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Limerick Competition Open For Entries

April 20th, 2018

First, thanks to Claire for last week’s blog. For me, it demonstrates two things. First, that writing isn’t an easy option. You really have to work at it if you hope to succeed. And second, if you feel you’re working on something good, you should follow your own path and not just go with the flow.

We’ve been hearing for ages that novels should be a minimum of 70,000 words, or they are hard to market, and that novellas and collections of short stories don’t sell unless they are written by someone famous. But Claire’s experience disproves this – they will sell if you persevere and find the right way to get your message to the reading public.

While we’re on the subject of novellas, I’ve just read that ‘Nightflyers’, by George RR Martin is being turned into a ten-part TV series to debut on Syfy (and Netflix) later this year. I’m a great fan of Game of Thrones and can’t wait for the final series to be ready. But I have to admit that since production outran the actual writing of the novels episodes do seem more run-of-the-mill and less riveting. Read the rest of this entry »




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My Writing Journey – 72 Hours To Novella

April 13th, 2018

I’ve wanted to write a book for as long as I can remember. As a child, in the pre-Harry Potter days, I read adult books with lots of pages like Jeffrey Archer and Maeve Binchy, and longed to write like them. Unfortunately, life got in the way and for one reason or other my ambitions were shelved.  However, I never forgot my dream, but just earning a living and paying the bills meant there was never enough time for writing.  Years later, I enrolled on the Writer’s Bureau course in 2016 after I saw an advertisement that piqued my interest, and I found the course materials and the tutor to be second to none. I had a period of illness, which led to a long period of absence from work, and I found the coursework therapeutic. I thought to myself, maybe this is my time to follow my dream.

Six months after I started the course, I heard about a writing competition that takes place on the American holiday, Labour Day weekend every year, which involves writing a complete novel in just three days. I didn’t have much time to prepare but I was determined to enter. My husband was out of the house that weekend on a short break so it was a perfect opportunity. Read the rest of this entry »




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Beating Writer’s Block

April 6th, 2018

First thanks to Colin for last weeks’s blog. I always love it when people illustrate what they’re talking about with lots of examples. It’s easy to say ‘your book needs an inciting incident’, but what does that mean? But, throw in a few great examples and it becomes so much easier to understand and incorporate into your own writing.

Some writers believe in writer’s block, some don’t. But I’m sure you’ll agree that there are times when we all get stuck, or the words won’t flow. It can lead to negative, depressing thoughts; so here are some tips for getting over it!

See your writing as a job – something you’ve just got to settle down and get on with rather than waiting for inspiration to strike. Read the rest of this entry »




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Incite and Excite

March 30th, 2018

Plot, suspense and conflict are probably the terms which are most familiar to those who write fiction, and to some readers. Less familiar but in many ways just as important as these elements of story is what is termed the inciting incident.

It’s the inciting incident which gets the story going and is crucial to what happens in the whole tale. It is something which will be of interest and will hook the reader so that he or she wants to read on, find out what happens, and how things will end.

The idea of the inciting incident is most easily illustrated by reference to two of the most popular genres of fiction: crime and romance. In nine out of ten crime novels the inciting incident will be the committing of a crime or finding that a crime has been committed and then the engaging of someone (often a detective) to solve the crime. Read the rest of this entry »




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Hooked-up In Your Writing

March 23rd, 2018

First, thanks to Sherry for last month’s blog. The thing that I found most interesting was her suggestion of experimenting with different word-lengths to find what suits your idea best. Many people sit down and if they’ve decided to write a 2000-word short story, that’s what they go for. If they’ve decided to write 500 words, that’s what they write. But there can be so much to gain from a little experimentation – making sure that your story is written in the right number of words to do it justice. There’s no point dragging out a pithy, epigrammatic idea to thousands of words or condensing a character-reliant, romance down to a summary. I get so frustrated when I start watching a series on TV, think the set-up is good and then gradually realise that what’s being told in six episodes would have been better kept to four. I don’t want to waste two hours of my life on padding! Read the rest of this entry »




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