The strange momentum of fantasy writing.


Thirty eight thousand words. That’s where I’m up to. And at least thirty thousand of them have been spent shuffling my characters around like pieces on a chess board.

Finally, though, I’m starting to get a hang of whats going on.

There’s a phrase people use – “it almost writes itself.” A lot of the time, my work feels like that. I tens to start with a plan, which quickly falla by the wayside as the story begins to evolve. That’s been the way I’ve written even back to my fan fiction days.

With Call of Herne, I tend to find myself planning chunks of the story at a time, then tweaking those chunks into bits that make sense in the context  of the story. I made the comparison to a chess game before, and this book is seeming more and more like a game of strategy as I put the characters into different confrontations with Herne the Hunters forces. It’s a strangely refreshing way of doing things – but it is a bit slow.

Before this book, the biggest battle I wrote was the siege of Kasharim fort in Order of Britain: The Devil’s Regiment, but that pales a bit in comparison to the skirmishes and fights I’m putting together for this big season finale. Weirdly, I’ve found that playing strategy games helps in terms of focusing on the big picture, but the temptation to micromanage the story has to be pushed back. I don’t want to lose focus on the characters for the sake of a battle scene.

It is all starting to come together, at last.  I’m building a mid-book battle at the moment, a sort of Helms Deep moment, before I have my big finale. Its knackering and exhilarating all at the same time.

Onwards, to battle!


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