Cut that out

I’ve hit such a brick wall that instead of writing any new content for Y,PH I’ve resorted to editing. By editing I mean taking chunks out of the paper draft.

This actually gives me renewed hope that I can turn this into something resembling a text that fits the format. Survival guide have a certain style and it is not the comma-heavy splurge of text that would fill every page if I ported this draft over as is. The edit as I transcribe idea I had proved a non-started because of this. While redundant sentences, and whole pages of “world wank” (sections that exist only to show off how deeply I’m attempting to world build) are excised wholesale, there are bits coming out that will fill the sidebars and info boxes that you’d find in a survival guide. A lump that broke up the flow of a chapter when in the body of the text can sit nicely out of the way in a sidebar to be skimmed over if the reader wants extra detail.

I am getting the feel of this project. For now. But visualising what I want eludes me, still.

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I heard you wrote some words, Matt. Good for you

I decided to make a move to only working on the parts of You, Pet Human which offer practical advice that I haven’t actually mastered in reality. This is part of the mantra I should have come up with tens of thousands of words ago.

Guide first. World second. Funny forever.

Real world advice to serve a fictionalised one.

What this boils down to is that I’ve been spending too long with world building sections and not enough time with the survival guide aspect of the piece. The survival guide format is the USP for the book, so this is pretty weak on my part. I hadn’t really done any research before hand. I have now. Is it enough? Maybe not. I’ll be honest, they aren’t the most interesting passages to write. Its gonna take a while before they’re interesting to read, let alone read without thinking “this man is a fraud (but I like his ideas for how aliens would invade and fuck us up)”. That is partly why I’ve been going back to world building on the side. I can at least justify it a little as the world building needs to frame what the challenges are that forces the reader to need to use this advice that is adapted for alien occupied Earth. I had not established that enough. I’ll do my best to work it into the rewrites.

I am aware that I just contradicted myself within that paragraph. This is not unusual.

Another project, Matt?!?

I might be in love with the prospect of having an interobang available in a word proscessor. ?!? is so uncivilised.

Any road, while not writing any Y,PH this afternoon I came up with an outline for a YouTube series. This was inspired by me not doing any Y,PH yesterday and instead adding footage from an old, lame-ass toy promoting cartoon series that only lasted five episodes onto the trailer of an Ace Combat game from 2006. Yes, its the marriage of Ace Combat Zero (which I was still playing in 2012, cos it rocked and I also didn’t have a PS3) and Ring Raiders (which I had on a VHS, released after the show had been consigned to the dustbin of history – 1989). I did this because I’m nothing if not a commercially minded entrepeneur… who did no work on Y,PH the previous few days as he was watching YouTuber Tiger Gaming’s awesome mash up of Ace Combat trailers and the Area 88 anime.

(I’ll stick the vid below the jump, along with some basic blurb for my latest diversion)
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“Its over 46,000!”

By my conservative estimates the roughest possible draft of You, Pet Human has passed 46,000 words. I say estimate because I’ve mostly been writing it by hand and can only rely on Microsoft Word’s word count feature for the first 5,600 words. With a questionable estimate of 300 words a page (10 words of my weird scrawl per line filled) there could easily be another few thousand words across 130+ pages of A4. By any measure, it is the most I’ve ever actually got on paper for a spot of creative writing.
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What am I even doing?

Acardia Bay 1440p test

Current projects:

  • You, Pet Human: The Alien Occupation Survival Guide – a survival guide set after aliens successfully defeat humanity and occupy Earth. I take real life survival advice and alter it to cope with the fictional challenges of alien enslavement and terraforming.  For example: in reality you can use a sock to filter water. Post-invasion, when aliens rule and society is ruined, where are you getting clean socks?
  • Pop Culture Postcards – I’ve designed postcards to stick on the wall by my desk as decoration (example above). Each features a well realised location from a film, game or TV show that I enjoyed, and a phrase that you might find a tourism board from that locale using. I did them with Magix Movie Studio (‘cos thats sensible)
  • Flash Fiction – I’ve put some up for sale. Occasionally I’ll do some more.

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Prioritising projects


  • Rewriting What We Bring Home – a short story that I have failed to sell 5-6 times over 5-6 months.
  • Flash fiction – I write these on lunch breaks, I aim for a 250 word limit. Apparently 500 is more sellable, so I might have to hit that on the head.


  • Sell WWBH. 6 cents a word.
  • More shorts
  • Sell that flash fiction
  • – write a second episode of that pilot that BBC Writer’s Room still haven’t got back to me about. (Update: Rejected. In this case, I think the ritual mass suicide works. Perhaps the BBC feel otherwise.)

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WTF am I?

Am I a writer, tho?

I work in retail. I game. I procrastinate on the internet.

I need to eliminate two of those things, and I’ll probably have to reduce the other.

I’ve fallen upon writing as something I can do, possibly well, and hopefully for remuneration.

I went to university and got a degree in Film & Television Production. As an awkward man who obssessively recounts every social faux pas in his life, I can say, with utter conviction, that this is my biggest regret. A degree on a compromised and mismanaged course from a shit-tier establishment is no replacement for a bloody minded pursuit of an apprenticeship with your uncle’s mate who shoots DSLR for Angling Today.

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