Progress Report — October 2023

After another eventful month, it’s time our latest recap…

Last month was a time for reflection, to ponder the future of certain projects. October, on the other hand, has been a lot more action. I’ve been a bit all over the place, in all honesty! Tying up loose ends on some things, storming ahead on others, while still keeping the future firmly in the back of my mind.

You Can Hear Chopin from the Attic

We start with the progress on the first draft of my latest novel, the World War II thriller You Can Hear Chopin from the Attic.


That’s all that stands between me and my goal of finishing the draft before the end of the year. Well ahead of schedule, really. I’ve just finished writing the climactic deaths of two major characters, and at the risk of revealing too much, I have three more to kill off in these final pages!

And still, as I mentioned last month, I can’t shake the feeling that a lot of it will get cut. Or at least re-orientated from another character’s perspective. Any other authors reading this will know how important it is to just keep writing until the first draft is finished. Pick it apart and poke holes in it afterwards. That’s what I’m keeping in the back of my mind to push me ahead.

Almost home free with Book Three, as it stands. Let’s just see if I can bear to read it through once it’s done.

The Dale Hurst Writing Show

My podcast, The Dale Hurst Writing Show, was also the subject of some uncertainty in September. Specifically its future. I’ve already been offered an opportunity related to the show, which will be quite exciting if I accept it. It’ll hopefully mean an uptick in our listenership and overall awareness of the podcast.

I’m determined to continue with at least one more full season, because the feedback I do receive, from listeners and the guests themselves, is always so positive. I recently recorded one of the last episodes of the season with my guest in person — a rarity in itself — and received such lovely comments about the show from them. That encourages me to continue. If anything, I’d like to host the podcast that other writers, publishers, storytellers, creatives are happy to feature on.

This month, I’m also reuniting with a few of my former guests as we record the season finale.

Other projects

I’ve been in the mood to crack out a couple of short stories in time for the New Year. When I will no doubt try to challenge myself to enter at least one writing competition per month. Competitions, journals and suchlike — they’re valuable to get your name out there as a fledgling writer, and keep the creative cogs turning.

One of my latest struggles has been over an idea for something on the theme of Music. Being a musical person, it’s a theme that means a lot of different things to me. The key thing is nostalgia — I find certain songs cast me back to different periods of my life. Anything from the 1990s and early 2000s is childhood for me, whereas the older music actually takes me into my teenage years. My misspent youth, you might say. Others conjure images from my hotel days, or when I used to present on student radio when I was at university. And yet it was difficult to put this into a story or a poem. But we have come up with something else since, which I might discuss further (if you ask me nicely…)

What else have I been thinking about? Only the next major project to follow You Can Hear Chopin. Last month, I mentioned something more collaborative, and I’m sticking by that. A film or something else video-related is one thing; on the other hand, I could be persuaded to something more audio-based. Either way, I’m picturing a noir crime thriller, featuring the classic hardboiled private eye. But, of course, with some twists. Watch this particular space…

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.