Writing about writing a book – Day 5

6:30 am, can’t sleep.  Too many notes to self!

Time to read 101 things you need to be a writer, and 101 items to consider when writing a book.

You need:

Pen, check.  Paper, check.  Enthusiasm, not the greatest at this hour, but check.  Writing software, I’ve got Scrivener, what have you got?  Word?  So have I, so I see you, and raise it with Y-Writer.  Not sure how to use either yet, but some proficiency with Word.  Still using pen, paper, and typewriter.  Till I run out of ribbons … do they actually make ribbons anymore?

Writing the book:

The plot, well that will evolve as I’m writing, like the reader I don’t want to know the end yet.  Well, I have an idea how it will end, but that could change.

Characters, yes, they are works in progress.

Oh, while I remember, Bill has a past which he doesn’t remember, the events so traumatic, he knows something happened, spent time in the hospital, but was not sure what it was.  It will come back, triggered by another traumatic event.  It will also fuel dreams or nightmares.

And we need a master criminal, and he is going to be a character called Colonel Davenport.  A career soldier turned disillusioned and finds a way to make a living out of the war.  A very good living.  Led a group, some of whom still exist as his henchmen, the sort who kill without conscience.

Outline, isn’t that written after the book is complete?  No?  Ok, then the story so far:

1 – Bill is on holidays

2 – Benton calls, emergency, the network is down – Company name Transworld (PK, boring)

3 – Other problems – a dead body for one (Richardson, the Accountant), departmental members unavailable

4 – Police – introduce a new character, Chief Inspector Gator

5 – Arrival at work, meeting with Managers, discuss the situation – new character Aitchison – he is involved somehow ??  The first suggestion is, there is a network within a network

6 – Locating the problem – Introduce Giles the IT officer, Bill meets with Gator, speak about files on servers gone missing (ok, a bit of geek speak here)

7 – Introduce Jennifer, explore their relationship – more geek speak with added humor

8 – Lunch – then Aitchison calls, and everything goes to hell in a handbasket.

So far so good.


8:00 am, coffee in hand, to the writing room (well, desk anyway!)

A little more profiling on Bill, now with the last name Chandler.  Still not sure if I want to keep up the first person narrative, but I’ll worry about that later …


Looking at the mess constituting my room and my life, slob may have been an appropriate description.  I considered myself old, overweight though not necessarily fat, hair greying at the edges, and few wrinkles around the eyes, there were no real plusses in my description.

Some said I had a kindly face, but perhaps I had the look of a paternalistic grandfather.  There were several men in the office who were the same age and had grandchildren.  And some who had children at a time when they should be planning for retirement, not parenthood.

World-weary and perpetually tired, I’d passed mid-life crisis, wondering what it was that affected other men my age.  I’d never had the desire for fast cars and even faster women.  I had trouble keeping up with Ellen.

I used to think I’d missed a lot in half a lifetime.

Now, I didn’t know what to think.

Did I deserve pity?  No.

Did I deserve sympathy?  No!

The only person who could get me out of the rut was myself.  For years I’d traded on Ellen’s good nature.  She deserved better, left me, and was now happier in the arms of a man who I wanted to believe treated her far better than I.  She had told me so herself, and judging by her manner, it had to be true.  Only recently had she got her smile back, the one that lit her face up, one that infectiously spread happiness to anyone near her.

There were reasons why I became the person I was now.  Some might say they were valid.  In the cold, hard light of dawn, I could see it was time I stopped using my past as a crutch and got on with the business of living.

Perhaps today would be the first day of the rest of my life.


OK, Jennifer is there, and things are about to change.



© Charles Heath 2016 – 2019

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