A Writer’s Journey #3

I thought I would post an update on my progress to date, especially as my last in my ‘Writer’s Journey’ series talked about my wobble. I am still going. My beard has grown all woolly and my fingers are sore from all the typing and hand written notes, but like I said before, I am still writing until the words surprise me.

The last week or so has been spent deep in research. The subject under interrogation has been Edward II’s fight with Robert Bruce at the Battle of Bannockburn on 23rd and 24th June 1314. It’s dramatic stuff and the outcome, whilst heralded as one of the worst English defeats in our nation’s history, is not always what it first appears. Contemporary accounts, consultation with a modern lecturer at the military academy at Sandhurst and examination of battle deployment techniques have been quite an eye-opener for me. It makes for excellent material for the book.


Armed with my research, I have in the last day put pen to paper, or more aptly, fingers to Macbook, and have just finished tapping out the best part of 5,500 words on the events that occurred on that fateful summer over seven hundred years ago. Rather excitingly, I am also off to Scotland with close friends of mine in just over a week for a stay at the Landmark Trust property Rosselyn Castle, 7 miles outside Edinburgh. On the agenda is a visit to the Bannockburn battlefield site which lies in the shadow of Stirling castle, about an hour or so north-west of Edinburgh. Photos will follow of course on my blog and may also make it into the glossy section of my book. I will be having approximately 48 images in the mid-section of my work and so I am also researching what to detail. My research includes where I go to resource them, such as the National Archives and British Library, as well as site visits to snap high quality images and wrestling with what, if any, are the copyright implications. There are so many things I could include it is hard narrowing them down. So in short, the last few weeks have been filled with intense activity.

I have also reached an important milestone. As I write my manuscript, I take time to edit and reference and redraft so the work, whilst still requiring additional tweaks and a final professional edit from my publisher, is heading in the right direction. As of this afternoon I have now written 50,239 words. That is now officially just over half way! It feels exhilarating to be at this stage. There is of course so much more to do and a lot of hard graft ahead, but a challenge that I relish nevertheless. The exact stats for those who like the numbers are below;

Words                      50,239

Pages                       194

Paragraphs            313

Characters             242,391


Facebook: fourteenthcenturyfiend

Twitter: @SpinksStephen



St Matthew writing his Book of Hours. Manuscript @ Bibliotheque Nationale de France

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