• Research for Fiction?

    Even though fiction is made up it might still be factual in terms of the places the story takes place in and perhaps the way certain characters behave. Often the experiences of the characters are based on the experiences of real people who have been in similar situations. I read Joanna Trollope’s book: The Soldiers Wife and I know the author spent quite a bit of time with soldiers and their wives so that she understood the intricacies of their lives before she wrote the book. As a result it is a very interesting insight into the challenges these people face as well as being a good story. Before I…

  • Hand writing or keyboard tapping? Which is best?

    Do you prefer the creative connection of putting favourite pen to beautiful notebook OR the speed and efficiency of onscreen typing? Putting pen to page You can write anywhere with a notepad and pen When friends and family know you are a writer they tend to buy you notebooks! And if they don’t you can indulge your love of stationery. Waterstones and Paper Chase do some lovely notebooks. You write more slowly and have more time to think about it You get a truer connection to yourself and your deepest thoughts Fiction, which is more of a creative process, may lend itself better to hand writing. Putting pen to paper…

  • The power of writing your own story

    My friend Julie Willard read my novel, Unlikely Neighbours, and then gave me Hidden Talents by Erica James to read.  ‘Have you thought about writing more? she asked me. Looking at the near-500 pages in my hand, I realised she meant a longer novel. (Mine is around 200 pages.) It was a question, I pondered, as I read Hidden Talents. I really enjoyed the book. The characters became like friends, all well penned and I felt I pretty much knew them by the end. The storylines, whilst quite dramatic in places, are gentle with you and everyone turns out to be basically good even if they have had their moments. It…

  • Character development is Story

    For any story, short or novel length, your main character needs to develop in some way by the end. In other words, they need to change somehow; it might be that they learn from their mistakes, or maybe climb out of a situation they are thrown into and become a better person for it. James Bond – How not to do it! James Bond is a good example of a character, who does NOT develop from start to finish from one film to the next. He remains reliably arrogant, charismatic, charming (?) and the ultimate hero throughout. You know that whatever scrapes he gets into, he will be beaming at…