The pen is mightier
Almost nine years’ ago my wife bought me a pen for my birthday from Brendan Bannon’s small shop in Enniskillen, County Fermanagh. The body of the pen is bog-oak, estimated by Brendan as being between 2,000 and 6,000 years old, which means it fell to the ground to begin its preservation when the pyramids were being […]
Why did my character say that? How often in creative writing workshops have you heard that it is important to make your characters come alive? Like most authors I’ve struggled with that over the years but let me tell you, when it happens it’s both exhilarating and problematic. I’ve plotted every scene of my current […]
Finding a better killer
I was just running through the main plot of my new crime novel, A Patient Man, with my wife a few days ago and she pointed out some similarities to the motives of the killer in my last one. After arguing for a few moments and trying the ‘there are only so many stories and […]
Finally. The writing of James Given number three has started. I’ve been plotting for a few weeks, and planning to start for much longer, but the actual words on the page have eluded me. True, there have been a few changes in my life over the past few months (selling the house, moving country, etc, […]
Scrivener and multi-strand plots
It’s well known that Scrivener is one of the most versatile and useful programs around for creative writing, although it does take a little getting used to, and there are some annoying differences between the Mac version and the Windows version. Also the lack of an Android version is a distinct disadvantage if, like me, […]
It wasn’t that bad after all
A month ago I was mired in writer’s block, or to put it another way, feeling so despondent about my current novel that my mind went blank every time I opened Scrivener. I’d been like that for months. At first I thought it was the usual ‘half-way-through blues’, my demons telling me it wasn’t good […]
Another time, another place – The importance of research on the ground
Last weekend I took a trip to County Wicklow, partly to carry out some family history research, and partly to check locations for my current novel. I’ve already written around two-thirds of the first draft, imagining the street scenes and roadways, backed up by miles and miles travelled on Google StreetView. On the ground, however, […]
Two weeks ago several members of our writers group attended a day workshop on Editing Your Novel, led by Brian Langan of Transworld Press. The breadth of advice was immense and it prompted me to get back into gear with submitting my second novel to publishers – but not before a ninth edit. I’ve written […]
Great review of A Shadowed Livery today at nonstopreaderbooks.blogspot.co.uk – so nice to hear.
Why do they do it?
Afraid this is just a rant – no insights into my writing habits in this one. A couple of hours ago I received a Whatsapp message from a friend warning me that the service is going to start charging from this weekend. I had a pretty good inkling that it was probably just a scam […]