Tuesday, November 29, 2011


Today I finished typing 82,000 words of my novel manuscript. I can't believe how quick this novel has come about. I had so much fun writing it. The story unravelled in my mind so fast sometimes I had problems keeping up with the material that came from...the muse? Between you and me I think he was showing off. The next thing I plan to do is read the whole manuscript from start to finish, check the story line and that all the stories within the main story connect, check the flow and all those basics such as making sure character descriptions are consistent. Then it's the hard part of putting the manuscript away and bringing it out with fresh eyes. I know I must be patient with this.

What would you suggest is a good length of time to put the manuscript away before revising it? I'd probably be lucky to last a month before I brought it out again. What about you?

Meanwhile for me, it's back to writing short stories. I'm looking forward to that.

Keep writing....

Saturday, November 19, 2011


Set yourself a writing project. I remember as a child standing in a library. I was in awe at all the books lining the shelves. I always had the greatest respect and admiration for authors. Writers have this gift where they are able to entwine thousands of words together to create a story which transports the reader into another world. The reader becomes a part of this other world where they are able to see and feel what the characters see and feel. A book that is able to mesmerise and take the reader away from their real world, to me is magical. I stood there in that library all those years ago and I knew that day what I wanted to accomplish in my life. I wanted to have my books up on those shelves.

If you’re up for it your very first writing project can very well be your novel, or you can opt to take one step at a time. Prepare yourself. A writing course would be a good starting point for you to learn the basics, from grammar to story structure. Subscribing to writer’s newsletters and journals will give insight into what is happening in the writer’s world. You will be provided with information on writing tips, competitions and markets. Read writer’s blogs and visit writer’s forums. You can learn from other writers. Reading about how published writers go about the business of writing is a huge stepping stone along your journey. It’s interesting reading the processes of other writers. Process is something you experience, it is something you learn. Part of these processes will be something you use as you nurture your own writing process - eventually you will have your own process. When you feel you are prepared to venture out and create your own piece of writing decide on your writing project:

Deciding on your first writing project can be as simple as a letter to a magazine. For me knowing that the editor wanted to publish what I wrote gave me some confidence. Getting paid for it was a bonus. Sometimes the magazines may ask about your opinion or experiences on a particular topic, you could submit a letter about something humorous or thought provoking or you could simply write in to let them know what you like about their magazine.

Think of something you are particularly good at, or have some knowledge about and write about it. It could be anything from gardening or cooking tips, family budgets, travelling hot spots, to how you overcame a hurdle in life or beat an illness.

Poetry comes in many forms; from three line haikus, to rhyming to free verse. Poets are finding an audience for their work by places which provide a venue for their readings; pubs, libraries, writers groups etc. There are also competitions, literary journals and other writers’ magazines which accept submissions of poetry. Use your imagination and create music with your words!

What sort of story do you enjoy reading? Focus on creating your very own short story. You be in the driver’s seat and take the reader on a journey. It takes practise to create a concise piece of writing with a beginning, middle and end. A story with conflict and resolution that has to be achieved in a certain number of words is challenging, but it is fun too.

Once you have decided which age group to write for read as many children’s books as you can. The range is varied; from children’s picture books to young adults. Summon your inner child and let your imagination do the rest.

Writing a novel is a huge challenge, but a rewarding one. Here you have your main story and main character intertwined with stories inside your stories that bring the characters together. What genre are you particularly passionate about? This would be a good starting point for you. 

So, no matter what your writing project is, don’t think about it, JUST DO IT!

Friday, November 11, 2011


Recently I was asked;  How long is a chapter? For me, a chapter is as long as it needs to be. I work out what I am trying to say without any word limit in mind. I think it's important that the chapter is not a means to increasing your word count - a dead spot, it has to move the story along in an entertaining way where perhaps the reader is learning more about the characters - who they are and the conflicts that need to be resolved, something is revealed, or information supplied which links in with an incident that happens later on in the story. I believe it is important too to end your chapter with the reader keen to turn that page in eagerness to read your next chapter. 

What do you think?

Wednesday, November 2, 2011


My muse, bless his little heart, is still in generous mode as I power through my novel. I am really enjoying meeting the characters who are bringing together a story I am having so much fun writing. There are those characters, which I will take credit for, who are a bits and pieces of people I have come across in my life and yes bits of me in there too. And then there are the characters who are appearing, out of nowhere it seems, but who have the knack of taking my story in exciting directions and opening doors I hadn't considered. The muse? Perhaps. Instinct? Maybe. Wherever they come from I'm running with it. These characters are inspiring me and I've stopped asking those kind of questions and am going on with the business (and enjoyment) of writing it. (Mine is not to question why, mine is just to write, write, write!)
Where do your characters come from?

Keep writing....