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Showing posts from April, 2016

Catch Up

April has been a month of running to catch up and I'm still not at the end of it yet.

I made a good start on Camp NaNoWriMo, keeping to the thousand words target until mid month when life intervened as it has a habit of doing. I'm up to almost 17,000 of the 30,000 target I'd set but it's given me a good start to novel two.

One of the major things that got in the way of my writing was the arrival of our new puppy, Bailey. She's still tiny so needs lots of attention and constant monitoring (she's taken a liking to the lounge curtains - we may need to shorten them out of reach). It's like having another baby or rather a very active toddler.

On the literary agent front, I've had another two rejections - both saying, as usual, it's not for us but keep sending it out - so I'm submitting my manuscript to more agents later today.

So apologies for my lack of posts this month and please excuse me while I go and play with Bailey. I'm not sure who'l…

How Shakespeare made a writer of me

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Brought up as an only child in a house full of books that I was given free rein to investigate, the books that I always found myself drawn to were theatre scripts, and most specifically two collections of Shakespeare's plays.

The one with the green cover in the photo belonged to my mum. The other collection, a children's version of Shakespeare's plays with certain sections summarised rather than printed in full, was my father's. I spent many an hour as a child and teenager, thumbing through these books, visualising them on stage, playing the parts in my mind and yes, reciting the speeches in my bedroom - quietly.

At high school, I was keen to learn more about the plays but equally disappointed when my enthusiasm wasn't shared by many of my friends, and horrified when certain teachers presented the plays in a way that not only bored their class but turned many people off Shakespeare for life.

The works of Shakespeare are treated as part of the British, if not world…

Doubt - We All Do It

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I recently joined the PTA at my children's high school (Parents and Teachers Association) because I felt I had something to offer in the form of my murder mystery fundraisers and past experience with PTA groups. I also wanted to help the school because any improvement in school resources has to help my children. Finally, I wanted to meet some new people and socialise outside my mainly home based existence.

I was nervous about attending but had a lovely evening with parents and teachers alike. I came away happy and feeling that I'd offered up some useful ideas and generally added to the enthusiasm shown by everyone there. I arrived home chirpy and chatty.

The next morning though, I began to doubt myself. Maybe I'd talked too much. Perhaps the teachers had just pretended that my ideas were good when actually I was being annoying. What if they didn't ask me back? What if I had earmarked my children as the offspring of that tedious, writer woman? What if, what if, what if…

Photo Inspiration for April

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I love taking photographs of doorways, gates, and paths leading off around a corner. It's not just the beckoning of a threshold but also the idea of what is unseen. What possibilities might jump out at you if you dare enter?


This is a path that I didn't take. My family pulled me past it. I've yet to find out what lies beyond the gate at the end. What do you think? What story could lurk out of sight?

Choice Words for April

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I know, I know. I'm late in getting this post on here this week, but the joys of the Easter school holiday and the challenge of the April Camp NaNoWriMo writathon have kept me busy.

One of the hardest concepts that I've had to face as a writer (and I still find it difficult) is that of the character arc. The two point of  view characters in my novel both change but it's subtle and I'm unsure whether it's enough for the reader, or authentic.

On the Helping Writers Become Authors site, K M Weiland discusses just this topic in her post
The Hardest Part of Writing Good Character Arcs - and How You Can Make It Look Easy!. It's well worth a read. How do you approach character arcs?


What I'm Doing This Month - April

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I put off posting until this time because in the UK, today is April Fool's Day where jokes can be played all morning, hence the multitude of fake articles on cities being taken over by coffee shop empires, film directors quitting and proof from the space station that UFOs really do exist.

This month starts with the Easter break. My children are on school holiday so I'm keeping them amused (oh yes, and fed too) along with all the things I normally have to do each week.

On top of this, I'm taking on the April Camp Nanowrimo. My target is to write 30,000 words of the first draft of my next novel before the end of the month, that's 1,000 words each day. Today, I met my quota (just over the thousand). Fingers crossed, I can maintain that pace throughout April.

I'm therefore doing my best to avoid taking on any extra workload this month so that I can concentrate on my writing but of course, if anyone out there wants me to write them a murder mystery script I wouldn'…