Progress Report — September 2023

Reviewing my most recent creative progress from the last few weeks…

I’ve been on something of a hiatus this month, with progress on certain projects drawing to a temporary halt. This gave me time to reflect on these projects’ direction and future, and what I plan to work on next. Some big decisions being made behind the scenes. Here’s how things have been going across September.

The Dale Hurst Writing Show

Regular visitors will probably know plenty about my podcastThe Dale Hurst Writing Show, which is approaching the halfway point of its third season. So far, I’ve released episodes with a diversity of guests — novelists, poets, filmmakers and publishing pros — with more of the same to come as we build up to Christmas. Speaking of which, this last couple of weeks has been spent planning the final episodes, including our festive special. Many more interesting guests to listen in on.

The main consideration for the podcast is its future… where do I take it from here? Several ideas are on the table at the moment. Currently weighing up pros and cons, and choosing over my favourites, some of which involve working with more people than just my guests. More news to come once I’ve arrived at a final decision.

You Can Hear Chopin from the Attic

The majority of August saw some of the highest productivity from me in terms of writing my war thriller novel, You Can Hear Chopin from the Attic. To the point where, based on chapters, I’m over 80% of the way through the first draft.

In September… I’m ashamed to say I’ve barely moved. It’s been a much slower month, not least due to the heat wave that coincided with a trip to Wales. However, it gave me a chance to think about what’s going to happen to the story in the re-drafting and editing process. What’s going to change. Currently, the changes could be quite extreme. Not just a different ending, but also a change to the main protagonist, which could even put the novel’s title out of commission!

Nothing is confirmed yet until I read through the draft once it’s finished. I’m just very aware that there are things I need to change off the bat.

Other projects

I have far too many ideas floating around for what to take on as my next project, following completion of You Can Hear Chopin. Not that we’re anywhere near that stage yet. But I find it helps to know what I’m moving onto next. Having gone from novel to novel to novel, with very little variety in between, I’m entertaining the idea of a more collaborative project next. So, rather than moving straight onto Book 4 — whether that’d be another standalone project or a return to Berylford — I’m thinking more along the lines of a film or play.

On the other hand, I could compile a load of poem and short story ideas into a collection and publish that instead. These ideas have been growing in number lately, and with a lack of recent success in competitions, it would be good to give them an outlet.

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.