I'm approaching one of the most bittersweet moments for a writer.
It's the end of a long and passionate affair. We've been together for what feels like years. The relationship has grown and grown, we've dominated each other's lives...
And now it's all coming to an end.
Yes, I've got just two chapters left to write of the new book (the second in my young adults series), and it's a very strange feeling.
On the one hand, I shall miss it dreadfully. It's been a mainstay of my life for so long and I've loved the story greatly.
On the other... I feel the need to try something new. I'm tired, could do with a rest from the daily writing it, planning it, writing it routine.Read more
I could make myself unpopular with this blog, but it's been on my mind so I thought I'd share what I've been thinking.
I was chatting to a friend this week. She writes mystical, magical, fantasy romance, or something clever and complicated like that.
I was enjoying hearing how her book was going, when I had a rather worrying thought.
Her planning, characterisation and plotting sounded far more complex and challenging than anything I ever do for my crime novels.
I mentioned this, we talked about the differences between our genres, and I said -
"Crime's so much easier. Just set up a goodie and a baddie, think of some crazy implausible plot, spray some blood around, chuck in a few fights, chases and thrills, and that's it, job done."
The words have stayed with me, to the extent that I've started to worry -Read more
One of my favourite highs of writing is the infinite possibilities of the blank page.
Whether it's a short story, novel, play or whatever, you can travel anywhere and do anything.
You might have seen some scientific analyses that say there are only four, or seven, or whatever basic types of plot, character etc etc.
I always think that's nonsense. No amount of science can define human creativity. It's part of the joy of the arts and just not possible.
Why am I talking about this now? Because this week I saw a photo which made me (1) smile and (2) think it was a good way of disproving any attempted scientific study of writing.
Allow me to introduce Dartmoor farmer Lloyd Mortimore and his smiley wall (isn't it great?)Read more
What's he talking about now, you may well ask (as I suspect you often do), going on about a reservoir and a dam burst?
Well, I was asked this week how to successfully make it all the way through writing a novel. A good point, as the things are usually about 100,000 words long and take months of work.
My way of making sure you've got the spirit to get through is this -
It's a watery lesson, hence the visual interlude of my beloved River Exe enjoying a misty autumn sunrise.
So, it goes like this -
When I have the idea for the book, and I've toyed with it for a couple of weeks, and know it'll work, I then play it cool and force it to wait.Read more