Skip to main content


Writing Wendl - attrition...

Status report on the current novel project, Wendl the Fallen : At around 60,000 words, I've killed off a couple of characters, which is usually an early sign that the story is finding me. The target is a rough draft of about 100,000 words in twelve chapters, which will trim down in re-write and editing to something like 70,000 words in ten chapters. I've never written a novel this dark before - or this funny. To be honest, I'm not at all sure I'll ever be able to finish it. Meanwhile, The Winged Child will be out in February. That is my best one so far.   Henry's books . If you would like to deliver Drovers Gap blog directly to your email inbox, click here .  

Writing Wendl - Halfway up...

About half-way up the mountain now to a first draft of Wendl the Fallen, assuming that title holds. Day by day the story I wanted to write is being consumed by the story that wants to be written.

Authors don't possess their stories. Stories possess their authors, at least until they're written, then they possess readers. A story lived long before it was an idea, long before it was written down.

So where do stories come from, then? I believe they've always been here, since the Big Bang, perhaps. They hang in the air until one snares some hapless writer and demands words to give it a body.

A story changes and grows with each reading, with every reader. The more readers it owns, the more real and powerful it becomes, until it has enough substance to alter the fabric of the world.

This picture of a train going up the Saluda Grade a mile or so from where I live now is from an old post card. I wish I could credit the photographer. There is a story there, whether we know it or not.

Henry's books.

If you would like to deliver Drovers Gap blog directly to your email inbox, click here.


  1. What is the story behind the picture?

    1. I wish I knew it, Ellie. The photo is pre-1920. The Saluda Grade is the steepest mainline rail grade in the U.S. It ceased operation in 2001.


Post a Comment