Late summer update. Busy busy busy.

Tonight, I had cause to log in to my WordPress account, in order to comment on a friend’s blog. No problems occurred, but I did look at my blog, and saw that the last item was posted way back in early April. Ugh. Bad blogger. As a way back in, I’ll give you an update on what’s happening. Summer is happening, that’s what. For once, the UK, and especially the Eastern side, has been bathed in beautiful sun for what seems likes weeks on end. Which makes it hard to write. It always seems that there’s something else that needs … Continue reading Late summer update. Busy busy busy.

Please! How can I sell more of my books?

I’ve been writing for over 40 years. Okay, so for many of those 40 years I was working for a living, having children (not literally), and generally being too busy, or lazy, to write, but I’ve taken writing much more seriously over the past ten years. In that time, I’ve written getting on for three-quarters of a million words. I’ve submitted short stories and flash fiction to online publications and competitions. I’ve been part of writing groups, where my writing was subject to open, honest, and sometimes harsh critique. I’ve completed (‘won’, if you will) eight NaNoWriMo’s. That’s 400,000-odd words … Continue reading Please! How can I sell more of my books?

For Pete’s sake. READ. IT. THROUGH.

I’ve loaded up Kindle for a forthcoming trip. I was checking my purchases. Crime. Thriller. Short fiction. All lovely. I was intrigued by one of my books, and opened it up. Grrrrr! In the first sentence, the author used the words mouthful, mouth and handful. It was clumsy. Amateurish! Abort! Delete! Out of interest, I checked another book. Grrrrrr! Again! First two sentences: “The woman stood in the middle of the bank atrium. She stood there …” Aaarrrggghhh! Clumsy! Abort! Delete! Why don’t people check their writing? Are they blind to it? Have they given it to their partner, parent, … Continue reading For Pete’s sake. READ. IT. THROUGH.

Writing challenges – are they any good?

First, there came National Novel Writing Month – often shortened to NaNoWriMo. The challenge? To write a 50,000 word ‘novel’ during the 30 days of November. First NaNoWriMo remains very popular. In 1999, their first year, they had 21 participants and 6 winners. In 2011, they had over a quarter of a million participants and nearly 37,000 winners. The number of words logged in the 2011 event was 3,074,068,446. Over three billion words. Staggering. However, there a couple of problems with NaNoWriMo: 1) The pace is pretty high, at 1667 words per day. The danger is that you type words, … Continue reading Writing challenges – are they any good?

Monomyth and story structure

I’m not a fan of prescriptive writing. The sort of stuff where you learn ‘how’ to write a proper story, where you learn about protagonists, antagonists, story arc, blah blah blah. I’ve read a lot of novels in my writing genre (crime / horror / dark / dystopian fiction), and I think I’ve absorbed story structure into my head. My characters have challenges and conflict. But I enjoy reading about writing, and I particularly enjoy listening to the Writing Excuses podcast. You can subscribe via iTunes. This week, they were talking about “Hero’s Journey” and there’s a lot … Continue reading Monomyth and story structure