Writing has saved my life in a way no one could imagine. The day I was born I was just the same as every other baby. Kicked, screamed, cried and crawled. But one thing was puzzling, you could never tell when I was happy or sad because I never smiled, frowned or articulated any facial expressions. When I learned to talk, my speech was also unclear. Read the rest of this entry »
Looking for inspiration in some back copies of E-Zee Writer, I came across a great article by Esther Newton called ‘Plan B.’ It’s all about what to do if your dream of becoming the next Ian Fleming or Toni Morrison doesn’t pan out. Obviously, with my history of not finishing fantasy trilogies, it got me thinking, eventually wishing I could go back and have a quiet word with the writer I used to be in the mid-nineties, when the first words of my magnum opus were committed to floppy disc (remember them?) Read the rest of this entry »
First, thanks to Rebecca for last Friday’s blog post. It certainly demonstrates that ‘writing about what you know’ needn’t limit you in any way if you don’t take it too literally.
We’ve now come to the end of our 2014 Flash Fiction competition. As usual, we had a great response and we’ll do our best to get the results out to you and the winning stories on our website early in the New Year. We’ll also be launching our next competition but you’ll have to wait a little longer to find out which genre we’ve chosen. Read the rest of this entry »
I wish I was a poet. You may think I’m daft, but to my mind, poets are up at the top of the writing tree. Me? I’m a jobbing scribe, fine with blogs, stories and articles. But poetry … that’s special. Read the rest of this entry »
Research is all well and good, and a vital part of preparing a novel, but nothing beats writing about what you know. That knowledge you have about a particular topic is the best tool a writer has. When I first thought about this I almost resigned myself to writing some kind of story regarding the law as I’m trained as a criminal lawyer. But one of the points of writing, for me, is to escape: I wanted a relief from my day job – not to absorb myself in the law even further.
So then I thought about my upbringing – I grew up in a Vicarage as the daughter of a very eccentric vicar and I realised that my whole upbringing in that unusual setting was the perfect fodder for writing, particularly as there were lots of aspects about Vicarage life that were the polar opposite to general expectations. I’ve now published my first novel – ‘Christmas at the Vicarage’ – and I’m already writing a second book on the same theme.
That’s not to say I write exclusively about life in a Vicarage but I’ve tried previously to start novels about subjects I’m not so familiar with and found I could only go so far with them. With a topic I know inside out, there is always material there for me.
The same goes for writing in a style that’s ‘you’. It can be tempting, sometimes, to emulate other authors you love and, though my true style has similarities with Rosamunde Pilcher (my favourite writer), I feel I’ve found – over time – a voice and style that’s truly mine. Again, this makes it easier to keep the book’s momentum going and I think readers can really appreciate a voice that’s genuine, too.
So my advice: write about what you know, in a way that’s ‘you,’ and you can’t go too far wrong.
Rebecca Boxall was born in East Sussex in 1977 and currently lives in Jersey with her husband and two children. She read English at the University of Warwick before training as a lawyer and she also studied Creative Writing with The Writer’s Bureau. Her first novel – ‘Christmas at the Vicarage’ – is available in kindle and paperback form on Amazon: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Rebecca-Boxall/e/B00OGLLRAG/ref=sr_tc_2_0?qid=1415039239&sr=8-2-ent. She also has a Facebook page – Rebecca Boxall – Writer
Author: Diana Nadin