The Words

At the start the year, when it was all unthinkable, the words got stuck.  They refused to go in and the books piled up, half-read, part-read, unread. They refused to be teased out and the pages remained blank. I wasn’t sure they’d be back.   But somewhere between a bottle (or two) of Tuscan’s finest … Continue reading

The WoMentoring Project & Why I’m Volunteering

Pictures and logos courtesy of WoMentoring volunteer  Sally Jane Thompson.       Why I am Volunteering Today is the launch of the exciting WoMentoring project. Dreamt up by the talented and generous Kerry Hudson (author of the incredible Tony Hogan Bought Me an Ice-Cream Float before He Stole My Ma), it provides a unique opportunity … Continue reading

Doing the Unstuck

The lovely writing bubble has burst (I know, a quid for the cliché-box) and I’ve been paralysed by self-doubt and indecision for the past five weeks. York Festival of Writing was fantastic but left me with a number of issues to consider, such as:  1)      What am I actually writing? Is it coming-of-age, romantic comedy, … Continue reading

In a Bubble

Have just typed the final chapter of my mammoth rewrite/restructure and it feels bloody good. Probably doesn’t read very good but that’s what editing’s for, right? This time around I’ve loved writing every single word. It’s been a joy to get to the heart of the real story and while I didn’t stick to, or … Continue reading

Fifty False Starts and One First Draft

So, here it is – after two years, fifty* false starts, countless pre-dawn alarms, many kind encouraging words, one new printer, and several swear words – the first full draft of my novel. I am posting this here to remind me of that delirious feeling of having written the final scene. The sense of achievement, … Continue reading

The Wannabe Panster

This photo of my writing corner probably gives an insight into where I sit on the panster-planning spectrum.             I have a compulsion to plan everything in such minute detail that it is hampering both my writing and everyday life. Take this last weekend, for example. I was thrilled to be attending an event to … Continue reading

Whose Voice?

I’ve been thinking about voice lately. I’m not talking about the search for one’s own, distinctive, writer’s voice (on which I serendipitously read an excellent post this morning). I’m talking about the voice of characters: the style that simultaneously expresses a protagonist’s background, attitude, and view of life.   This is not just because – … Continue reading

Originally posted on Charlotte Frances:
One day, I woke up with a TV for a head. Don’t ask me why, because I have no idea. All I know is I went to bed with a nice round skull, a nice head of hair, a brain made of myelin and blood, and when I sat up…

Flabby Middles

I know how my novel starts. I’m pretty clear how I want it to end. I can even get my head around the threshold points. But the middle? Well, it’s flabbier than my mid-Christmas holiday midriff. I suspect snoozing on the sofa in front of another classic film, force-feeding myself the last of the mince … Continue reading

The Next Big(-ish) Thing

Thank you to Susan Murray for tagging me in ‘The Next Big Thing’ blog chain (and apologies for my usual scattiness and tardiness in paying it forward…I was always the kid who broke chain letter chains). Susan is a brilliant genre writer whose short stories have appeared in many places: including in Voices from the … Continue reading