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Musings, Writing

The start

This isn’t actually my first blog. I’ve had a couple before and always found them to be hard to keep up. However, I decided that I would write another book. This time, I took the Steampunk Fiction route as it is something that I love reading about, love dressing up in the clothing of Steampunk and thought it would be a challenge.

The first few chapters I wrote on my PC and in emails as I walked to – and from – work. I was then lucky enough to be given an iPod by a close friend and started to write using that.

I can honestly say I didn’t look back. I was able to get an average of 2,000 words a day down down on the iPod using Notes and had a 75,000 word first draft done in around 30 days.

The next step I took was to put 7 chapters onto http://www.authonomy.com/books/32130/shattered-lands-torquemaster-rising/ and see what people said. I also sent it on to a number of close – but not sycophantic – friends to see what they thought.

As non-professionals they loved the story, as did a number of the people that read the draft chapters and left comments. That’s when I started to get  … overconfident. Not cocky, but definitely overconfident.

I honestly thought I was ready to start submitting to agents. So I did. Fortunately I got a rejection pretty much straight away. It was great getting that rejection as I felt I needed one to get over the rejection hurdle and start looking at becoming a proper writer.

So I went out and hunted for all the agents of the writers whose books I read and liked and built up a list of agents I liked the look of. Whilst I was doing this, I came across John Jarrold who was not only the agent for Stephen Hunt – author of Iron Moon – but a publisher with many years of experience.

I now have a frank, honest and professional editorial document that has left me in no doubt as to just how much of a re-write I have, how to change things for the better, and good examples of POV. I can’t wait to get my teeth into this project to make the world of Shattered Lands one of the best steampunk settings there are.

About mattsylvester

Father of two beautiful daughters and married to the beautiful Karen, Matthew has been reading and writing fantasy and science fiction since he first read the Hobbit at the age of 7. Matthew was Features Editor, Technical Consultant and regular columnist for magazines such as ‘Fighters’, ‘Combat’, ‘TKD & Korean Martial Arts’ and ‘Traditional Karate’. These are the four leading martial arts magazines in the United Kingdom. He is also the author of the critically acclaimed 'Practical Taekwondo: Back to the Roots', which has been sold around the world. With regard to his martial arts background he has been studying martial arts since 1991. In 1995 he hosted Professor Rick Clark of the ADK and since then has been studying pressure points and their uses in the martial arts and on the street (initially as a Special Constable and as a Door Supervisor). All of this practical hands-on experience means that he is uniquely placed to write fight scenes that are not only plausible but some of which are based on personal or anecdotal experience. Matthew has had a number of short stories published by Fringe Works, KnightWatch Press, Anderfam Press and Emby Press.


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