit me up in the comments and I'll happily send you a PDF. Amazon links and descriptions to whet your appetite:


 Serial killers and hawks don't get on well.

A small logging village on the outskirts of the Crescent is being terrorized, and an innocent family is being blamed for the murders.

In this fresh adult take on the Red Riding Hood myth, Amber and Jadah have to match their wits against the killer before time runs out, and the killer finds another victim - or the village turns on the werewolves that have lived amongst peacefully them for years.

"This is the blood dance, this is the end dance, and the outcome is death." -Amber.

Blood Moon Dance is a novella of around 17K, and takes place shortly after the events of WolfSong, but can be read as a stand-alone piece.

This book contains strong language and scenes of violence.



The first Blue Moon Detectives collection. Two brand new tales from the Blue Moon Detectives characters, plus Basement Blues and Die Laughing.

House Mates - When Astrid moves into her new apartment, she has to deal with an unwanted house mate, and the dark secret she's hiding.
Yes, Astrid, There is a Santa - What happens when a centuries old vampire discovers that Santa is real?
Blue Moon Detectives - Saving the (undead) girl shouldn't be this hard...
Die Laughing - The gods are back in town - and they don't play nice. Billy and the gang find themselves fighting a Norse god with a bad habit of killing comedians.