Chick Lit: Friend or Foe? I have been reflecting recently upon genre. The publishing industry says separating novels out into different sub-sections helps to sell books. Selling books is good; I know that. However, I can’t help but feel a little uncomfortable with the way novels by women are sub-categorised. The term Chick Lit has always bothered me. Perhaps this is because the word ‘Chick’ … Continue reading Chick Lit: Friend or Foe?
My top writing tip for this week is to save everything. I am not actually referring to making sure you save your progress every few minutes during a writing storm (although you should definitely do this). I mean that you should hold on to all your little pieces of inspiration, no matter how insignificant they might seem. When I delete parts of novels I am … Continue reading Top Writing Tip: Save
I have always told myself stories. It helps me fall asleep at night and segues seamlessly into dreams. These stories are the basis for my writing. To get to know characters better, I write their background. These background stories might never make it into my manuscript – I never intend them to, either. They are my preparation for creating full characters that make emotional sense. … Continue reading Preparing to Write: Background Stories
Everyone is different. What I think works in fiction might have some overlap with what you think works in fiction but, equally, we will have areas where we disagree. Imagine a beautiful Venn diagram. (Imagine it because I don’t know how to create one here.) I am here to suggest, like Jack Palance in City Slickers, that you find what works for you in the … Continue reading Writing Fiction: What Works For You?
By popular* demand, this post is designed to help you write every author’s nightmare – the synopsis. It’s a necessary evil: agents, mentors, and publishers ask for a synopsis of your novel (usually along with a few chapters and a kick-ass cover letter) when you submit your novel for their consideration. It’s one of those terrible tasks which is both highly stressful and also intensely … Continue reading How to write a (fiction) synopsis
Pacing is one of the hardest things about writing a novel. Whether you are a Pantser or a Planner, it can be difficult to manage the tension between making interesting events happen and giving your characters time to react. If you are going for highly unrealistic action adventures where characters get repeatedly punched in the face only to get up and sprint a mile, you … Continue reading Managing the pace of your novel
Click here to read the article. Continue reading What’s Wrong Now? – an article for Books by Women
See out the old year with my drabble, Lucy and Cindy, which was published in The Drabble on 23rd December. Lucy and Cindy Continue reading Lucy and Cindy
Here are a list of the best books I read in 2017: Fractured – Catherine McKenzie Fry – Lorna Dounaeva (I also recommend The May Queen Killers, because that’s brilliant – but I read it last year, so I shouldn’t really include it here.) The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie – Muriel Sparks Naïve Super – Erlend Loe The Universe Versus Alex Woods – Gavin … Continue reading The Best Books of 2017
We’ve all read books that start well, which is probably why we’ve bought them in the first place, and then sag boringly in the middle. Sometimes these pieces can end nicely too, almost as though the author knew where s/he wanted to end up, but didn’t quite know how to navigate the way deftly enough. Great: I’ve identified the issue, now I just need to … Continue reading Trying not to Lag in the Middle