Here Come the Word Police

The Word Barrier

I shouldn’t be writing this blog post. The reason’s simple: I’ve used up my legal quota of words for 2014, and the rules are clear.

What’s that? You don’t know about the rules? Well, here they are:

Every year, every writer is given a certain number of words to play with. Once he hits the Word Barrier, it’s game over until the fat lady belts out the final verse of Auld Lang Syne. And I’m no exception.

2014 has been a busy old year. Sometime in the autumn, I found I’d written enough online articles for Cinefex to break through the 100,000 word barrier (that’s a little like breaking the sound barrier, only without the sonic boom). Last week I finished what will be my final Cinefex pieces of the year – a look at the visual effects of Paddington and Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb, plus a bunch of promo snippets about the new magazine edition, issue 140. Those are all scheduled to go out between now and Christmas, at which point I plan to exchange my VFX hat for a fluffy red one with a white bobble on the top.

The other big drain on my words has been the ghostwriting. The first few months of this year saw me finishing up book 1 of a children’s fantasy trilogy, while the 2014 winter season has had me hard at work on the middle section of book 2. Thankfully that’s now done – I delivered the first draft last week – which means I have only eight more chapters to write before my book 2 delivery date in February, and the subsequent onset of editing the whole novel.

(Editing a novel you’ve written, by the way, is a process much like staring at yourself in the bathroom mirror the morning after a particularly heavy night. Entirely appropriate, therefore, that I shall be embarking on said operation shortly after the Christmas festivities.)

Finally, there are the occasional articles on this, my personal blog (fewer than I would have liked recently, but like I said – there are only so many words to go around). And, of course, the endless tinkering with my own lumbering works of fiction.

So what does all that add up to? Simply this: here’s a writer who’s rather startled to discover he’s written more during 2014 than he has in any previous year, resulting in the aforementioned hard impact with the infamous Word Barrier. Am I satisfied with what I’ve done? Yes. Am I exhausted? You could say that. Am I ready to go again in 2015?

Oh, yes indeed.

In the meantime, I should probably wrap this blog post up before the Word Police get wind of what I’m up to. If they catch me turning out prose on the wrong side of the Word Barrier, they’ll have my licence before you can say Strunk and White.

So, before I really DO run out of words, let me take this opportunity to thank you for reading my various ramblings through the year, and to wish each and every one of you a very happy …

Word Police Crime Scene - Do Not Pass

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