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Showing posts from February, 2015

Do you limit your writing?

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There's been a change in my life recently, in a good way. In fact, it's been rather wonderful. The effect of this change has been to remove limitations that prevented me from doing and having certain things. There is very little holding me back and yet my brain still thinks there is. My gut reaction is that I still can't do those things when, actually, I can.

It can be the same with my writing. For instance, they say to 'write what you know' and hence there are whole arenas of life and experience that I wouldn't dare touch on in my stories for fear of appearing naive or ill-informed. For instance, I worked in an office environment for decades, finally attaining a minor management role, and yet I don't feel comfortable writing about the upper echelons of the corporate world. I haven't ever held that kind of position so what would I know about it? There are other areas I would be reluctant to write about too - investment banking, brain surgery, politics.…

Tuesday Choice Words

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I'm very lucky to be a writer. I have a sufficiently devious, I mean, imaginative mind that even in the most boring of situations, I can see the hint of a storyline.

In his article, Think Like A Writer on Medium, Bill Barol discusses how everyone should try to share a writer's view of life. Have a look.



A Fresh Set of Eyes

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So it's been just over a week since I received the manuscript assessment report back from Brian Keaney of the Writer's Workshop. He told me, in his report, that he thought I would find his assessment 'challenging' and I did. However, it's a good challenge.

I now have information on what will make my story fit better in the publishing world. I always had a certain blindness to this reality. It's one thing to read a book, a shelf of books, in your genre, but it isn't always easy to apply that to your own writing. I now have a better idea of what will make my novel work.

I'm making a number of amendments. For instance, the book is now solely from the point of view of Steve (albeit still from a third person perspective) which has meant removing some chapters. I'll have to find a way to convey the information from these chapters in other ways.

I always wondered whether having access to Steve's internal dialogue, his thoughts, would work in a childre…

Tuesday Choice Words

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It's half term holidays here and I'm already having to separate my children to stop arguments turning into violence. It makes me think that parents are probably the best at writing fight scenes - we certainly have plenty of inspiration.

Joyce Scarborough's article Writing Fight Scenes Without Melodrama on Fiction University lays out her slant on how to write a fight scene. It's worth knowing that Joyce's husband is a boxer so she has a real insight into the mechanics of the subject.


My kind of romance

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We have a double whammy of romance this week. At the weekend, it's Valentine's Day, and tomorrow sees the release of the film of the erotic novel Fifty Shades of Grey.

My husband says that I'm not romantic. I don't make grand gestures with rose petal strewn beds and silk negligees (for me, not him). When he asks what romance is to me, I have to admit that I'm a tad stumped. I think that we've come to connect romance with events such as Valentine's Day (when supposedly you should be especially 'romantic') and cliches such as chocolates, flowers and dinner dates. However nice that might be, it all seems a little shallow.

Romance has always seemed to me to be the icing on the cake of something that goes much deeper, an enduring connection that sees past the fripperies of presents and passion. If you push me to identify my kind of romance then I'd have to say that I find romance in seeing your partner for who they really are, through good times and…

Tuesday Choice Words

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Have you ever been in the situation where you've poked and prodded at an idea or question for ages, with no solution, gone to bed in a grump, and then upon waking the solution to your query is obvious? Or how about when you're just dropping off to sleep and suddenly an idea jumps into your mind and wakes you up. Some of my best creative ideas have come from dreams that I've had or have cropped up at the point where I'm just about to nod off. That's why I keep a notebook by my bed.

In A Case for Dreaming, Tiffany Shlain discusses the connection between sleep, dreaming and creativity. Have a look.


Do you like Book Trailers?

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From a reader's point of view, I love book trailers. They not only give a preview of what the book will be about but they also give an idea of how the writer wanted their book to be portrayed.

One of the many things I'm looking forward to when my first children's novel is published (traditionally or self) is making a book trailer of my own. I haven't decided yet what form the trailer should take. I could use images from the book and quotes with some accompanying music like writer Kelly Hashway. I could have actors portray events in the book like my friend Suzanna Williams did in her book trailer. I could give clues to what the book will contain with beautiful photography and questions like another friend Heather Blanchard. Animation is quite costly but a series of drawings, like in Neil Gaiman's book trailer, could work effectively with a voice over from the author. Alternatively, I could put my own face on the trailer and tell you what the book is about a'la I…

Tuesday Choice Words

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I'm currently waiting to hear back from a manuscript assessment of my children's novel. I took the novel as far as I could, I think, before submitting it. You see, for me there's always an element of doubt about whether a piece is finished. How many more tweaks can I/should I make?

Writer Chris Robley tackles just this topic on The Book Baby Blog in his article How to know when you're done writing your novel.