Inaugural blog


So this is my first blog, and I’ll admit, I’m a little stumped about what to write about.  It’s so much easier to write fiction.  With fiction only your imagination is the limit, with blogs not so much.  Anyway, here goes.   

So, I’m Mark, as some of you may know me, or MW Duncan, depending on how you found this blog.  I write fiction, at the moment, novellas.  A series of novellas actually.  The Only The Dead  (OTD) series.  I’m still not sure how many volumes it will be but I’m thinking around five or six all around 40,000 words or so.  I know where I want to go with it, just not how long it’ll take to get there.  I’ve also got a novel, Welcome To Carrion City, a character driven thriller, the first of a trilogy, written and it’s under consideration with a publisher.  I won’t say which publisher so I don’t feel as much of a tool if it gets rejected. 

There’s something about Only The Dead: An African War I’d like to clear up.  For anyone who reads the novella (when it’s out) you’ll quickly notice that the main character is called Mark.  No, this isn’t some ego boost to myself, there’s a good reason for this.  And here it is.  I had never really written in the first person before, and a writer friend of mine suggested trying it.  This is the origins of OTD.  A simple writing challenge from a friend.  His advice, put yourself in your characters shoes, see what they see, and feel what they would feel.  So I tried this, and one night, I started writing, and writing, and writing.  7000 words all in one sitting.  I didn’t want to break the momentum so the MC was given the name “Mark” purely to keep me on track.  Had I planned to write so much, I would have thought more about the name.  And now that it’s completed it would feel a little strange to change the characters name.  I would also lose some of the little plays on his name through the book.  So, the name stays. 

The main character couldn’t be more different for me, his experiences, how he feels, even his view on the world.  And that was the fun part of writing in the first person, creating a new character so personally, yet so different to how I think, or feel, or even would react.  It was both a challenge and also a lot of fun.  Although there were more than a few nights spent watching my curser blink at me, with no writing to follow. 

So, I invite you all to have a read of OTD: An African War when it’s released and let me know what you think.  Initially it will be in eBook form, then a month or so after in paperback.  Of course Amazon reviews would be awesome, but I know not everyone likes to write reviews or the like.  If you enjoy the read, tell me, tell friends and family.  If you didn’t like it, then please tell me that, too.  I’ve still a long way to go when it comes to writing.  Over the last four years my writing skills have improved a hell of a lot, but I know I’ll always be learning.  Only now do I actually feel like I have a piece of writing that I would be comfortable putting my name to, and letting the world read.    

I hope you enjoyed reading this.  Perhaps for my next blog I’ll talk about why I chose to publish indie or perhaps something else.  One thing’s for sure, this blog won’t just be about my writing.  I never wanted to make a blog only for writing.  Writing is a big part of my life, but it’s not all of it.  Prepare for randomness.  Later all.      

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11 Responses to Inaugural blog

  1. Sue Baker says:

    Enjoyed reading blog. Was not long winded but told me a bit about you. Will look forward in reading your book when it is out. EE up the good work. You must be the first from the class to get published. Well done xx .

  2. Richie Brown says:

    Sounds good to me, Mark. Is Only the Dead the same story you wrote the first chapter or so of for A363?

  3. Camilla says:

    Hi mark,

    An interesting read and insight to the writing process! Sounds like “mark” was a good chance to escape and interpret things through the eyes of another. My only tips would be to include some visuals, everyone likes some images to break up text and also link your Facebook and twitter in (if you haven’t already). I’ve got the buttons on my blog so it’s easier to share my blog on social media. You may already have this but I’m just having a quick look on my phone!

    Feel free to pop over to my blog

    Cam x

    • mwduncan says:

      Thanks for reading, Cam. That was really good of you. That’s a great idea, I did think it looked a little boring without some pictures or something. I’m still learning how to use wordpress so finding my way about. I’ll make sure to take your advice for the next one 🙂 Again, with the buttons, I’ll look into that, too 🙂 I’ll check out your blog tonight 🙂 x

  4. Jane says:

    Mark! Great start on the blog, I like what you are doing, and I’m excited to read the next one! 🙂 even more excited to read OTD: An African War when it’s out!!

  5. ED Martin says:

    Welcome to blogging! Here are a couple tips I’ve found make blogging more effective:

    -Having a schedule helps. On my blog, for example, every Sunday I publish a small snippet of something I’ve written as part of the Weekend Writing Warriors blog hop. Then on Tues/Wed I post about something random – writing process, life experience, random observation – and on Thur/Fri I post about a specific book or author. Make sure your blog schedule is manageable for your life schedule. It’ll help keep you focused, and your readers will know what to expect.

    -Since you’re using WordPress, add some more pages to make this a website and not just a blog. For example, make a page with links to OTD. Make a page about yourself. And put a link to your stories right on the main page too, so they’re easy to find.

    Good luck!

    • mwduncan says:

      Thanks for taking the time to read and comment ED 🙂 You’ve given me so many useful tips to make the blog better. I’d not really thought about adding more pages, I’m still getting used to the format of WordPress. I’ll make sure to do it though. Thanks for all the advice

  6. Jon Saunders says:

    Mark that is excellent myself and Cheryl look forward to buying your book it sounds really good hope it does well take care Jon.

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