November Hiatus

I’m afraid the blog is on a bit of a hiatus at the moment.

Every year, during November, I participate in [ NaNoWriMo ], a world-wide writing challenge to complete 50,000 words of first draft writing during November. This will be my 17th year of participation, trying for my 16th year (12th year in a row) of successfully concluding it.

Alas, despite being a full-time author, coach, mentor, and publisher, my November 2020 schedule is incredibly busy, and so the blog has had to take a back seat for the moment. I have several blog posts ‘roughed out’, but as we all know, 80% of the work takes 20% of the time, and I can’t afford to put other things to one side to keep the blog up to date.

With my partner [ Anita Belli ] we’re pretty much keeping the [ Afternoon Tea from Bookends vodcast ] up and going, so there’s that.

Normal service will resume when November rolls over into December.

Thank you for your understanding.

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Creativity, Style and Voice

Featured image photo by Nick Fewings on Unsplash
https://unsplash.com/photos/ePkfwrVYoTc
instagram.com/jannerboy62

In today’s blog post, I want to talk about creativity and the inner voice. When looking for a suitable featured image, I instantly loved the bike at the top of my post. Connecting two great loves of mine – cycling and creativity.

Writing fiction is just one aspect of creativity. It’s easy to imagine the impoverished author – sitting in a lonely Parisian garrett, with just their imagination and a typewriter with which to express their innermost thoughts.

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Publication Day!

One of the few problems with publishing a new book is the need to update websites.
Today sees the day when my updated NaNoWriMo advice book goes live on Amazon in ebook and paperback. It’s been reorganised, rewritten, with new content and a fresh new cover.

Like the two previous versions, I have taken the experiences of 16 previous attempts (succeeding 15 times) and working with and alongside other NaNoWriMo authors, and I’ve created some guidelines, a timeline, tips and advice, and not a little inspiration, too.

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R.I.P. EVH

Tuesday, 6th October, 2020. The day Eddie Van Halen died from throat cancer.

Some of you may not know who Eddie Van Halen was – EVH for short. He was an American rock guitarist who, like Jimi Hendrix, changed how people played rock guitar. He was an inspiration to several generations of rock guitarists.

He had to deal with a lot of issues in his life, like injuries (from his high-octane stage act) and the almost inevitable drink and drugs. He eventually succumbed to throat cancer at the age of 65. He had smoked since he was 12.

Over his career, he sold 56 million records.

So what’s all this got to do with writing?

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Taboos

Do you have a writing taboo? Is there something you wouldn’t include in a piece of fiction? Do you have reading taboos? Is there something in a book you hate to read?

Firstly, a definition:

Taboo (noun)
a social or religious custom prohibiting or restricting a particular practice or forbidding association with a particular person, place, or thing.

Taboo (adjective)
prohibited or restricted by social custom.

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Too famous to edit?

I spend a little part of every day on Twitter. I probably spend too much time on Twitter, if I’m honest. Sometimes, it’s a bit … meh, and sometimes it’s red hot.

Yesterday, someone I followed posted this:

“You know when artists get so famous their work isn’t edited properly …”

and they went on to quote a few pieces of work.
Basically asking if the bigger the author gets, reputation- and following-wise, the more influence they have on the production side of their book. Specifically, editing.

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Themes

I want to tell you about themes. When I first started writing (short, literary fiction), I was forever being told about themes, and about how my writing needed more thematic writing in them. I really struggled to work out what a theme was, and how I could get it into my writing without making it look clunky and hokum.

After a couple of years of very minor success, I moved onto writing longer fiction. And, since I read commercial genre fiction (crime / thriller / horror / espionage), I naturally began to concentrate on those areas – writing the sort of books I’d like to read. If they were any good.

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