Inspiration and Encouragement for Those Currently Trying To Beat the Target of 50,000 words in a Month with Nanowrimo 2018

The first time I ever heard of Nanowrimo (National Novel Writing Month) I was incredulous; I thought it a crazy idea. How on earth do you write  a novel in a month? Then, as I investigated further, I realised that it’s actually a handy motivational tool to get that first draft of your novel written.Continue reading “Inspiration and Encouragement for Those Currently Trying To Beat the Target of 50,000 words in a Month with Nanowrimo 2018”

Stoneleigh Abbey: A Setting to Inspire Jane Austen for Her Novels

If this be error and upon me proved I never writ nor no man ever loved. Shakespeare:  Sonnet 116 Certainly, among novelists living and working in the centuries following Shakespeare’s outpourings of genius, it can most truly be said of Jane Austen that if anything she wrote be error and upon her proved, then sheContinue reading “Stoneleigh Abbey: A Setting to Inspire Jane Austen for Her Novels”

Intense Relationships in Closed Communities, and the Stresses and Tensions of Life

On 8th September 2017 on the eighth day  of my Mystical Circles blog tour, fellow-blogger Kerry Parsons published an article by me on  her blog Chat About Books. This is the eighth in a series of blog posts in which I re-publish the articles on that blog tour. So with my thanks to Kerry, here’s the article sheContinue reading “Intense Relationships in Closed Communities, and the Stresses and Tensions of Life”

Book Review: “How To Craft Superbad Villains: 13 Steps to Evil” by Sacha Black

I found this book an excellent resource for writers, especially for those of us who may be at the stage I was in at the time of reading – nearing the end of the first draft of my WIP, Director’s Cut – which I have now finished. Sacha Black equips the writer with plenty of toolsContinue reading “Book Review: “How To Craft Superbad Villains: 13 Steps to Evil” by Sacha Black”

What do the Secrets of the Australian Swagman Have to Say to Creative Writers?

“Ashes are much hotter than flames”.This is an observation I heard online a few months ago, and you’d think, OK, what does that have to do with creative writers?  Well, let me take you to the Australian Outback to explain. The ‘swagman’ of Waltzing Matilda fame traditionally goes walkabout through the Outback of Australia withContinue reading “What do the Secrets of the Australian Swagman Have to Say to Creative Writers?”

Staying Focused as a Writer: Learning From Leo Tolstoy

Leo Tolstoy, the author of the novel widely regarded as one of the world’s greatest, War and Peace,  not only crafted characters we love and  care about – Pierre, Natasha, Anna Karenina, and many others – but was also fond of sideways excursions into his theory of history during the course of a novel. SoContinue reading “Staying Focused as a Writer: Learning From Leo Tolstoy”

The Gatiss/Moffatt Post-StoryTelling World of Sherlock

We’re familiar with the phrase postmodern and more recently with the notion of post-truth. But now I think, for writers, it is true that there is a post-storytelling phenomenon – which moves beyond and over-turns current rules. And it’s illustrated in the scripts that Steven Moffatt  and Mark Gatiss create for their TV drama seriesContinue reading “The Gatiss/Moffatt Post-StoryTelling World of Sherlock”

The Writing Process for Creating a Novel In Less Than a Month

NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) begins today for 2016 and I will be once again taking this challenge – completing the first draft of my new novel “Director’s Cut”.  Here is an article I wrote when I was 3 weeks into the 2011 challenge, in order to write the first draft of my second novel “AContinue reading “The Writing Process for Creating a Novel In Less Than a Month”

Research in Southwark for Setting for New Novel

Last Saturday I was in Southwark, London SE1, researching locations for my new novel. To me, the setting for a novel must have a strong emotional connection. My first two novels were set in the Cotswolds, near where I now live. My next novels will be set in London, near where I was born andContinue reading “Research in Southwark for Setting for New Novel”

Did You Struggle With The Large Number of Characters in JK Rowling’s A Casual Vacancy? Here’s a Useful Crib-Sheet!

BBC 1 will be starting the first of a three-part mini series of JK Rowling’s A Casual Vacancy on Sunday at 9pm. I’m delighted that the BBC have chosen to adapt it as a drama, and will be watching eagerly. I have a high opinion of the book: see my book review here. I wasContinue reading “Did You Struggle With The Large Number of Characters in JK Rowling’s A Casual Vacancy? Here’s a Useful Crib-Sheet!”