Writing is a wonderful way of life, and it's often (usually rightly) thought of as glamorous.
But, as ever in this world, there's a but.
There are the lumpy times, and I'm going through one now.
I'm doing the edits on the second book in my young adults series, and, to be frank I HATE EDITING.
No, I mean I REALLY HATE EDITING.
It's no fun at all. The excitement of the initial idea, followed by working up the new characters and plot are long gone, not to mention the actual joy of writing the thing.
Now it's checking consistency of the plot, adjusting sentences, and spotting dots and commas out of place.Read more
This year has brought a new experience to my life ... co-writing.
I've never much fancied the idea before, being an only child and of the me, me, me, me, me and more me school of thought.
But I had a pantomime to write, there's a very fine chap called Phil who I hugely rate as a writer and all round excellent human being, and he's done it before, so I thought I'd give it a try...
With some trepidation.
What about when we disagree over a line, or a character, or the whole story? Can we compromise or will it be a writing duel at dawn, each defending our honour? An emotional shouting match, losing a friend...
This picture I snapped on my beloved River Exe reassured me in my co-writing adventure. Birds and animals work together for their joint and individual good, which meant even the not terribly advanced creature that is me could do it.Read more
I was wondering what to write for this blog when I had an idea. Which, in good show not tell form, goes like this -
Last Sunday, while walking around the river - The final jokes for the pantomime I've been writing, and some others too, like... I used to work in a shoe shop, but I got the boot.
Ok, moving on - Monday morning, brushing my teeth. A quirk of characterisation for the panto.
Monday evening, warming up in the bath. An idea for teaching which will include working with my arm in a sling for a while.
Tuesday, out for a chilly riverside run - a new story to put into my writing talks.
Wednesday, driving - an improvement for the ending for my new young adults' novel.Read more
I had a very powerful lesson in the depths of character over Christmas, and it all came about from my childhood days.
A couple of writing issues were bothering me, so I forced myself to suffer the trial of a trip to the pub to think about them.
It made me wonder why a pub is the place I usually head for when I need inspiration, and the subtle lighting, rumbling conversation, and Christmas decorations brought a fast and vivid answer.
I was actually born in a pub, and some of my happiest memories are those wonderful festive days at the Bedford Arms Inn, with presents, food and drink, and good cheer.
Quite a few family came round for the day itself, and the kids all opened their gifts in the Lounge Bar, watched by parents sporting glasses of sherry etc.
The smells, the sounds, the feelings, they must have all seeped in to my early, developing mind, to plant the feeling that a pub was a place of contentment. And that peacefulness of spirit sure helps the creative mind to work.Read more
In the eternal battle between logic and feelings there can be only one winner, as I've found out these last few days.
I'm lucky enough to have plenty in my writing diary this coming year; the final edits of my new tvdetective novel, my young adults book, teaching and speaking events. I should be spending all my time getting on with those.
A ridiculous new love affair has come calling and we just can't leave each other alone.
Why ridiculous? Because it's ... and I can hardly believe I'm admitting this to the world...
It's ... deep breath and step into the confessional ... it's writing a pantomime.
(Oh, yes it is etc.)Read more