Category: Writing Tips

  • Did you kiss the dead body? – Situation development

    Did you kiss the dead body? –  Situation development

    I recently came upon a poem Death by Harold Pinter which apart from being brilliant in its own own right is also, in my opinion, an excellent framework for developing plot. Just the sort of questions we should be asking about any character or situation in our writing, not just the dead body of Pinter’s work. […]

  • Old friends or foes – next steps

    In my last post I referred to a short story collection I was working on with six other writers and was looking forward, with some trepidation, to digging out and polishing some old stories as my contribution. I’m now surfacing from that exercise and we’re hoping to begin the publishing process of Wild Atlantic Words in […]

  • Elementary my dear Watson

    I’ve recently returned from a long holiday in France and whilst I did do some writing (honest) a lot of my time was spent reading. I’d loaded my Kindle with a mix of material but I set myself a goal in the first few days of getting through an anthology of the complete collection of […]

  • Why can’t they get it right?

    As an author of crime fiction I strive for accuracy and continuity. Now, I may not always get it right but at least I try. As a result, both a blessing and a curse, I notice flaws in other people’s work, particularly on TV. Sometimes it’s just the easy ones, the result of editing or […]

  • Another rejection

    Can’t believe it’s so long since I posted anything – where did that time go? I’ve been editing my novel, not as much as I should have been but it’s been perched on my shoulder pecking away at my conscience all the time. Oh, and I went on holiday. Part of my paper draft is […]

  • Editing can be fun – or so they tell me.

    On Sunday afternoon a wonderful thing happened. I finished the first draft of my second novel. I’m not a Stephen King-type 2,000 words a day writer but I had been consistently pushing out 600-1,000 words every day for the past two or three weeks trying to get the job done. Coming to the end was […]

  • The vagaries of tense

    I tend to write in the first person and in the past tense. I’m in the process of redrafting my second novel and discovered I continually tripped over a particular passage, though couldn’t work out why. Then I made a couple of minor changes, just to see how it looked, and hey-presto, no more tripping. […]

  • How to find a publisher

    A few days ago I was chatting to a writer friend who was saying she’d submitted to around 30 publishers and agents without success before self-publishing. Her book has sold a couple of hundred copies to date and has been widely praised, so why no traditional publisher? If I knew the definite reason for that […]

  • Not a brick wall after all

    Last time I blogged I thought I was facing a major rewrite but over the past few days it’s become clearer I simply need to make some small amendments, a line here, a word or two there, then deal with the resolution differently and all should be fine. As I haven’t written the resolution yet this […]

  • What’s in a name?

    I was recently listening to an interview with a well-known crime fiction writer in which she was complimented on her character’s names. She said she knew the area her characters inhabited so the names came to her quite naturally. Her words confirmed for me that authenticity isn’t just about the historical facts or geographical description but also […]