Thursday, 29 April 2010

Jumping Ahead

Now here’s something not everyone knows –

A novel does not need to be written in sequence.

Some of you blog readers will now be thinking – “But that’s so obvious – I write my novels piecemeal and then slot it all together at the end.” And that’s fine.

But not everyone writes that way. Others begin at the beginning and keep on going until they get to the end. This is the method I prefer. But occasionally, with this method, you can run into problems.

You get bogged down in a scene. You can see where you want to go – Point B, from where the next part of the story stretches out before you like a vast plain, waiting, begging to be written. But there’s a problem, there’s a range of mountains in the way and you're lost among their peaks - Point A. There is a pass through from A to B but for now you can’t see it.

I’ve also heard of this stage referred to as ‘plodding’, plodding up that mountain, bogged down in mud, when all you want is to be racing towards that wide open plain and the rest of your story.

So what do you do when you reach such an impasse?

It’s really very simple. You are at Point A, you want to get to point B.

What’s stopping you?


Just jump ahead. Jump ahead to where you want to be – Point B, looking down on those wide exciting rivers and forests and carry on from there. Forget about the mire and mountains for now. You can come back to them later.

And from the other side you’ll probably find that elusive mountain pass much easier to spot.

Tuesday, 20 April 2010

Review: Wasted by Nicola Morgan

Nicola Morgan’s new book, Wasted, is due to be published on the 3rd May, but, since I have agreed to participate in her promotional blog tour, I was fortunate enough to be sent an advance copy.

This book is excellent, innovative and gripping. It’s a story of love and chance. How small changes and choices can have massive ramifications.

The main characters are well drawn and engaging and I felt a strong empathy with them, even the ones I wasn’t meant to like. I’d almost forgotten what it was like to be seventeen.

I was intrigued by Nicola’s skilful use of POV, both Jack’s and Jess’s as well as a third, omniscient POV, one which I’ve always been told to avoid. Yet Nicola uses it to great effect, the omniscient POV sections serving to ramp up the tension. It’s a perfect example of how, in the right hands, the rules can be bent to dramatic effect.

The tension never lets up either. This is a real page turner. I read it over the Easter holidays when the kids were at home and finding a suitably long chunk of time to sit down and read it from cover to cover simply wasn’t going to happen. But I found the book eating away at me, creeping into my thoughts, and I ended up sneaking away whenever I could for another chapter, another fix.

And at the end, the final toss of a coin – the final choice. I almost couldn’t bear to do it! Stunning.

I threw tails.

I can't recommend this book strongly enough. It's one of the best reads I've had in ages. And look out for Nicola’s guest appearance here in May.

Wednesday, 14 April 2010

Oooh - some lovely blog awards!

Oh look, I've been given a couple of blog awards. Thank you Christine and Sandra.

This first one is from Christine and I in turn nominate the following blogs:

The House of Burning bras
Reading Writing Learning
The Elephant in the Writing Room
Musings on a small life
Agenhood and Submissionville

This one, from Christine is such a lovely girly pink that I'm just going to have to give it to some blokes. So I hereby nominate:

The Witching Hour
That Elusive Line
Lee Moans Steam Powered Typewriter
Huw Langridge

Wednesday, 7 April 2010

Coming Soon!


The brand new Litopia e-zine Muse will be making its debut soon, and guess what - it's going to have one of my short stories in it!

So watch this space.....

And that's not all - there are more exciting things going on over at Litopia with the imminent launch of Litopia Radio.

And since we are talking of things that are coming up soon let me draw your attention to 'Wasted' the new book by Nicola Morgan - and mine is one of the blogs that she will be visiting during her blog tour in May.

So stick around - interesting things are happening.

Oh, and I finished the first draft of WWRW too.