(WT) The Magdon Generations – Location Scouting #1

One of the chosen locations for the story will be a hiding place. A place where some rather important artefacts and items will be placed for the story to link back between the “generations” from Origins to the Next Chapter

I spent the afternoon today gathering some more photographs already in the collection to get the imagination pulsing. Of course this is the reality, within the story I will use the artistic licence to add some mausoleums or two, a few hiding places and remove some of the population around and make it a little more isolated than it currently stands.

Here are the source pictures which will give you a view of what I am looking at…..then bookmark this and next year (well 2018) see f you can recognise the fact from fiction in the book.

Images taken using the Moto G4+ mobile phone, no proper camera more an opportunistic affair.

Brainstorming – The Magdon: Generations

Brainstorming project 2017 (for a 2018 release I expect)

Well, this morning while doing my Workout Circuits on the landing (my timing soundtrack playing and Star Wars: The Force Awakens playing on the laptop) I had an idea. Just a fleeting idea popped into my head and all of a sudden the workout was muscle memory and raised heart rate of course, but I was going through the circuits as my brain had its own workout playing out the idea.

I have, for weeks now, been toying with the next project. I drafted the opening to a project under (WT) – Working Title “Reaper” but have failed to fully connect after the first thousand or so words.

Then today I asked myself if I had really done with The Magdon story?

Well, the answer is quite simply NO!

Although the original stories (the five parts of The Magdon Series all foretitled Origins Of The Magdon) chart Archy’s adventures they all happen in the past. Occurring between 1916-1939(ish). Is there still room for the future? For the story continue and bring in a whole new story of characters?

But of course, there are, the whole thing is about family, growth and development so I decided to run with the rough idea and scribble down a brainstorming sheet.

Brainstorming sheet – The Magdon: Generations (WT)


I have shown these before, but today I decided to film myself as I wrote my ideas down. I’ve done a little video of my scribblings which came from the one idea, the one word that will be the WT of this part of The Magdon project…


I instantly fell in love with the idea which is good. I don’t think the story has been told in its entirety as The Magdon is a force of mystery through the five-part series. They are in this case the foundations. Once they are told then I can run with larger books I think which will be a stand-alone story for the first phase.

Everything will link back and I aim to bring in some characters from the past as a link but they will be the five pillars of this story which will feed from but seriously grow beyond the Origins aspect.

If you can’t tell I’m rather excited by the story and while the picture of my brainstorm sheet will be shared there are so many secrets on it that I’ll have to make sure you can’t read too much. Of course what is on the sheet is very much my basic ideas. I need to rip open the new leather-bound notebook and start jotting the ideas down “officially” as it were by my standards.

I’ve still got about 11 chapters left to write between Book 4 and Book 5, but I am more than happy I know where they are going, I know that story inside-out by now, and it is just a case of formalising the details and story.

This, however, is a new beast.

In my head, I have a franchise (yes I am well aware I am dreaming as if I am something big) but you know what….while I have faith in my story then I would be daft not to run with it.

In my brainstorm sheet I have set myself some tasks which include:

  • Location research – I have decided local locations that will be non-specific features (so they need photographing and documenting as I have decided not to place the story in a named place rather “the English town”)
  • Names – come up with the new character names

So I am aiming to document my research and idea formulating along the way, entries may be short, may be long, may be infrequent but you’ll see this project from start to finish hopefully enough so that you are invested and want to know the next generation of The Magdon Series.

I am very much a VISUAL creator. In my head, I like to watch my ideas, something like a film (one day I’d love to make a film of my ideas, but that’s a massive dream) so I like to take pictures that inspire me as if they are bookmarks to my ideas in real life. Hopefully, as I go along, I can share what I see, what it inspires and show you in the end what it becomes.

If you’re interested, you can take this journey with me (as long as I remember to share it with you). This will be a novel by definition, as in novelettes which form the Origins Of The Magdon part of this world!

A novel in fiction is defined as being in excess of 40,000 words

Writer’s Block

This Christmas has been a very demanding affair. As I have saved some leave from work I have got myself some time off after a bout of temporary promotion experience and in the process have been kindly volunteered to attend all the Christmas events at my boy’s school! Panto, Chruch walks, nativities, Fayres and so on………that said it’s been fun.

I did, however, crack open Volume 4 Magdon folder on the old Dropbox and try to pick up the story where I left off.

Two paragraphs in two hours. Yes, I was on fire…NOT REALLY.

Staring at the screen and then to the notebook I’m running for The Magdon series I couldn’t get anything to flow. No use in forcing it, I’ve spent far too long in life trying to force flow the stories and I much prefer to write freely and that way enjoy what I am doing rather than naturally (as I often do) rebelling against something that has become a chore rather than an escape/enjoyment.

Putting Book 4 to bed I then sat down and edited Book 3 ready for a Jan/Feb release.

The edit went brilliantly and made som nifty tweaks to the story which made me feel I was at least being slightly creative.

And then I think about marketing. I’m pants at that! I am experimenting more with Instagram at the moment. I have run Facebook Ads and got nothing for the money I have spent to be fair. I’m looking at employing someone a little more experienced in PR but am juggling money for my 2018 Everest adventure for charity (and personal achievement of course) which will take a lot of saving!

Well, today I tried to write again….Volume 4 Magdon folder open again……………and closed pretty much as quickly.

I sat staring at a blank Word screen and thought what to do.

So I played an old game I used to do with pen and paper. I just wrote what came into my head. Normally on paper I will write sentence after sentence of nothing but things that follow on from one another. It’s an exercise for my brain which draws out ideas without committing to a specific story.

Except my first sentence simply read: Bullets flew through the air in every direction.

I sat and closed my eyes and just imagined it. Oddly an old story popped into my head which I could see as vividly as when I first had the idea in 2003 whilst studying Psychology at University.

First of all I started to wish I could draw as it would make an awesome comic. Then I decided to write an opening scene for the “old story” as I never committed anything to paper.

A nice little opener and all of a sudden, instead of writing my current projects, I rolled out a few pages (1,036 words to be precise) of an introduction to the main character.

A main character I may never do anything with but it was still rewarding. It reminded me I can create, told me I can come up with new things that sit outside of the stories I am currently growing and nurturing.

Random ranting writing – a brain exercise I use occasionally

I’m still trying to break through this imaginary wall that seems to be blocking The Magdon Series. Obviously I haven’t found the right outlet/attraction yet but no matter what it won’t stop me writing them as I know one day it will catch the right attention, I have faith in the story entirely.

Oh well I suppose this is a rant to just say follow your heart, open your imagination and go with the flow.

To that end I am launching my alter-ego Tobey Alexander as more than just a pen name for books. Due to my work I can’t be openly associated with stories/activities that may conflict with my work so I have assumed Tobey Alexander as a persona. To that end the moto/ethos is ASPIRE TO INSPIRE. Everything I do needs to influence, inspire and motivate someone to do something. Stories, characters, books I produce, adventures I take….all of it must have some sort of positive influence on people, even if it is to just show them to follow their dreams and dare to try something new then it’s worth it.

Pretty much a rambling of an overactive and undewrused brain today!

Something new!

Well, I have been extremely productively busy of late with a lot of work behind the scenes. It has led me onto a new “festive” project which has landed very well on its feet since launch.

This year I was forced to consider the fact I may have to work NIGHTS on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, normally it falls on rest days or else I save having leave during the Summer Holidays and instead opt for the Christmas period…well not this year sadly.

Faced with the prospect of nights on Christmas Eve I decided how I had better explain this away to my three children (8, 6 and 2). Stood in the shower (I shall save you the gory details) I came up with a brief story idea which within the space of an hour or two (I had got out of the shower by that time trust me) had developed into a fully-fledged story that I suddenly needed to write.


Cover 8.jpg

But there was more to come from this venture. Yes, the story was something I needed to write as an explanation to my children as to what happens when daddy has to work on Christmas Eve without shattering the magic of Christmas. It became something I thought should be shared, could be used to bring a bit of a human face to the ever vanishing Thin Blue Line and why not in the process make something for charity.

But which charity and why…well one sprang to mind straight away and I made my approach very early in the story process. Care Of Police Survivors, a charity that supports the families of fallen officers which in today’s world seems to be something that will be needed more and more.

COPs were very happy to accept my offer (all author profits to them) and I even managed to enlist the help of an extremely generous and talented friend who provided me some illustrations. That in itself was an amazing compliment as I discussed nothing of my expectations or desires and just said he could read the story and draw whatever he wanted from the story. His pictures were amazing and complimented the story perfectly.

And so the children’s short story BLUE LIGHT CHRISTMAS took shape and went off to CreateSpace for print.

It gave me a taste for doing something beyond me. Yes the story will (hopefully) reflect my storytelling *ahem* abilities??? but more than that the feeling of giving across my meagre profits was something quite special.

It set me thinking on a new venture….something non-writing related that is very much in the infancy but watch this space for something totally different.

F0r now though you can get a copy of BLUE LIGHT CHRISTMAS and support a very worthy charity.