Wednesday 14 August 2019

We had a good session at the writers’ group on Monday. I’ll be writing a report just as soon as I can fit one in. Yesterday was a very busy day. The morning was spent doing admin for the Richard Cadbury book. I’ve arranged to meet his great-great-granddaughter in Birmingham next week and I had…

Thursday 8 August 2019

Much of Tuesday was spent doing the client edit. I had promised it back by Tuesday, and he was going to get it back by Tuesday. I’d completed the hard copy edit the day before, apart from the last few pages, which I then read over breakfast. Once I got dressed and to my desk,…

Tuesday 6 August 2019

I’ve had a bit of a busy week where my own work has suffered – and some of my clients’ work. But I’m sorting a few things with my dad’s estate that have finally come to fruition (it’s only taken a year …), and I’m amazed at how complicated it all is and how unhelpful…

Thursday 25 July 2019

Yesterday’s to-do list was slightly adventurous … but I did it all. It doesn’t look a lot, but it is still time-consuming. I was late getting up, don’t forget, due to the storm the previous night, but my list didn’t get any shorter as a result. The first hour was spent reading. I read a…

Wednesday 17 July 2019

It was so hot here yesterday I ended up stripping down to just a nightie and flip flops to sit and work in. That felt both refreshing and quite liberating. I’m not complaining. The last house was the coldest house in the world and cost us a fortune to heat. At least that’s one thing…

Busy writing, editing, proofreading …

My own work has become quite lax of late, with me either feeling very sorry for myself (tooth extraction) or concentrating on work for other people once again. (And I have toothache!) Last week I was busy finishing a “heavy proof” for lovely-already-client, and a new edit came in from lovely-new-regular-client. I was also approached…

Goldthorpe Writers: “death at the pit-head”

I didn’t go to the meeting last Monday because I already had a dental appointment, and one we’d been waiting for for a long time. I had an email from the library anyway, saying none of the others could make it either. So I didn’t miss very much. This week, we had apologies from two…

Diary of a Novel: plotting the murder

I haven’t been completely idle since 10 June when I last updated the novel-writing diary. Aside from completing three large editing projects for a client, I’ve also started work on a pocket novel and joined a new writers’ group. Yesterday a short editing job arrived all the way from Hong Kong, from a new client….

Diary of a pocket novel – and an oxymoron …

I’ve always wanted to write a pocket novel. There are two of our weekly magazines who publish pocket novels (PNs) – or apx. 39,000-word novellas – and as far as I know they both publish something like two PNs a month. The word-count requirement fluctuates, but they’re roughly 35,000 – 45,000 words long at one…

Diary of a Novel: advance character work done

Over the past two weeks, including the weekend, I’ve been quite busy doing a client edit that turned into a major rewrite. Writing uses up most of my creative energy. I gave up teaching because that depleted my supplies too. I try to just copy edit rather than development edit or rewrite so that I…

Diary of a Novel: special characters – part 2

Okay, at the start of this week I’d hit a brick wall and was struggling with whether or not to have a “supporter” character in my story. I’ve been playing around with this all week, shuffling between various scenarios. Could my supporter also be my opponent? Could Marcie’s mom be both cheer-girl and devil’s advocate?…

Diary of a Novel: special characters – part 1

Now, when I say “special” I don’t mean “special” as such, I mean “other important characters not mentioned already”. According to Ron D Voigts and Writing the Killer Mystery, these “special” characters consist of the following: sidekick opponent supporter My “sidekick” was easy. That’s going to be Woody (aka Mark Palmer/Woodstock) from Night Crawler. He was…

Diary of a Novel: the suspects

The intention was to take The Beast Within away with us on our recent holiday and do some work here and there … Unfortunately, we were so busy enjoying ourselves that the story was completely neglected. Fortunately, before we went away, I did some extensive work on my suspects. The first of my suspects was always going…

Diary of a Novel: the killer

I had a lot of fun working on my killer this week. Wednesday was the day I did this work, and I didn’t even reach the end of the chapter in Writing the Killer Mystery for creating the killer. I was itching to get creating. This story, The Beast Within, has been stewing for many…

Diary of a Novel: the victim

Details of the victim have been percolating in the back of my mind this week, while I did other stuff. When I finally came to sit down and write the ideas up, I was surprised at how much I’d learnt about her. (I’m not throwing out any spoilers, remember. This will be on the book…

Diary of a Novel: the sleuth

I didn’t get very much work done on the novel at the weekend as we did shopping and gardening on Saturday, the poet had a gig Saturday night, and we were out all day Sunday, walking. Saying that, I did start work on the characters on Saturday morning, writing 85 words. This was mostly writing…

Diary of a Novel: Great beginnings

I didn’t do any more work on the novel on Tuesday, so I wrote the grand total of 197 words, bringing my running total to 464. Instead, I carried on with the edit that I’d started on Monday. I worked on that all day Wednesday as well, and most of Thursday, submitting it yesterday teatime-ish….

Diary of a Novel: 2 April 2019

Having abandoned – temporarily – Catch the Rainbow, yesterday I started work on The Beast Within: a Marcie Craig mystery. Marcie Craig is the main protagonist and amateur sleuth in my first novel Night Crawler. Whereas that novel was set in a pub where she works as a rock DJ, this story is set in…

“Orbiting” projects

Thanks to everyone who took the time to reply to last week’s post – here, on Facebook and elsewhere. The general consensus is that I finish the book and, on the whole, I agree. But while the case continues, I think I’ll leave it on ice. I have other stuff I can be getting on…

What took them so long?

*** AUDIENCE PARTICIPATION REQUESTED *** For the past four weeks there has been an inquest into the Birmingham pub bombings of 1974. Much of my book, Catch the Rainbow, was set against that period. Some of the plot hinged on speculation and suggestion behind the atrocity on my part. So far, quite a lot of…