Another Week, Another Edit

Last week I was glad to finish one edit – this week I have another. It’s one of the more accurate observations, the fact that all writing is rewriting. I estimated that my first novel was the result of reading and rereading my manuscript somewhere in the region of thirty five times. By the end … Continue reading

Writing Discipline

To get to this you will need to be disciplined.

As a follow-up to yesterday’s Top Ten Tips on NaNoWriMo, I thought I ought to add a response to two of the comments I’ve received. The two points that were raised both relate to discipline more than anything else. First, another writer was a little concerned at my point 7. She pointed out, quite rightly, that she was an … Continue reading

NaNoWriMo – My Top Ten Tips!

It takes a lot of time to edit a novel, but it's worth it!

So here it is, another year, and already another NaNoWriMo. You’ve never heard of it? It’s the National Novel Writing Month, and it involves a vast number of aspiring authors getting together with professional writers, making a statement about their objective of writing a book in the month of November, and cracking on with it. … Continue reading

Review: HEARTS OF STONE by Simon Scarrow

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As I have said before, I will only review books I’ve enjoyed. Well … I’m a novelist, and I’ve written enough books to cost half the Amazon rainforest. That, for me, means I’m pretty hard to please. Especially in my chosen specialist subject of the historical story. Historicals for me create a number of problems. … Continue reading

Books for Christmas!

Yup. I've sold a few books in my time!

Well, I hate to remind you, but it is coming close to that time of year again. Christmas. Now, of course, I mean that it’s time to go out and make someone happy. Giving presents is a heart-warming thing. It produces a feeling of well-being, an atmosphere of happiness, a sense that all is right … Continue reading

THE LATE SCHOLAR by Jill Paton Walsh

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ISBN 978 1 444 76087 3 Paperback £8.99 I have always been a huge fan of the classic crime stories. When I was very young I devoured Sherlock Holmes, whose only failing was, so far as I could see, that he didn’t have more adventures. While I have read some continuation stories by other writers, … Continue reading

THE BEAST IN THE JUNGLE – Louis Bayard

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ISBN 978 1 84854 234 1 Published by John Murray This is a very difficult book to review. It is filled with suspense like a strong psychological thriller, but it’s also rather historical in feel, and is a crime story in many ways, too. The basic plot is simple enough: in 1914 the former US President, Theodore … Continue reading

Quick Tips: Goals

I keep having people ask how I work: how do I get my ideas down on paper? How do I write so quickly? Well, I work one hour at a time. In 50 minutes I can type 1,000 words, and that is most of a scene, usually. Then I’ll take a ten minute break, during which I … Continue reading

A New Character

I'd like to introduce a few of these scammers/spammers to someone like Sir John de Sully or Baldwin de Furnshill!

It is always hard to invent stories. First, you have to invent people, who have to feel real, well-rounded characters with lives and motivations of their own. Then you have to create a world in which they can live, and infuse that with logic and atmosphere. Finally, you need to take those people (and the … Continue reading

Where Do Stories Start?

A couple of weeks ago, I was given a firm instruction to write a bit more about the process of writing. So, just for those who asked, here are some more musings on the world of scribbling. Planning a story is a pain. Really, it is. I always characterise my work as being 9/10ths day … Continue reading