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Better to tell a Story or Write a Story 

In the forthcoming year there’s going to be a slight change in the way that I produce my books. Actually it’s a pretty fundamental change. Various authors have seen the benefit of dictating their books in a rough first draft before then editing. But the amount of writing produced has increased and enabled them to produce more whilst not sacrificing quality.

I have prepared for this step change by purchasing a dictation machine with software for my computer which will translate the dictation into written format. So far I have completed some tests with the device and have started training it to my Northern Irish brogue. And I have to say that first results are pretty good.

I still remembering having dictation on the computer some 20 years ago when the results made my words look like Yoda was on speed. Despite creating a whole new language, it was a disaster and I abandoned the idea of “talking” to the machines. But technology has moved on and hopefully it will move on my writing this year.

Last year I produced 2 novels, “The Darkness at Dillingham and “Surface Tensions”, both early in the year. Things got a little delayed after that but I also have my 3rd Austerley & Kirkgordon novel in the final drafts as well as a short story to go with it. There is also a totally new venture, “Dark Wen” awaiting more editing.

The thing about using dictation is that my writing habits need to change. I need quiet to dictate, so for the first drafts the coffee shops will not be so prevalent (this is a major disappointment). Even in the house it will require getting up early to dictate so as not to be disturbed. This will hopefully also fit better into the daily workings of our household but there is definitely a suck it and see aspect to it all.

The grand plan is to produce 8 books next year. This is ambitious but then we need to aim for the heights or we stay in the valleys. So look forward to more intrigue, fantasy, action and adventure, as well as some new characters, including a Scarlett O’Meara and a myriad of mythological beasts.

So this is a sign-off for this old year and hopefully bounding into the new year to bring novels aplenty!

Happy reading in the New Year and as always thanks for your interest!


G R Jordan

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Has Electronic Life wiped out Books?

I recently read an article about Jacqueline Wilson (link) and amongst the views attributed to her was that she believed that “Electronic life has wiped out books.” This seems like a strong statement but what is the truth behind it? According to the Washington Post (link) there has been over a 16% decline in adults who read at least one literary work per year from 1982 to 2015 from just under 57% to 43.1%. I find that quite shocking as the percentage in 1982 already seems low. 
Apparently there are more things to amuse us nowadays. With our smartphones we can surf the web or read our emails, play games or watch more television programs. I am a fan of television series and do watch a number of films and programs a week but one important thing I find with the cinematic art form is that while it may exercise your brain with issues brought to the fore, it doesn’t drive your imagination.

Surely imagination is the well spring for creativity. Without imagination our whole society would struggle to function. How would we develop, how would we grow without that capacity to think what would be and then working out how to get there? And surely books are the playground for that creativity.

I’m not saying that books are the only playground for any of the creative arts will do that. Sculpture, basket weaving, drama, embroidery, painting, etc.. are all pastimes that will drive the imagination. But when we simply hover over what I would call static detail, that which is fixed and cannot be changed, then our imagination will die.

I don’t think Jacqueline Wilson is totally right, well, not yet. But she certainly has hit the nail on the head with how things are heading.

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Writing and Archery

It’s always nice to know you have something in common with a fellow writer. Hopefully the drawing of a bow inspires such inspirational thoughts in me!


Remember my Kickstarter for “Crescendo!” is still available here.

G R Jordan author, poet, and top Dad apparently!

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Pressure! – Deep in the Self-publishing Groove

Fitting writing in is hard enough at the best of time with a busy family, a normal job and all the other things life throws at you. Hence I write during my lunch break. Edit in the wee hours of the morning. Grab a moment while the kids are at a club and I’m sat in the cafe outside or even at a table.

In earlier days I would have taken my pencil and pad and wrote from the top of my head. Today is similar, except that I use a tablet, with a Bluetooth keyboard and it comes with thesaurus, dictionary and encyclopedia. My work can sit on a cloud or a card that is smaller than my thumbnail. Looking with truthful eyes, I find technology helping me achieve my end, assisting in cutting out extra work.wpid-received_10204171658434333.jpeg

And yet, while I love the fact that I can control so much of my own work, there comes a pressure. Everything seems to need completed at the same time and with the obligatory professional edge. But I am just a writer. Sit me in front of a keyboard or give me a pencil and I’ll knock out a story, without hesitation. It’s in-built. I didn’t become a writer, I was born one. Albeit, I had to learn our code for transmitting the stories first. Not saying I can’t improve because I can, but I am a writer.

But I wasn’t born a publisher. Visual art can be a strange experience. And the nuances of formatting, well let’s say, I am new to them. These things that don’t come naturally add pressure because I feel out of my depth. Even with hired help, I feel exposed. And these extras, these important items, become precious to me because they show off my writing. They help people connect with my core, my work. And hence the pressure comes and I become scared that I am not doing my writing justice with these other items.

But there is a revelation. I can only improve if I first try. “Better to burn out than to fade away,” was said in “Highlander”, the eighties film. Don’t bury your talents to be more biblical. And so one must take the pain to receive the gain as the fitness gurus tell us.

It helps when reading about other authors who had to fight their way to publication. Stephen King comes to mind. I read “About Writing” and initially wondered why there was so much about his own life and not about the writing process. But now, having leapt into the same passion, I get it. The man said it himself.

“Writing isn’t about making money, getting famous, getting dates, getting laid, or making friends. In the end it’s about enriching the lives of those who will read your work, and enriching your own life as well. It’s about getting up, getting well, and getting over. Getting happy, okay? Getting happy. …this book…is a permission slip: you can, you should, and if you’re brave enough to start, you will. Writing is magic, as much the water of life as any other creative art. The water is free. So drink. Drink and be filled up.”
― Stephen KingOn Writing: A Memoir of the Craft

So no matter the pressure, I’ll keep drinking!


G R Jordan author, poet, and top Dad apparently!