A Close Encounter with an Amorous Doctor

I had obviously thumped the wrong alarm button.

Waking two fuzzy-headed hours later than normal to the cheery shaking of my cheeks administered by David Tennant doing his coochy-coo face was a pleasant start to my day.

The dream fresh in my mind, I lay awhile and watched it again from the beginning.

It was the middle of nowhere, and the dead of a star-filled summer night – ideal for spotting UFOs or picking up transmissions from afar. Down a spiralling concreted road to a small brick building, that’s where I was. Computers beeped and buzzed (probably my alarm clock shouting at me); monitors showed the starry heavens, and a coffee machine fizzled its last for the night. There was a bed, a couple of chairs, and that’s about it. This was like one of those SETI watching stations as portrayed in the X-Files or Close Encounters.

I decided to give it up for the night, locked up and started the walk up the spiralling concrete road (to consciousness?) when something moving in the air, flapping, twisting, … “Is it an owl?” (or a plane?) I said.

“That’s no owl,” my dream-self said. “There’s people… I hear people… RUN!”

So I did. Back down the spiralling road, into the `bunker`, slamming the door behind me, but soon to be overpowered as a throng of scantily clad `ladies` surged through the door and jumped on the bed. (how they all fitted I’ve no idea)

They were dressed for a night on the town and then some, giggling, cooing, as if they’d had a few already. Then David Tennant arrived (no I do not have a secret fantasy), or more precisely The Doctor, complete with long coat and cheeky smile.

“Oh,” he said. “You’re not supposed to be here… I’m, uhm, I’m sorry, I was looking for somewhere to um,” he looked to the heaving mass of females on the bed and then back to me, “you know.” Then he put a finger to his lips. “Shhh, don’t tell a soul,” he said before opening the door and leading the girls out.

I ran after them, up the spiralling road (to consciousness?) and came to a stop by not one Tardis but TWO (Tardi?)

Neither Tardis was the one we all know and love. Both were fashioned in the familiar form of the blue police box, but the first was slightly wider, slightly deeper, slightly taller, had extra windows. The second, parked at its side, was huge. Three metres by three metres by four metres. HUGE. I stepped forward intent on opening the door.

“No – no – no – no – no!” Tennant said in his best Doctor’s voice. He grabbed my wrist, spun me round. “You can’t go in there.”

My dream-self did not protest. (I wonder if it was smaller on the inside)

“These are just for – ahem – nights out,” Tennant said. “Won’t say a word, will you?” he winked and flashed the Tennant grin.

“I won’t,” I said.

He gripped my cheeks and did his coochy-coo face. “You beauty!” he said, in the way that only David Tennant can.

The stuff that dreams are made of. What a wonderful world they live in.



buy Kimi’s Secret: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B005ZCQ91W

Danny Boyle’s Olympic Production? Been there, done that.

Three weeks ago, I sent my lovely beta readers 90% of Kimi2. The last chapter they would read is a scene of spectacular proportion; a filmic production on a grand scale.

Two nights ago, watching Danny Boyle’s visionary production opening the 2012 London Olympics made my jaw hit the floor, not only for the incredible spectacle itself but for the reason that some things were more than familiar.

In Kimi2, my grand production takes place on a grassy moor dressed with hillocks and standing stones, where many humans and greylians, gathered for this judgement day, watch from scaffolding seating as soldiers roam the scene, waiting for the ceremony to begin.

Seeing the surreal image of Boyle’s grassy mounds and the watching crowds made me smile. The similarity to my `imagined` Kimi scene was vague, but I could see it.

Back to Kimi2, and my `ceremony` kicks off with a mad Welsh woman singing and dancing. Then the moor begins to move, rumble, and huge stones push from the earth building into two enormous structures each as tall as three houses.

Boyle’s emerging chimneys stretched my jaw a tad.

Back to Kimi2 and the famoose arrive; rodents with wings, glittering wings, fifty thousand of them stream from the Welsh woman’s skirts in two lines of shimmering light, encircling the enormous stone structures.

Boyle’s luminescent, winged cyclists streamed into the stadium in two lines. I think I said: `Ha!`

Back to Kimi2 and (spoilers, darling) the big moment arrives. A surprise guest turns up via helicopter. Yes, her majesty herself, dressed totally in pink, addresses Kimi and has a little chuckle.

The Kimi2 scene ends with everyone looking to the air and watching a golden explosion of light.

When the Olympic rings raised above the arena and, erm, exploded their golden light, well, I went and bought some tarot cards.

Seriously folks, you couldn’t make it up.



Buy Kimi’s Secret: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B005ZCQ91W

Funky Fan Art!

Huge thanks to Becky Allsop for creating this most excellent version of the evil Moonface.

She’s pretty but with eyes that would stab you in the back and nick your liver given half a blink.

I’d like to see your version of Bentley…perhaps a trio as he merges from weeny to 12 to an old wrinkly like me.

Noooo – how about your version of Kimi?

Or better still Babbage complete with deformities and gloopy snot.

And crows.

And Stella.

And Big Sue wearing his snood.

And monkey Rehd, and Ruthie in a tutu.

Oh, and Patina with the swirly eyes.

And a Bellamy’s aunt before and after the implosion.

And Blavatsky with her wispy hair and piggy eyes.

I could go on.

Or how about a huge group shot?

I’d like to say I’m tickled pink but apparently there’s bliss flies about. Well done, Becky. That’s just brilliant! What a talent!


Buy Kimi’s Secret: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B005ZCQ91W

Close Encounters of the Nostalgic Kind

Andrew Lloyd Webber stoked me last night. (no kidding)

He’s a clever man, a genius, a bloke I admire very much. When he does his cheesy TV shows to search for Dorothy, Maria etc., I always watch and appreciate his talent. Currently he’s searching for Jesus, and I’ve been watching the show, however I only saw the trailer or the first time last night. And it stoked me – almost into flames, or even tears.

When I was a soft but thankfully not spotty sixteen year-old, I went to the cinema with my cousin, Mark to see the latest film they were raving about at school. Those weren’t the days when you had no shoes and it cost a jam jar to get in, this was later, the days when cinema seats had ashtrays on the back and people would bring a six-pack of McEwan’s Export to chug in the smoke haze and hopefully see a film.

Close Encounters of the Third Kind was the film. Stephen Spielberg excelled with faultless, enthralling storytelling. And that’s just it, even through the smoky fug it had me by the short and curlies and, I would learn, it would never let me go. Secret aliens with stick thin bodies and bulbous heads abducting humans. Spaceships and saucers, government secrets and – oh my god – the glorious Mothership herself with her explosive trombones!

I returned the next night and the next and again for five nights in a row until my pocket money ran out. The concept of aliens among us was huge, sparking within me a thirst for the paranormal, the supernatural, the things that can’t be explained.

I hooked up with Fortean Times, Unexplained magazine, devoured them and searched for more.

Then came the X-Files, the internet, Area 51, the Roswell autopsy video and its many spinoffs and conspiracy theories that would have me continually enthralled.

My search has always been, and still is, a sceptical, scientific one. Of course there must be aliens in our vast known universe; be they maggots or mammoths they must be out there but as for visiting Earth, I think not – at least not in my lifetime.

My love for the `greys` is a love instilled at an impressionable age and is now a part of me. To write them into Kimi’s Secret was always a mission and it was a delicious task bringing them to life as the greylians.

Getting back to last night, Lloyd Webber’s trailer stoked the fire:


What a genius production.


Buy Kimi’s Secret: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B005ZCQ91W

Monster at work

Today I’m writing the first draft finale scenes for KIMI2

It’s monsterly inspired.

Can you see the monster?


Buy Kimi’s Secret: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B005ZCQ91W


This morning me and the Olster watched a dogfight twixt a heron and a seagull.

This afternoon I finished the trillion edit, spit and polish to the first 12 chapters of Kimi2 and sent them to my lovely beta readers.

And right now I’m writing in the winner of the creature competition: Lloyd Richardson’s evil Signature and poor Kimi is having a hard time.

Only another 10 or 20,000 words to go.



buy Kimi’s Secret: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B005ZCQ91W

A new adventure for Kimi

Kimi’s Adventure by Menna Chapman

I challenged the pupils to create some fan fiction, a short story, approx. 500 words, with the stipulation that it must be scary. The bright little star that is Menna Chapman got a bit carried away…

There was another thin streak of light flickering softly ahead like a candle in the wind.”

“There were three shelves within the cupboard that were filled to the top with glass jars. Kimi noticed a few had eyeballs inside them, the inner colour still bright and twinkling as if they were still in their socket.”

“Kimi grabbed a sharp piece of loose metal and turned Spiker’s face around and stabbed it into his eye. Blue blood dripped down his face. Spiker screamed a painful scream.”

Though you might like a read…

 By Menna Chapman.

As Kimi peered out of a grimy window she saw dark. Dark surrounded everything. Through the dark she saw a streak of dim, white light glistening in the far distance. She peered closer wiping the round window with her jacket sleeve as she squinted to get a better look. Her face was pressed up close against the glass. There was another thin streak of light flickering softly ahead like a candle in the wind. Kimi’s mind was ecstatic with thoughts swimming in her brain. It turned dark once again. Kimi’s warm breath steamed up the thick glass in the small window. She kept her gaze on the far distance ahead of her.

Suddenly there was a bright, blinding flash. Kimi turned her head, tears welling up in her eyes. The light stayed there for longer than the other flickers, they only lasted a few seconds or so but this one didn’t. The light soon disappeared in the same way like the others, first it was there then it wasn’t. Kimi couldn’t help herself from staring out of the window, her eyes fixed on the dark space. She whispered to her herself, “Where am I?” She wiped another tear from her eye.

“Don’t worry, I don’t know either,” said a cheerful voice that Kimi recognised immediately.

“Stella!” Kimi said. She ran over to Stella to give her a hug.

“What were you looking at? I was trying to get your attention but you were in some sort of trance. You turned around a few times but you still didn’t seem to notice me. It was freaky!” Stella said looking out of the grubby window herself.

They waited in silence for a little bit looking out of grimy window. The blinding flash appeared again suddenly. Kimi and Stella’s eyes watered.

“Kimi,” Stella said with an excited face.

“Yeah?” She replied wiping a few tears from her eyes.

“I think we are in space!”

“You really think so?” asked Kimi, a shimmer of light twinkling in her eye.

“Well yes, I do think so,” said Stella grinning at the thought of being in space. The two girls shared a glinting look for a few moments.

“So, do you want to explore this weird spacecraft or what?” said Stella with pleading eyes.

“Of course I do! What harm can it cause?” said Kimi smiling a cheeky smile. Stella joined in.

“Well come on then, follow me!” said Stella going through a wide door. Kimi followed her.

The tunnel was dark and murky. There was a bright light at the end of the tunnel. Kimi and Stella finally reached the light. They tiptoed inside making sure nobody was in there. When they found out that the coast was clear they decided to search in the cupboards. There were three shelves within the cupboard that were filled to the top with glass jars. Kimi noticed a few had eyeballs inside them, the inner colour still bright and twinkling as if they were still in their socket. Other’s had very large brains. Kimi stared at them for quite a while when Stella suddenly noticed a tube of a green consistency.

“What do you think it is?” asked Kimi looking at the colour of the liquid.

“Um, slime” Stella said looking as if she wanted to be sick. They wandered through a door that had a metal handle. Stella wanted to explore some other rooms on the spacecraft but Kimi started to feel as if they were being watched by someone or something….

“CRASH! BANG! CRASH! BANG!” something was attacking the spaceship!

“Stella! What’s going on?” Kimi shouted.

“I don’t know! Hold on to something quick!” Stella yelled as she jumped for a nearby desk. Kimi jumped under the table top with Stella holding her hand. They both closed their eyes wishing for the craziness to stop.

Kimi woke up on the cold, hard floor.

“Stella?” Kimi said helping herself up off the floor. There was no answer.

“Stella!” said Kimi with worry in her voice. Kimi’s eyes welled up with tears. They rolled down her pink cheeks. She looked all around her but there was no escape from the metallic looking room. Kimi was alone, or was she?

“Kimi” said a screeching, sly voice. Kimi spun her head around the room quickly looking everywhere to see where the voice had come from. Little Hand tingled. Kimi didn’t like where this was going but she didn’t know what to do. She delved into her pocket and grasped her hand around her mobile phone. Kimi wanted to phone Stella but she quickly realised that she was still in space when a shooting star flew past the window.

“Why isn’t there any signal in space?” Kimi said loosening her grip on her mobile. “Now what do I do? I haven’t got a clue about space! I just want Stella back!” Kimi said as if nothing really mattered any more.

“TALK! NOW!” yelled Spiker. Stella was taken away from Kimi by it. Stella was fastened to a titanium wall, her arm blocked by titanium bands to stop her from running. Her feet were fastened to the floor stuck there by slimy goo that looked familiar.

“NO! NOW LET ME GO YOU UGLY THING!! I DON’T CARE WHAT YOU ARE OR WHO YOU ARE JUST LET ME GO!!” shouted Stella at the top of her lungs.

“I know you know a little girl that goes by the name of Kimi,” said Spiker slyly. He looked at Stella with an evil grin. Stella looked at him back in an angry way. Stella remained silent.

Spiker continued, “I need you to go and get her and bring her back here for me to have a little chat with her. Do you understand?” He said sitting down in a huge, grey chair.

“I’m not doing ANYTHING for YOU!” Stella said trying to pull her feet up out of the goo.

“Oh but dear Stella, you haven’t got much of a choice!” Spiker said cackling with evil laughter. Stella closed her eyes and thought of Kimi. She wanted to protect her not capture her.

“What will you do to me if I don’t get Kimi?” Stella said, feeling braver.

“This!” Spiker said. Three of Spiker’s guards appeared through laser transport. They each had a gooey stick and started to stretch it.

“You will be stretched,” Spiker said cruelly. He laughed again, it was an evil laugh. Stella had a decision to make. A very difficult decision to make.


 “Kimi!” it was that voice again. Kimi didn’t like it. She heard it again.

“Kimi!” it was in a whisper this time. Kimi covered her ears so she couldn’t hear it but she still could, in her mind. Kimi shook her head to try to shake out the dreaded voice. Kimi shut her eyes tight wishing and wishing for the torture to stop. She hadn’t wished so hard in her life.

“Kimi!” it was back again. It was like a spinning fairground ride going round and round in her head. Her eyes were still shut tight. She was wishing and wishing and hoping and wishing even more for the voice to stop. Kimi thought of Stella. She thought so hard of her she pictured she was in the room with her. Kimi opened her eyes. They needed time to adjust to the light of the ship. Kimi noticed a dark hooded figure standing by an old desk. Kimi rubbed her eyes. When she looked again the figure was gone. She was still alone. Kimi wanted Stella. Kimi always wanted Stella. Stella was Kimi’s treasure. She never left Kimi behind and Kimi never left Stella behind.

            Meanwhile as Kimi was alone the evil genius Spiker was plotting a plan to capture Kimi. He still had Stella trapped in his secret laboratory. Stella’s eyes skimmed the shelves of glass jars. Stella’s facial expressions changed from curiosity to horror. Spiker set out his lab table with test tubes and weird ingredients laid out on a snow white sheet. There was a giant, black cauldron. Spiker put on a clean white lab coat. He started pouring coloured liquids into the cauldron then he added disgusting slimy things into the black cauldron. Stella was fixed on this ugly creature concocting an evil potion. She didn’t know what it was for.

“Aha it is complete at last!” said Spiker smiling the evilest smile ever to be seen. Stella turned her head away from Spiker to try to ignore him. She didn’t want to be part of an evil plan.

“Stella, try this now!” Spiker said slowly walking towards the stuck Stella. She shut her mouth tight sealing her lips together. Stella shut her eyes tight so she wouldn’t be tempted to open her mouth.

“Open up and drink this!” Spiker said moving to tip the liquid into her closed mouth.

“Come on drink up, it tastes delicious!” said Spiker using his sweet voice. Then he cackled with laughter. Stella refused to take the potion. She didn’t know what it was and she didn’t want to find out.

“DRINK IT!” shouted Spiker in a terrifying voice. Stella opened her mouth a little bit then without any time to stop him Spiker poured the liquid into her mouth.

“Ahh, that’s gross!” Stella shouted.

“Well what did you expect Stella it is an evil potion for an evil plan!” Spiker said cruelly. Suddenly Stella’s face turned from bright to blank. Her expression was wiped out. Her face was as white as a piece of paper.

“Ahh, its worked!” Spiker said with a flash of delight glowing on his face. He threw the empty potion glass over his shoulder. It landed with a loud smash!

“Now, go and get Kimi!” Spiker said in a controlling voice. “Stand here!” demanded Spiker.  Stella listened to the commands as if she wanted to listen to an evil genius. Stella stood on a white cross. A blinding laser beamed down to take Stella to Kimi. When Stella disappeared Spiker started laughing an evil cackle.

“Haaa, Haaa, Haa, Haaa!”


Kimi sat there alone. She had never felt more scared. She knew she was trapped. Kimi’s stomach rumbled with starvation. Kimi tried to get to sleep but her stomach continued to rumble and rumble and rumble. She was so hungry that she started imagining things. She saw a figure that looked familiar. She rubbed her eyes.

“Stella! Where were you? What happened, first you were there then you weren’t! It was freaky!” Stella didn’t answer. Kimi’s face turned with worry.

“Stella! What’s wrong?!” Kimi said her throat very dry. There was still no answer. Stella grabbed Kimi’s arm and pressed a button on her watch. The laser beam appeared again. Kimi covered her eyes with her arm to block the blinding flash.

Kimi felt herself being transported from the bright ship to the dark lab. Stella led Kimi to a darkened room. Stella left. Kimi was alone again.

“Hello, Kimi!” She turned her head around to see a large, dark figure. It was Spiker.

“Who are you?” said Kimi with curiosity.

“Oh so sorry, I forgot we never met. I am evil genius Spiker. You might not know much about me but I know lots about you,” Spiker said with an evil grin.

“What have you done with Stella?” Kimi said with a stammer.

“Oh don’t worry your friend will be fine. The potion will wear off in a bit. It is you I’m after Kimi,” Spiker said taking a few steps towards her. Kimi stepped back. Kimi’s throat was dry. She couldn’t form any more words. She was frozen to the spot.

“Why do you want me?” Kimi finally found the words.

“It’s because of your brain, Kimi your brain,” Spiker said stepping closer still.

“My brain? What would you want with my brain? It’s just a normal brain, there’s nothing special about it is there?” Kimi said biting her lip.

“Power. I want power Kimi and your brain will help me on the way to power!” Spiker said smiling an evil smile showing his disgusting teeth.

Kimi ran. She ran for her life. Her feet pounded with pain. Kimi turned her head behind her to see how fast she had run. Spiker was running behind her slipping on the floor as he went. Kimi turned into a corridor. There were doors along both sides. Kimi tried them all. All of them were locked. Kimi sprinted towards an open window but she suddenly remembered.

“Stella! I forgot her!” Kimi turned around and ran the other way. She saw Spiker running straight at her holding out his arms to grab her. Kimi slid under his legs. She jumped back up onto her feet and kicked Spiker hard in the back of his shins. He fell to the ground in pain and Kimi ran away back to the lab.

“Stella!” Kimi shouted as she sprinted along the never ending corridor. Her heart was pounding in her tight chest as she continued to run. She finally reached the dim lighted lab. Stella was sitting in a corner crying.

“Stella?” Kimi asked.

“Kimi!” Stella said running across the room to give Kimi a big hug. They stayed there for a while enjoying the company of each other. Then they ran. They ran for their lives. All of a sudden the evil Spiker crossed their path.

“Ahha you thought you could get away without me caring? Well you were wrong!” Spiker said closing in on Kimi and Stella. The two girls didn’t know what to do. Kimi mouthed something to Stella that Spiker didn’t understand. Stella’s foot twitched ready to run to safety. Kimi winked at Stella. She understood what Kimi meant. Stella ran away down the opposite corridor. Kimi stayed there staring into Spiker’s poisonous looking eyes. Kimi raised her foot quickly and lunged it into Spiker’s ugly face. Spiker fell back shocked at what Kimi had just done. She hoisted herself up into a trap door on the ceiling. Spiker jolted his head up to see where Kimi had gone. He looked up and tried to grab Kimi’s trailing foot but Spiker tripped over Kimi’s stranded shoe. Kimi was in the venting system. Spiker could hear her crawling through the long, metal tubes. Kimi stopped. Spiker was following Kimi from underneath her. Spiker listened hard standing underneath a vent opening. Kimi removed the little door and leaped onto Spiker’s back covering his eyes. He fell to the ground. Kimi grabbed a sharp piece of loose metal and turned Spiker’s face around and stabbed it into his eye. Blue blood dripped down his face. Spiker screamed a painful scream. Kimi was terrified but continued killing Spiker. She lunged the weapon into his chest. Spiker started to wheeze uneasily. Kimi removed the killer weapon from Spiker’s body. His blood was covering Kimi’s weapon.

             Stella ran up the corridor noticing Spiker on the floor and slowing down to look at the horrifying sight. Stella couldn’t say anything. Kimi looked up, Spiker’s blood dripping of the piece of metal onto her clothes. Kimi was still clutching the weapon that helped her kill the evil genius Spiker.

“Kimi I think we better go,” Stella said pulling Kimi up from the damp floor covered in Spiker’s blood. Kimi looked down on the dead body of Spiker and turned to walk away.

“How are we going to escape?” Kimi asked Stella as she wiped blood off her jacket and trousers.

“Follow me,” Stella said leading Kimi down a dark tunnel on the second floor. Stella turned a corner and pushed a door open. Kimi walked in followed by Stella. They were standing in a bare room with only a large machine in it. Stella explained to Kimi about how she had come across the room when she was trying to find where Kimi had been. Kimi had a lot of questions to ask Stella but Kimi didn’t know where to start.

Menna Chapman

Look Before You Write!


Rejection, rejection, rejection…


Why, why, why?

Easy – you didn’t look backwards, and you didn’t look closely enough, didn’t stare until your brain throbbed, didn’t ASK ENOUGH QUESTIONS.

Let’s get serious for a few hundred moments and talk about the craft of good writing.

Good writing needs a soul.

Call it planning, call it exploring, call it good writing, call it being clever, call it all of those things, because that’s what it is.

Writing is the most human thing as close to human as there can be.

Poor writing is the outspilling of subconscious regurgitated crudely by cognisant and supposedly mindful consciousness.

Good writing is the ability to tell your cognisant self to shut the hell up while you go and look backwards and have a good stare.

Think before you speak, they teach us. Well, they should also teach us to think before we write, (not to mention `think before we read` but that’s another blog).

`I lost the plot`

`I didn’t do a plan`

`I don’t have a synopsis`

Sound familiar?

The most common rejection notes:

`Your story, although well-written, didn’t quite hook me`

`Your story didn’t quite get me going, and I therefore don’t feel I would be the best to represent you`

`Although your novel started well, I feel the story started to wander off by chapter 13`

`I did enjoy the writing, and the character of Edward is certainly engaging, but the storyline is weak, needs purpose and originality`

`We found the elements of plot cliché`

`This story has been told before`

`this is downright plagiarism`

Okay so I made a few up, but you get my point?

So where do 95% of writers go wrong?


Or more precisely the lack of.

They don’t understand how to get the best from their own mind.


Call it the muse – because that’s easy to picture.

But don’t go confusing the muse with some deep and exalting all-knowing demi-god who, if you catch him on a good day, is going to come and do your dishes for you and tell you the secret of the universe.

(it’s 42 by the way)

So, there endeth the lesson. Understand your subconscious for what it is, stare at it intently until it can cough no more. And understand your conscious for what it isn’t, and you’ll do just fine.

`Wait!` I hear you shriek, `I really can’t work that way`

And `Oh, I can’t write that way – it’s just not me`

And `Not for me. I let my characters find their own direction`

Well, that’s why your book is rubbish.

That’s why you will get rejected.

Flying by the seat of your pants seldom, rarely, hardly ever, once in a blue moon, works.

Flying by the seat of your pants should be conducted at the beginning, the creation, where it can be halted, tweaked, and put on the right path, NOT when actually writing your novel.

Let’s get one thing straight… I understand you, I understand what you’re saying, but writing by the flying seat of one’s bloomers is easy peasy. Good writing, good storytelling, is not.

If you wish to stand at the river (d’nile) and continue to bleat that planning is not your bag, that your characters must do the walking and talking, that flying by the seat of your pants is the only way for you, then you are excused.

If you’re still here, let’s take a look at how to hook your reader and make your story a great one.


`I can’t`

Shut up and listen

Good writing is difficult to achieve; be that a letter, a document, a blog post, a short story, a poem, a piece of graffiti, or even a full-blown novel.

We’ve all been there, staring at the blank page, wondering how this thing that was at first a piece of genius will ever get finished/get moving/get over the plot hole, etc.

Truth is, you shouldn’t have started in the first place… at least not writing the bloody thing.


The idea sparkles. You see a character, maybe another. The story idea excites you. What if? What if? What if?

And so, you might assign a title, character names, choose a setting, and get down to writing.

`It’s my only way`

`My characters lead the way`

`My characters are acting odd`

`Ohh, I never expected that to happen`

And then you type: THE END

And watch those `standard` rejections drop in your inbox.

`Your story, although well-written, didn’t quite hook me`

`Your story didn’t quite get me going, and I therefore don’t feel I would be the best to represent you`

`Although your novel started well, I feel the story started to wander off by chapter 13`

And so on.

`Standard` because so many make the same mistake.

So what did you do wrong?

You submitted your plan. That’s what.

`But it took me a year to write that`

Yes it did.

But you spent far too much time poring over the conscious detail, and failed to look at the bigger, deeper picture:


You failed to capitalise on the strengths of your subconscious

You failed to examine those relevant details

You failed to STARE

You stood at the river and ignored the niggling doubts that are plot holes, cliché, and downright plagiarism

You stood at the river, convinced that enough was enough

Be it a letter, a document, a blog post, a short, a flash or a novel, if you want it to be great, if you want it to work: STARE and PLAN!

Imagine a beginning

Now imagine one or more possible endings

Be satisfied that the beginning and the possible ending is not clichéd, plagiarised, or dull-as-muck slush

Now, in your mind, fill in some middle scenes to get your story from A to Z

Does every scene entice?

Does it?


Really, really, really?

Be totally satisfied

Don’t kid yourself

Be hard on yourself

Be disciplined

STARE at it!

Realise that this possible novel idea is just that – novel – that this work WILL be original, exciting, and WILL have readers begging for more

Get to this stage and you a rare bird indeed

No open up that fresh-shiny-new blank doc

Title it: “private, and not ever in a million years for publication, no sir, no siree

This will become your blueprint, scene run, storyboard, road map, skeleton, all of those things.

This is a precious document

Keep it safe, respect it, but above all use it and abuse it, stare at it, work backwards, mould it to the greatest thing it can be

Start writing

Let the story ideas flow

Opening scene – bingo!

Next scene – bingo!

Next scene – bingo!

And on

Write this `plan` in rough, shorthand, acronyms, contractions and scribbles and add notes and create new sections for characters, places, props, research and so on and make sure you are having the most gut-chuckling fun you ever can have while doing so.

Play your muse

Go one step further and conjure up another muse

And maybe even another

Build your creation

Don’t watch it grow – MAKE it grow.

When you’ve found your next scene jot it down.

Dissect it, question it, question it, question it, ask your muse how many directions this scene could take, ask him, go on. Examine the answers, working backwards from the ending to see if you might have the best possible way upon which to reach the desired conclusion.

Stare at it in wonder and the more you stare the more answers and ideas will come.

With practice, the muse becomes more giving. The more you poke him the more he’ll cough. The more you question, the cleverer he will become and so the act of planning, creating that rough-written skeleton becomes easier, too.

Write fast, let it flow, but always question it, always look for BETTER ways from new angles.

Fill in those scenes with the end goal in mind

Along the way you will find plot holes to fill

Fill them… there’s ALWAYS a way

You will uncover the most brilliant gems

Use them to mould your story into something beautiful, something that WILL hook that reader/agent/publisher.

This is the Art, the Craft

When the scene run/storyboard/road map/skeleton is complete, leave it alone for a week or two.

When you go back to it, start at the beginning, examining the detail, working backwards from your knowledge of the current `end scene`, working backwards and inserting new-found gems, moulding the content to make it sharper, fresher, original.

And keep on going, always on the lookout for plot holes and gems, always convincing yourself that reader will be satisfied, hooked.

Keep on going until skeleton version 2 is complete.

Then put it away for a week or two.


And repeat

And repeat

Until you feel you have got something WORTH putting into actual written form

If you really, really do feel that your skeleton is worth jangling in peoples faces; really feel that you have something original, something that no reader, and possibly even a publisher might resist, then now is the time to start writing the actual novel.

Now is the time to rattle off the first few chapters and bother your peers

No earlier than this

Not until you’re truly satisfied that you really might have something

Ask your peers for steers

Take them, use them

Get the writing down in the engaging fashion you are capable of and get flesh on the skeleton scenes

Keep on going ‘til  


Then leave it a month or two

Let it stew

Now it’s time for the first edit

Examine your fleshy skeleton with fresh eyes

Imagine yourself as a sculptor, fine-tuning

Or an artist tweaking his brush

Tidy the writing

Trim the fluff

Keep the storyline on a buoyant, undulating wave but never so distant that it might vanish from sight

Uncover new gems

Pat down the holes

Use, insert, tweak




Now what have you got?

An engaging, original story, hopefully.

Here’s the important parts again, just in case you missed them.

Good writing is hard – get over it.


Rough out the first scene

Rough out the last

Fill in the middle bit


Fiddle – and every time you fiddle: WORK BACKWARDS, constantly questioning, constantly staring and creating better




Allow peers to steer

Fiddle again


And now, and only now, using your skill as the brilliant writer that you are, use your rough-written run of scenes and write the thing into the blank pages and watch your novel take its written form

Peers steer





Et Voilà


This is good, enjoyable creation




My editing services:  http://www.johnhudspith.co.uk/5.html

Buy Kimi’s Secret for PC or Kindle: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B005ZCQ91W

But Kimi’s Secret paperback: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Kimis-Secret-John-Hudspith/dp/1908603755/ref=tmm_pap_title_0





Fifteen Shades for Grey

I bought it, read it, laughed a lot, left a review, and all for a grrreat cause.

“A collection of heart-warming stories to raise money for rescued animals.

This is a book of stories and poems about animals, kindness and charity. Animals add so much to our world and can make an enormous positive difference to our lives.

Grey, the handsome lad on the cover, needs an ear operation. Buying this book makes a difference not only to Grey, but to all the other rescue dogs, ducks, cats, chickens and ponies at Wooffles Animal Shelter.

All these authors donated their work for free.
All Wooffles volunteers work for free.
Every single penny from the sale of this book will go to Wooffles.”


BUY THE BOOK:  http://www.amazon.co.uk/Fifteen-Shades-for-Grey-ebook/dp/B008GKWOEQ/ref=sr_1_1?_encoding=UTF8&al_rs=&qid=1341157702&s=digital-text&sr=1-1#al_rp