Progress Report — November 2023

It has been yet another busy, stressful, eventful month. All the same, where are we up to on our writing?

With Christmas growing ever closer, I’ve been reuniting with loads of family and old friends, all of whom ask some variation of the question, “How are things going?” I usually answer, “Yeah… good… very busy!” Lots of time and energy have been invested between my day job and my creative written projects. Making plenty of progress on all fronts, I might add. But I’d also be lying if I said I wasn’t looking forward to a nice break over the Christmas period!

You Can Hear Chopin from the Attic

First bit of news… I am so very near the end of this draft! I wish I could say ONE CHAPTER LEFT, but it’s more like one and a half. Still, the plan is to knuckle down and work solidly on it over the next couple of weeks (around festive socials) and get it done before Christmas. Again, with a mind to enjoy the aforesaid break.

These final few chapters have taken unforeseen directions. Simply because I thought the planned version was either not believable, too pedestrian or not exciting enough, or a combination thereof. I won’t go into specifics in case I either spoil something or the chapters in question don’t make it into the final book. But I felt that to follow the plan in this instance would’ve been a wasted opportunity to create some potential suspense and/or thrill for the reader. However, as I may have mentioned in an earlier progress report, there’s a chance I could change the ending of this book altogether!

It would be a shame not to follow this course, because I’ve just introduced the final supporting character into the story. I only really ever had her appearance in my mind, but never her personality. I never planned to turn her into an impatient, no-nonsense landlady. And so far, she’s been fun to write. I’m going to enjoy seeing how she develops in this last chapter. I’ve also taken the chance to throw in an in-joke for some friends with whom I went to Berlin a few years ago. It’d be a shame to cut all this out.

The Dale Hurst Writing Show

Another season is almost over. Based on the listening figures over the last few months, I wasn’t sure it was worth returning the podcast for a Season 4. However, I evidently saved the best episodes for last. Episodes 8 and 9 of this series, featuring screenwriter Ryan Avery and composer Jordan Pace, have eclipsed the others by quite some distance. What that tells me about my format and my choice of guests, I’m yet to analyse. But it has rekindled my belief that the podcast is worth doing. I’ve been chatting with former guests lately while producing a Christmas special. All of them have said, “Look forward to coming on again”. So the demand is evidently there.

The future of this podcast has kept me busy these last few weeks. Not to go into too much detail yet, but there’s a potential festival collaboration in the works. And otherwise, where else can it go? Other than a fourth season? A little tour of some sort? Something to think about I guess!

Like last year, The Dale Hurst Writing Show‘s season finale will feature the return of previous guests. This year, the line-up consists of novelist Alex Colvin, screenwriter Daniel Riccio, videographer Jamie Webb, and actor-playwright Conor Ó’Cuinn and director Tazy Harrison-Moore.

Plans for next project

When I finish the first draft of You Can Hear Chopin, I obviously plan to work through the story; editing, cutting, recreating, etc. And while that’s going to take up a good portion of my time, I’m still weighing up what my next major project will be. I plan to go through my first novel, The Berylford Scandals: Lust & Liberty, editing the layout and format to make it more financially sound as a paperback book (off the back of Amazon’s printing price increases earlier in the year).

But what follows after that? I still haven’t decided. If anything the list keeps growing! I recently had verbal endorsement for restarting work on a sitcom set in a retirement home. Or it could be a short film of as-yet-undecided plot and content. And then again, I could flesh out an idea for a hardboiled crime or noir thriller I’ve toyed with for quite a while. Once You Can Hear Chopin is in a bit better shape, maybe I could put that up for a vote on my social channels…

What would you like me to work on next? Let me know in the comments or on my socials. Like my Facebook page and Follow me on Instagram and get in touch.