Welcome to NaNoWriMo 2017

There is just one day to the start of NaNoWriMo 2017 and while I won’t be participating this year (I am currently mid-manuscript), I thought I’d share a few things I learnt last year. Work with your most developed story idea. This might seem obvious, but it can be tempting to begin writing the story…

Top 3 very old books

To finish this series on old books, I have chosen my favourite three books over 50 years old. These are definitely books published before I was born and so I haven’t read many, but there are a few shinning examples of wonderful literature. Top 3 books over 50 years J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit is a…

Top 3 even older books

Last week, I posted on my favourite books over five years old. But that’s hardly old. Five years ago, an earthquake hit Japan causing a tsunami. Five years ago, Steve Jobs died. Five years ago, we saw the last Harry Potter movie hit the screens. Do we remember all these events? Of course we do,…

Top 3 older books

The New Release section of a bookstore does have a certain appeal to it; the bright colours and literary designs hint at what lies within the pages. But there is more to a bookstore, and indeed, more to literature, than the latest stories to hit the shelves. Perhaps you haven’t set foot in a bookstore…

Fictional research – yes, it does exist

All fiction, regardless of genre, requires some research. This may be choosing a spot in the middle of the Pacific to create your own island nation, discovering if it’s physically possible for a plane to fly five times the speed of sound, or finding a common Scottish name for your hero. There might be small…

The writing retreat

I am halfway through my week long writing retreat and I have to say that so far, this works for me. The days a so long that I feel like I’ve already overextended my stay and my worries seemed to have fallen- out of the car somewhere along the drive here. Each day, I stay…

a Flawed book review

The stunning young adult debut by bestselling author Cecelia Ahern is titled Flawed and tells us of a society with a system to supplement the law. This second system is designed to create a morally perfect community, removing corrupt people and those prone to poor decisions from positions of power. It is an interesting concept…

Tools to help you write (pen excluded)

Listening to a great song can make you run up a hill faster. Silence can focus your concentration during an exam. And candlelight can bolster romantic feelings during a special dinner. Like all these pairings, there are certain things which support the act of writing. Here’s a list of situations and activities which I have…

WOW! I want to write a book!

When I tell people that I am writing a book, I get one of three standard responses; 1) I could never do that, 2) Do I have a great story idea for you? Or 3) Oh, wow! I’ve always wanted to do that.   The people in the first category are probably the smart ones…

Meeting your protagonist

There are countless articles and writing courses that tell you to know you main characters before you start writing. Not just what they will do throughout the manuscript, but why they do those things. What is their motivation, history, personality? The list goes on. The need to know your character like you would a friend…