Friday Insight #4 – NaNoWriMo And “Of Wolves And Men”

Friday Insight - Featured Image

If you’ve been around the last few weeks, you’ll know I’m doing NaNoWriMo as motivation to get a good solid start on “Of Wolves & Men”. And I’m bringing you along for the ride.

  • Each Friday in November, I’m posting a sample of what I’ve written that week.
  • All the samples will be in  unedited form, so you’re getting a deep insight into my writing process…

Click the button below, and bookmark the page, so you can keep track of my progress throughout the month.


{BEGINNING OF SAMPLE}

I set the file aside so that I could pull a notepad toward me. I scribbled down every fact I could remember about the crime scene in which I’d watched Jimmy die. I had to be missing something. Nothing could walk through walls, except for ghosts, and even the most malevolent of manifestations that I’d encountered didn’t possess the kind of strength required to inflict significant physical harm.

Someone once said something along the lines of“when you eliminate the impossible, whatever is left, no matter how improbable,must be the truth”. It was one of the Chief’s favorite lines, but whoever had said it couldn’t have been taking the STF’s line of work into account.

So, I thought about what kinds of creature couldn’t inflict the damage I’d seen on the two bodies. The list was huge, so I wrote down the list that could…

By the time I’d finished assembling the list, I’d crossed out several of the options, and what I was left with wasn’t very useful. Angels, Demons, Vampires, Fae, Wizards, a drug enhanced mortal, or even something I’d never come across before.

Of them all, I wasn’t sure if I believed the stories about angels and demons, because of the connection to religions I had a hard time accepting. However, the next three options left me with species that couldn’t teleport, as far as I knew. Unfortunately, the last of the choices only left me with the improbable, so I wrote a list of the things that had made no sense about the crime scene.

Jimmy and his lover had died from massive trauma,but I’d seen nothing that indicate that any weapons had been used. The door had been locked, the ventilation remained undisturbed, and was too narrow for a person to fit through. The windows didn’t open, and even if they had opened, it was still a drop of several floors to street level.

I found myself thinking about some of the classic locked room mysteries I’d read growing up. Unfortunately, I couldn’t remember how the detectives had solved those problems or think of any that had accounted for the existence of the supernatural.

I needed another perspective on the problem, and so I decided to try give myself a visual reminder of the crime scene. It was with tears, and a pain in my heart that I sat down and sketched out the layout of Jimmy’s office. That much at least I didn’t need to think about too much.

But then I had to dig deep, and allow myself to see the devastation, as I tried to mark in the bodies, the locations of the furniture, and all the other things that turned the office into a crime scene.Unfortunately, I was unable to get past the sight of Jimmy as I felt him die.Cooperfield might have been right when she’d told me I was too close to the case.

I sat there for some time, before giving up on my efforts to establish the peculiarities of the crime scene. Maybe all I needed was a shower to wake me up after a very long, and traumatic day.

{END OF SAMPLE}


Drop a note in the comments below, and let me know what you think of this insight into my writing process…

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My New Website Is Coming!

My New Website Is Coming - Featured Image

There comes a point in every author’s career where they need to have a website that is entirely theirs to control.

Since I started writing I’ve had my blog hosted here on WordPress, and my website hosted through Weebly. And I’ve been very proud of the work I’ve done on both sites, but keeping a consistent look between the two sites has been difficult.

Even worse, if either site decided to delete my accounts I would lose everything I’d produced.

So now it’s time for a huge change, and that means I’m taking control of everything.

What’s Coming Up?

If you scrolled this far, you’ve seen a glimpse of the current state of development on the website. Here’s a few of the things you can expect to see:

  • A dedicated page for each of my books
  • A new author profile page
  • An author services page
  • A new home for my blogging

If you want to get a look at things as they develop over the next few weeks, you can see it at http://timothybatesonauthor.com.

How You Can Help…

  • Visit http://timothybatesonauthor.com
  • Play around on the site
    • Click menu items
    • Test buttons
    • Check the correct pages come up
  • Drop me a note of any problems that you find, or things you liked/disliked in the comments, or by email.

What I’m Offering In Return…


Friday Insight #3 – NaNoWriMo And “Of Wolves And Men”

Friday Insight - Featured Image

This month I’m writing hard and fast, in an attempt to get the draft of “Of Wolves And Men” finished. And you’re invited to a peek behind the curtain…

  • Each Friday between now and the end of the month, I’m posting a sample of what I’ve written that week.
  • That could mean you see samples out of sequence, depending on what section of the outline I decide to write.
  • All the samples will be in  unedited form, so you’re getting a deep insight into my writing process…

Click the button below, and bookmark the page, so you can keep track of my progress throughout the month.


{BEGINNING OF SAMPLE}

I knew that as much as Art objected to my criminal activities, he hated to the idea of mortals investigating supernatural crimes even more. And I respected that a lot more than I let on. I’d tried to avoid coming up to this part of town since that drunken night when I’d ended up joining the Supernatural Taskforce. In part because of the feeling of hypocrisy I felt at being part of the team, but mostly that I dreaded explaining what I was doing to him.

I asked the driver to take a couple of small detours, so we weren’t making the most direct route to our destination. During the ride, I took a better look at the file, and realized it contained far more than the details of my personal activities. There were a number of other subject numbers mentioned, and the reports seemed to vary from basic profiles to more in-depth surveillance reports.

It was a little over fifteen minutes before we pulled up on University Way. A twinge of memory came back as I paid the driver, and I couldn’t avoid looking around and remembering the events of six months ago.

As I climbed out of the cab, I remembered one thing that was different. Today, I was sober, and planning to stay that way. I wasn’t going to Art’s place to drown my sorrows over an argument about my drinking. I was heading there for advice, with a side order of ‘I told you so’.

I checked my hurried pace a little, trying to calm my nerves, before crossing the road and ducking into an alleyway. There were a few doors off the alleyway that lead into businesses that had entrances off University Way, or 15th Avenue. But not one of them interested me, until I reached the row of windows that indicated the location of the only bar in town that supernaturals considered neutral territory. A plain, unassuming sign, alongside the door declared that I had reached the Devil’s Own.

I pulled on the door expecting a little more noise. At lunch times, this place had at least a dozen or more people chatting and playing pool, and some nights the place could be packed. But it was late lunchtime, and quieter than usual. I found myself grateful for that fact, because it meant Art was more likely to be available for the conversation, I knew we had to have.

I took one glance around, and spotted Art, which given his large build, and friendly smile wasn’t too difficult. His should length hair was still brown, despite his age, and the combined stresses of running the bar, and making sure the Seattle lupine pack remained in constant contact.

{END OF SAMPLE}


Drop a note in the comments below, and let me know what you think of this insight into my writing process…

Remembering Stan Lee

Remembering Stan Lee

On Monday 12th of November I was eating breakfast and checking news posts, and came across some news that came as a huge shock.

One of my personal heroes, Stan Lee, had died at the age of 95.

At first I couldn’t believe it, because I’d seen such reports before, and there were also sites posting that news of his death was a hoax. But then my wife checked on BBC News, a source I’ve never had reason to question, and my fear was realized.

My Introduction To A Legend

I never had the pleasure of meeting Stan Lee, except through the works that he produced and inspired.

I first came across the work of Stan Lee in the early eighties, and I was probably seven or eight years of age. Saturday mornings were the time for cartoons, and I was introduced to “Spiderman and his Amazing Friends” for the first time. It was probably also my first experience with the superhero genre, mutants, and metahumans.

I wasn’t aware until years later that some of those episodes were narrated by Stan Lee himself, but I was intrigued enough to find out more about these characters.

Discovering Some Hard Truths

One day, while picking up some sweets at my local news agent, I spotted a couple of issues of Amazing Spiderman. I picked them up and dived right into the middle of the “Secret Wars” storyline, with a passion.

This particular plot introduced me to a huge line-up of characters, and spawned so many changes for Spiderman and myself.

Over the years I expanded my comic collection, and even crossed into the works of DC and other studios. But it was the Marvel characters and stories that would teach me that even heroes are capable of errors, and subject to hard choices. Above anything else, they were human, no matter what powers (if any) they had, or the origins of those powers.

I learned that even when times were tough, there were ways through, if you could find them, and had the courage to make the hard choices. As an outsider at school, I also found friends within the pages of books and comics. It was almost always the characters in the comics that showed the most diversity, however, and I would keep returning to the stories of the X-Men, and Avengers because of it.

The Importance Of Diversity In Fiction

I grew up on the outskirts of London in a time when race riots were a semi-regular occurrence and intolerance were high. For years I wondered how such things could happen, and why people couldn’t just accept each other for who they were.

It was fiction that opened my eyes to the motivations of fear, greed, and hatred for those you don’t understand.

Did I approve of such things? Certainly not, but when I looked at the lineup of characters that Stan Lee and others at Marvel were producing, I saw something wonderful. There was such a range of social and economic origins for the characters, and even differences in the sources of their powers.

I might have taken many of my lessons in acceptance from being raised the way I was, but they were very definitely reinforced by reading the characters that were created, or inspired, by Stan Lee and others.

Yes those characters could be intolerant at times, even downright hateful, but so many of them changed over the years, and became more accepting and tolerant. One-time enemies became friends, teachers, and students of those they had battled. And children learned to accept those around them from such stories.

Where Does The Life And Death Of Stan Lee Leave Me?

As an individual, the work, and lessons of Stan Lee have helped make me a better person. They have helped make me a better, and wiser reader. But I have also discovered a passion for stories and character, with all their flaws and failures.

But it his work to expand literacy, education, and the arts that I find myself most grateful for. The Stan Lee Foundation, formed in 2010, supports programs that improve access to literacy resources, promote diversity, national literacy, culture, and the arts.

So it is with thanks and respect that I close this post with well wishes for all, hopes for a bright and tolerant future, and the words…

Excelsior! ‘Nuff Said!

Friday Insight #2 – NaNoWriMo And “Of Wolves And Men”

Friday Insight - Featured Image

This month I’m writing hard and fast, in an attempt to get the draft of “Of Wolves And Men” finished. And you’re invited to a peek behind the curtain…

  • Each Friday between now and the end of the month, I’m posting a sample of what I’ve written that week.
  • That could mean you see samples out of sequence, depending on what section of the outline I decide to write.
  • All the samples will be in  unedited form, so you’re getting a deep insight into my writing process…

Click the button below, and bookmark the page, so you can keep track of my progress throughout the month.


{BEGINNING OF SAMPLE}

There was a very strong odor of blood, that slight metallic tinge to the air was unmistakable. I couldn’t tell if it was human blood, but not whether the source was a mortal or a supernatural with a mortal origin. To be honest, I was only able to tell that much, because I could be sure it wasn’t from any animal that lived in the wilder areas around the city. If I was able to pick up the scent from this side of a locked door, there had to be a lot of it, or the air conditioning units would carry the scent away.

Rattling the door gave me a feel for how deep the bolt ran into the door jamb, and it didn’t feel as though it went too far into the door jamb. I gave the handle another few shakes, just to see if I could pop the lock. The trick worked on my apartment door sometimes, not that I’d informed my landlady. She’d have replaced it within seconds, and I’d have lost the means to get in after a night of drinking.

Why hadn’t the STF covered this kind of situation in my training? Did the Chief not trust me enough to handle gaining entry to a locked room? Despite my efforts, Jimmy’s door remained firmly locked, so I decided to try something I’d seen on TV.

Pacing for a moment, I though about what I was about to do, and then shooed the crowd back a few paces, to give myself some room. I squared up with the door, and stepped back a few paces, before hurling myself forward, before I convinced myself how crazy that this was a crazy idea.

My shoulder and arm slammed into the door, and I felt a sharp pain right down my arm, which I hadn’t been expecting. Of course, I shouldn’t have trusted old movies, because it felt as though I might have dislocated my shoulder.

Then I remembered a trick that I’d seen Feldman use on one of the training scenarios. He’d kicked the door, rather than charging it. Now I just had to remember exactly how he did it, because I had a feeling that it wasn’t as easy as he made it look.

I backed up a pace from the door, and tried to give the door a test kick, almost falling over in the process. Shuffling forward I tried again, and felt another sharp pain, this time in my heel, as it connected with the door handle, and the name plate fell of the door. There was barely even a dent in the door. My frustration exploded at the same time, and I saw red at the thought that a simple door was going to beat me.

{END OF SAMPLE}


Drop a not in the comments below, and let me know what you think of this insight into my writing process…