Free ‘Loch-down’ fiction

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It’s been a while. Apologies for that, but I have been working on my new novel, Lodger.

The first draft is complete. The second is also complete. The third is abandoned (a complete rewrite) at the end of Act 1. I’m now working on draft four, which is another complete rewrite, following some feedback from a friend and fellow scribbler on draft three.

I’ve been pretty focused on Lodger for the last nine months. I’m not one to skip from one project to another. But, I have managed to squeeze in a couple of pieces of flash fiction in the last year or so and a couple of articles for a car magazine.

Clear Blue Waters came from a piece of writing homework (pre-lockdown), from the Inspirations Writers’ Group. Just 300 odd words (some not so odd), developed over about five days—it became the first piece of work I’ve done I would categorise as ‘literary’. Some have described it as a tone poem.

What it has taught me is that the length of a work is no measure of the joy it can bring to the author (and hopefully the reader). I sweated and stress tested every word in this piece and am absolutely delighted with it. Yet, there’s no plot, no payoff, no big reveal. I know what I had in my mind when I wrote it, the reader is free to interpret it and make of it what they will.

At the suggestion of Tony Osgood, I submitted it to the literary mag Blue Nib for consideration, and was delighted when it was published in August on their website. To date, I think this is perhaps my most prestigious publication. I hope it shows a growing maturity in my craft skills and on my journey as a writer.

You can read it, for free, on my website, here: Clear Blue Waters.

CBW will also be published in the forthcoming anthology ‘Blue’, edited by Karen Ince, for the Inspirations Writers’ group. I also managed to sneak in a longer piece (about 5k words) called Caught Blue Handed—the tale of an obsessed and deluded man.

I’m trying to build some of the lessons I learnt on CBW into the latest draft of Lodger. It’s no horror, but has elements of spec fic. It’s more literary, a dark comedy that might best be defined as ‘commercial literary’.

I hope to finish this draft by the end of February, 2021.

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