My first NaNoWriMo – A thought a day

I first heard about NaNoWriMo years ago, before I had ever tried writing anything myself. I put it at the back of the filing cabinet in my mind and have since dreamt of one day challenging myself to write a 50,000 word first draft in one month. NaNoWriMo 2018 has started and while I stillContinue reading “My first NaNoWriMo – A thought a day”

Publishing news

My blog has lain a bit dormant recently but I’m pleased to say it’s not a reflection on my writing in general! It’s been a different time for me on my writing journey. I have been planning my first novel (which still sounds quite ridiculous to me!) Massively helped along by the Writers HQ PlotstormersContinue reading “Publishing news”

Post-Swanwick Boost

Last year after returning home from my first Swanwick experience I wrote about the post-Swanwick blues. I was bracing myself for the same deflated feeling this year but actually I’m feeling something else. The post-Swanwick boost. I did wonder whether attending again as a fully fledged delegate (after being privileged enough to receive a subsidisedContinue reading “Post-Swanwick Boost”

What TV can teach fiction writers – A masterclass in characters from BBC drama ‘Broken’

I can barely see the screen as I type this because I am sobbing. I am gasping for breath and sobbing…about fictional characters. I am crying because they were so deeply real to me. I have just finished watching a BBC series which was on earlier this year. Broken, starring Sean Bean and written byContinue reading “What TV can teach fiction writers – A masterclass in characters from BBC drama ‘Broken’”

Five things I learned from a book I hated

I’m travelling at the moment and am using the time off to read and write as much as possible. Thank goodness we’re in a car so I could bring a stack of paperbacks with me. I’m making my way through books I’ve had on my list for a while. This included a YA novel whichContinue reading “Five things I learned from a book I hated”

Learning from the curiously charming writer, Phaedra Patrick

There’s nothing more motivating for fledgling writers than hearing from other writers who’ve been in the same position and have gone on to ‘make it’. I immediately warmed to author, Phaedra Patrick, at a Read Regional event earlier this week hosted by The Heatons library. She started off by talking about ‘those people’ for whomContinue reading “Learning from the curiously charming writer, Phaedra Patrick”

Planning my DIY writing retreat

I keep fawning over adverts for writing retreats in beautiful remote places, dreaming of the escapism, the torrent of ideas I’d come up with and the pages of stunning prose I’d produce away from the daily grind. Whilst unfortunately I don’t have umpteen hundred pounds and unlimited days to spend researching and drafting, I haveContinue reading “Planning my DIY writing retreat”

Review – Britt-Marie Was Here by Fredrik Backman

I have never been as moved by a book as I was when reading A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman. It’s the most memorable story I’ve read in years, probably because Backman so elegantly and subtly reminds us that people behave as they do for many different, complicated reasons, which gives them a totallyContinue reading “Review – Britt-Marie Was Here by Fredrik Backman”

Short story ideas – headlines as prompts

Right? Someone tweeted this the other day and it resonated with me. A lot. I do feel like I have something to say, multiple things, but when it comes to sculpting them into a short story with a clear plot, that’s where I often come unstuck. I have several ideas  (which I take to beContinue reading “Short story ideas – headlines as prompts”