The Writing of Martin Brennan

Now: June 2019

I can’t believe it’s been three months since I last did one of these. Where does the time go? Where I last left you I had some work published and I sent in some more submissions and was rejected. But! I did have my first published work in the TL;DR press Kindred anthology! In the last few months I have been reading a lot and steadily working on The Thaw. In this post I’m going to do a couple of mini-essays on the books I’ve read because I’ve enjoyed them all quite a lot. Let’s do it!

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Now: March 2019

First of all, this month I have a special announcement to make. I’ve had a piece accepted into the TL;DR Press Family anthology, called Kindred! This is my first ever published work and I’m extremely excited about it. The piece serves as backstory for the primary antagonist of my current manuscript, The Thaw, though it can be read without any knowledge of the novel. You can read more about the anthology at the TL;DR press Kindred lineup announcement. I’ve added a fancy new Published Works section on my works page to celebrate as well!

TL;DR Kindred Anthology

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Now: January 2019 and Year in Review

Another year has come to a close and I have come short of my writing and querying goals. This may sound bleak, and I certainly am not exactly happy that I haven’t finished what I set out to do in some regards, but I still did enough writing throughout the year that I didn’t feel as though it was a total waste. More often than not I get in my own way when it comes to writing as much as life, work, and procrastination get in the way, which means that I don’t write as much as I would like to in a year. This is a retrospective post on the last year, what I am going to try and do differently this year, and what I’m currently working on in January 2019.

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Now: November 2018

I’d like to provide more frequent updates from a “writerly” point of view I guess you could say, where I post about what projects I’m working on on a more regular basis. This is inspired in part by the Now page on Derek Sivers’ website, and also because I don’t usually post stories here if I think there may be some chance of having them published at a later date. For example, short story competitions that I enter may have a specific theme, like Horror, that may allow stories to be re-purposed, and I don’t want to get disqualified because of the common “previously published” clause. It’s kind of a moot point at this time because I’m not yet published, but it doesn’t hurt to be prepared. These posts will be loosely structured around three things; manuscripts, competitions, and what I’m currently reading. So here’s where I’m at for November 2018.

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2018 Reading List

EVEN though I always diverge from my reading list plans, I thought I’d still write a little post about I what I hope to get through in 2018. I’ll be writing essays for most of these as well, as I did last year.

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The Editing Process

THIS is the first post in a series of posts where I will explore my writing style and process, for a few different reasons. I hope by writing out my process in some detail I can identify areas where I can improve, have something to look back on when I’ve written more stories and novels, and hopefully help others gain insight into different areas of the writing process. I would also love to hear feedback from other writers no matter how far along you may be in your career or hobby. We are going to start toward the mid-point of the novel-writing process, which is where I find myself at right now. I’m writing a book I’m calling Bottom Feeders, which is about the Crabs Motorcycle Club, a group of misfits and losers fallen from grace and at the bottom of the shitheap, doing jobs for a larger club, the Devil’s Faithful MC, just to get by. It’s a mixture of crime, humour, and action and sitting at 85,000 words at the completion of the first draft. I’ll get to how I wrote it in a future post (it involved a lot of cheap notebooks and pens) but for now I’ll focus on the editing.

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Fiction Writing

I WANTED to take this opportunity to explain what I like to read and write about, so you may be able to understand my frame of mind when you read my fiction. I guess I have kind of a predictable taste in writing for a late-twenties white dude. My favourite authors are Cormac McCarthy, Stephen King, JRR Tolkien, George RR Martin, Hunter S Thompson, George Orwell, and Bret Easton Ellis, and I’m starting to get into Papa Hemingway. If I had to pick any of these authors as my biggest influence I would say King for his fairly simple writing style but engaging character building, and for whom I aspire to be like it would be Cormac McCarthy who writes words so bleak and so beautiful I suspect he’s some sort of southwestern vampire who’s been alive to see the world from its primeval beginnings.

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2017 Reading List

I LOVE to read, and I try to get through five to ten books a year. I thought this year I’d try something different and outlay all of the books I want to read on the year, and then write a summary or essay on each one after I’ve finished reading it. I’ll also go over the books I’ve read for the past two years (2015 and 2016) in this post, and what I recommend.

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