Monday, 30 September 2013

Killing Mr Darcy

A couple of days ago, I came across this headline,

This is the news that in her latest Bridget Jones novel Mad About The Boy, Helen Fielding has killed off Bridget's long-time romantic interest, Mark Darcy. Responses have been dramatic.

"Mark Darcy is dead. Bridget Jones is a widow!! This is all too much for a lazy Sunday morning."

I like a romantic happy ending as much as anyone but I'm not  sure where else Helen Fielding could have taken this one. In book one, Bridget found and landed her Mr Right, after frequently embarrassing herself in public. In the second book, she lost him, had an adventure and finally regained him. I like the idea of Bridget as merry widow. It suits her and suggests Helen Fielding's writing savvy in the creation of this character and our interest in her life. We like to see Bridget fall down occasionally (flashing her 'big pants), bumble through a conversation with a handsome man and generally cause confusion. It's her imperfection and obstacle strewn adventures that endear her to us. Mr Darcy may be gone (in book three) but he has left his mark on our Bridget (probably stretch marks after the birth of two children). In the first two books, we have shared in their building of a hilarious but heart-warming story. Now it is time for Bridget to move on to her next set of awkward exchanges. 

Helen Fielding may have killed off one of her darlings but Bridget is stronger and more interesting for it. 

Tuesday, 24 September 2013

Tuesday Choice Words

The first day of autumn (Sunday) in the northern hemisphere greeted me with glorious sunshine. I spent the day in the garden dressed in a t-shirt (obviously there were trousers involved too - don't want to scare the neighbours' dogs). Two days on and the continuing blue skies are a wonderful companion for the crisp air and turning leaves.

Troubleshoot your novel is an incredibly useful article from Nail Your Novel and one I'll be applying to my own work in progress. It's well worth a read.

Fighting the myth of the damaged writer

It's not often I have a moan on here but over the past few months, I have come across several individuals who have stated online and elsewhere that being a writer means that you are damaged in some way.

Individual number one writes an ongoing series of posts about how to network and market your work if you're a writer. That's all well and good but this person states quite clearly that writers need this help because they are all shy, anti-social and incapable of striking up a conversation.

Individual number two runs a writing group online and has recently extended this to a physical meeting of writers in her local area. She has told me that writers are delicate, misunderstood and fearful people that need to be nurtured and protected.

There have been other instances of this sentiment of the damaged writer also and it's beginning to jar with me. We're not all incredibly shy little wall flowers who can't talk to people and peep out at the terrifying world from behind our curtains. Okay, some writers perhaps are like that in the same way that people from other walks of life can be too. Equally, there are many writers who love the limelight, are confident, eloquent at speaking and extrovert to the extreme.

Writers, as with any other group of people, are individuals. A few of us are damaged but nowadays who isn't a little bit damaged. That's life. We strive to express the stories in our heads which sometimes means we spend a little too much time with our imagined friends but daydreaming is rarely a sign of psychosis.

So please stop labelling writers as damaged, deranged, agoraphobic or just generally anti-social. We're not, well, not all of us, and not all of the time. We're people. People are strange, and wonderful, and worth reading and writing about. We're you and we don't need to make excuses for ourselves.

Tuesday, 17 September 2013

Tuesday Choice Words

I don't know about autumn being almost upon us. It feels more like winter this morning. Having said that, September is always a welcome re-start to my year, a time to find new approaches and refreshed energy.

I've been a long time fan of writer Steven Pressfield so I was delighted about the news of his latest writing advice book and the related Foolscap method. This is one I'll be using for all my future novel planning.

Monday, 16 September 2013

September Photo Inspiration

This month's photo inspiration is an old, old shot from my past, a late summer holiday taken before the older children in this image returned to school. 

What are your eyes drawn to first? What do you find as you look around the image? What does the photo remind you of? How does it make you feel? Who do the feet in the corner belong to? Where does the bridge go to? Have they driven over the bridge or is that still to come? What does this inspire you to write?

Tuesday, 10 September 2013

Tuesday Choice Words

After a busy day, I've finally had the chance to post this week's Tuesday Choice Words. Bedtime calls and as usual my imagination is kicking in.

The time before sleep is nearly always a time for my muse to come visiting so I was delighted to read Lie Awake A Few Minutes Each Night by Writerly Life. Have a look.

This wonderful interview with writer Howard Jacobson is from the Writers and Artists website.

Monday, 9 September 2013

Let the words reveal themselves

Recently, I've been experiencing some problems with the current draft of my novel. I open the document on my laptop, read the chapter I'm working on, then freeze. I know what I want to change and yet the words fail me. My muse is mute. I am stuck.

After a couple of days like this where I read and re-read my work, I decided to pick up my pad and pen and write it all down. I copied out the sections that worked and in doing so, found that when I came to the paragraphs I wanted to change, the words just revealed themselves. Whether it was the nature of writing it all down (the intention and focus) that helped me out of my trough, I have no idea. It worked though. Suddenly I could see what I needed to change and what words to use.

So if you're stuck with your writing, have a go. If it worked for me, it could work for you too.

Tuesday, 3 September 2013

Tuesday Choice Words

There is a wonderful chill in the air to accompany the still blue skies here in North Wales. Autumn is almost upon us. My children return to school tomorrow. The wheel turns a notch further and daytime peace will soon return until the mid term holiday.

Whatever kind of writing you do, it's well worth reading the introduction to DIY MFA's Lit Loft - Develop Effective Writing Habits.

Sunday, 1 September 2013

Ten reasons you should read Ninety-five percent Human

Today I'm taking part in the book launch blog tour of Suzanna Williams' new YA novel, Ninety-Five percent Human. The tour has been arranged by the Finishing Fairies and you can find the list of bloggers taking part at the bottom of this post. Now for the good stuff.

Ninety-five percent Human is a YA sci-fi. It tells the story of sixteen year old Joe Kendrick who saves a girl from drowning only to discover that she is a human/alien hybrid sent to Earth as a test. As she has survived, hostile aliens are now planning their attack on the planet.

Inspired by 'the Welsh Roswell', an alleged UFO crash in the Berwyn Mountains in 1974, along with reports of strange animal mutilations on the Welsh hillsides, and the ongoing Government conspiracy theory cover-up debate, the story mixes real-life places and events with fictional explanations.

What are the ten reasons why you should read Ninety-five percent Human? I'll tell you.

1. Sleepy Welsh villages.

2. Evolving robots with a taste for bad jokes.

3. Homeland Security, UFO investigations desk.

4. Learning a language by watching movies.

5. Alien stealth ships.

6. Gambling debts and stolen money.

7. Lifeguard resuscitation drills.

8. Forgetting why you liked your ex.

9. Deserted villages used for military maneouvres.

10. Finding out your girlfriend is only ninety-five percent human.

What do you think? Are those good enough reasons to buy Suzanna's book? If you'd like to find out more about the author, check out my cover reveal post from earlier this month.

Ninety-five percent Human will be available on Amazon from 31st August but you can also win an ebook copy by taking part in the Rafflecopter below.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

And finally, as promised, here is the blog tour schedule. Please take a moment to drop in on all the bloggers who are taking part in the blog tour.

30th August - Froggarita's Bookcase
31st August - J E Haldman Author
1st September - Fi's Magical Writing Haven (that's me)
2nd September - 411 on Books, Authors and Publishing News
3rd September - Random Reviews by Leanne
4th September - Maer Wilson
5th September - All That's Written
6th September - Now is Gone
7th September - Who's Reviews
8th September - Always Jo Art
9th September -
9th September - To Another Word - Charli's Book Blog
10th September - Jess Resides Here
11th September - Lady Reader's Bookstuff
11th September - Library Girl Reads
12th September - Mama's Reading Break