The second novel in a trilogy

At the risk of repeating myself … I’m over 60,000 words into the second novel in my crime thriller trilogy. One of the issues I’ve been grappling with is the need or otherwise to remind the reader of what happened to whom in the first book. Not that my second book is a sequel but … Continued

A standalone novel or a series?

Which is most likely to grab the attention of agent? I think that what impresses agents most is great writing. Not all of us can produce that, at least not all of the time. We hope that part of what we write is impressive. We always know there’ll be polishing to do and that we’ll … Continued

Polishing that draft

Manuscript appraisals: value for money? I recently took the plunge and commissioned a manuscript appraisal for my novel. It was a significant step because there’s a cost involved and, like all of us, I wanted to feel there’d be real value in making the investment. I’m glad to say there was. After a researching the … Continued

There’s gold in them thar writing groups

How a writing group can help develop skills I’ve been a member of my local writing group, Anderida Writers, for over a decade. I’d recommend anyone who wants to develop their writing skills to join a club or group and share their work and experiences with other writers. Typically, a writing group will hold workshops … Continued

Where would we be without readers

I can’t tell you how helpful it was to have readers who were prepared to read through my novel and provide constructive feedback. They picked up inconsistencies of place or date, tone-jars, wise-cracks placed in the mouth of an inappropriate character, repetition and repetition. It can be difficult to spot errors It’s difficult as a … Continued

Why We Love a Good Baddie

Antics of an anti-hero The trusted readers who worked their way through the manuscript of my newly completed novel were consistent in their response to the antics of my anti-hero. He’s outrageous, despicable, super-devious and egocentric, they told me. So it was interesting to consider why they were always rooting for him. The anti-hero is … Continued

Still crazy after all these tears

A Man of Constant SORO It seems my debut novel, The Fruits of Rashness, has yet to fall open in front of a literary agent who wants to snap it up, but being a SORO (Stick-Of-Rock Optimist), I’m sure it soon will. Course it will. I’m sending my manuscript to only two or three agents … Continued

The main protagonist in my novel makes good!

A video clip – how good is that? The main protagonist in my novel makes good! The Journalists’ Charity ran a competition inviting descriptions of a modern day character that Charles Dickens might admire – a description that conjures the character from the page. This was all to mark the great man’s double centenary. I … Continued

Writing in Lockdown – or should that be Blockdown?

Hands up those who thought Isolation and Solitude were twins! It’s got to be seriously annoying if you’re a writer, stuck at home, in isolation, with all the writing tools at your fingertips – laptop, Remington Model 12, pencil, paper, desk, kitchen table, whatever – and the words won’t come. I don’t know why isolation … Continued

Tis the season to be pitching

‘Tis the season to be Pitching Christmas is soon upon us and there are many things to do. One of those things for a writer with a novel to air is pitching said novel to agents and publishers. That’s what is happening right now with my crime novel, The Fruits of Rashness. I’ve been sending … Continued