Posted in process

Progress Report August ’23

Time ticks away… The current WGA strike is now well over a hundred days long – longer than the last one – which has of course brought all writing work on any US-based film and tv to a screeching halt. The writers have now been joined on strike by the actors, which really has killed most development progress even on existing scripts, and naturally this includes the film adaptation of Best Served Cold as well as a few other bits and pieces I’ve got going on. Hopefully enthusiasm is undiminished and things will pick straight back up as and when the strikes are over, but people have other commitments that start to back up and push schedules down and inevitably there’ll be casualties. Fingers crossed the AMPTP dip into the bottomless well of their executive bonus pot soon for the thirsty writers and actors who create the wealth in the first place (and I’m not talking about me – the books pay my bills – so much as young guys trying to get a career going).

ANYWAY, I am fortunate to have a day job on the book side. It’s an ill wind that blows no one any good, and zero progress on other projects means solid progress on The Devils. I’ve now got what I feel is a pretty decent second draft – the right scenes in the right places, the major tweaks, adjustments and improvements done, some steady cutting and fettling. I no longer feel this book will be a career sinking disaster (hey, others may very well disagree when it comes out, but at least I’m getting to like it), which is something I think about pretty much every book as I’m writing it. It’s gone back to editors for a quick read and response, just to see whether they’ve got any concerns with the direction it’s taking for me to bear in mind as work continues.

Then we’re into the more subtle rounds of revision, first of all taking each point of view character in turn, trying to set up and payoff arcs, and also to get as much individual voice into each of them as possible. For that I’ll take things out of order, and look at the chapters from each point of view together, trying to get consistency and distinctiveness into each one. As usual, some of the less frequently used and more intense points of view work pretty well already, but the more ordinary ones that change the most and therefore carry a lot of the weight of the story still need some work. After that round’s done, it’ll be time to look at setting, and maybe to get the detailed line edit out of the way. Still hoping to have a close-to-finished draft by year’s end.

With any luck, the next couple of months shall see a resolution to the strikes. Time will tell…

Read more | 36 comments | Posted in news, process, progress

Progress Report June ’23

The big news over the last couple of months is that there’s a film adaptation of Best Served Cold in the works. Not much more I can say at this stage. It’s in the casting and scouting phase and the script has been revised and rewritten about a million times. Doubtless it will need to […]

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Progress Report February ’23

Finally, I actually produce a progress report when I’m supposed to. We’ll have to see whether that continues… I had a discussion with my UK and US editors about the state of The Devils thus far – three quarters of it, that is, and I think we’re all feeling broadly positive, though there’s a lot of work […]

Read more | 36 comments | Posted in process, progress

The Age of Madness Facts and Figures

Finally reaching the end of a big ass trilogy like this seems a good moment to look back and take stock. It just so happens that for much of this project I kept a lot of tedious records of when and how it was written, so – for the tiny minority of people for whom […]

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Progress Report August ’18

Things have been more than a bit disrupted over the last couple of months with no less than two moves and a couple of holidays. But today, after eight months out, we are finally moving back into our house. Totally unfinished, of course, so there’s going to be a month at least in which we’re […]

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2017 in Review

Hot damn if it isn’t New Year’s Eve once more. This means I must be 43 today. 11 and a half years since I was first published, but I still feel a little strange describing myself as a writer… 2017. Well, it’s been a gruelling year one way or another.  A year of inside-outs and […]

Read more | 51 comments | Posted in announcements, film and tv, games, news, process, progress

2015 in Review

New Year’s Eve, and you know what that means?  Happy birthday to me. Yes, indeed, I am 41 years old today and this is my 7th yearly review post. Time marches only one way, my friends… I’ve been hugely blog-lazy this year.  There are still many authors blogging very effectively, but it’s not quite the standard tool […]

Read more | 32 comments | Posted in announcements, film and tv, games, news, process, whisky deathmatch


Things have been exceedingly quiet around here over the last month because I’ve been touring in Australia (further details on how that went over here) and also working flat out to get Half a War edited and then copy-edited.  The downside of the quick publication schedule (three books in a year) is there’s always going to be a quick turnaround, […]

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2nd Draft Part 2

It’s taken me 3 weeks, which was a good deal faster than I’d hoped, to get a reasonable 2nd draft of Half a War together.  It usually does tend to be the case that the process is less horrifying than you expect once you start to tackle it.  Some chapters needed some pretty heavy pruning […]

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2nd Draft

There was a time I was posting here three times a week, but there’ve been no posts for over a month because I have had my head firmly in putting together the 2nd draft of Half a War, third book in my Shattered Sea trilogy. When I first started writing I’d revise every sentence, every […]

Read more | 18 comments | Posted in process