Showing posts from October, 2008

National Novel Writing Month

I haven’t taken up the NaNoWrMo challenge before, of drafting a novel in thirty days. However authors on all the Yahoo groups I subscribe to talk about it all the time as if it were a sort of ‘Rite of Passage’.

With my latest wip, ‘The Maze’ down to the last three chapters to go through Critique, I've had a story idea for a novel circling in my head for the last few weeks. So perhaps the month of November will be the time I get it off the ground.

The story is another Victorian Romance, but this time I’m going to stick to the traditional ‘formula’ of the two main characters meeting before page twenty five and having an HEA ending.

I have to write 50,000 words in 30 days. That’s about a 1650 word daily average – oh dear, put like that it comes home to me this is serious.

I have put a date counter and word graph on this blog if anyone wants to see how I’m doing and if you feel like joining me, and my friends Gemini Sasson and Ginger Simpson, who have signed up too, so we won’t be totall…

Would You Let Your Child Do This?

No - not stand on a car......

My son intends to take part in The Mongol Rally in July 2009. [He's the one in the middle]
Basically, a group of two or more post-adolescent nutcases buy a clapped-out motor car, of 1200cc or less, [well, they wouldn't want to make it too easy would they?] in this case, two cars! and head off over the plains of Eastern Europe and try and keep the car going for as long as possible across terrain where they don't have proper roads, a chain of Marriott Hotels or even petrol stations. In fact civilisation there is, well let's put it this way - still evolving!!!

It's a 10,000 mile trip which, once they get past Germany and Poland, they travel through Slovakia, Hungary and Romania to Turkey and across to the scary-sounding-but-apparently-actually-quite-friendly-and-unmissable Iran.[Not my description] After that, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Krygystan, Kazakhstan, possibly a few more 'stans' somewhere around southern Russia and on for a …

What Is A Critique Group Anyway?

Was a question my husband asked recently, even though I have been an active member of two groups for more than two years;
Me: It’s an online group where writers get together to read and comment on each other’s writing.
Husband: So how does it work then?
Me: I upload a chapter of my latest wip to the site and members will download it, make comments on the technical structure, characters and storyline and re-post it for me to look at.
Husband: That sounds like a lot of work.
Me: Actually it is, but the other members do it for me as well, so I receive a lot of help with my own story too.
Husband: What makes this group of random people qualified to do that?
Me: Some have degrees in creative writing and English literature, while others have years of writing and editing experience. But that’s not relevant, no one sets themselves up as an expert.
Husband: So why would any of them listen to you? And why do you listen to them?
Me: I offer advice which has been given to me by other writers and thi…

I'm A Book Reviewer!

Historical Novel Review Blog run by Mirella Patzer, Lisa Yarde and Miranda Miller have asked me to join them as a reviewer as the blog is growing and requests for reviews of upcoming novels is increasing.

I’m very excited about this as I love reading the genre as well as writing it and from a practical point of view it helps to keep up with the kind of stories readers are clamouring for. The books range from medieval Mysteries to Regency Romps and my first review is now up on the blog.

'Dissolution’ by C J Sansom, is a murder mystery set in Henry VIII’s England at the time of the Dissolution of the Monasteries. Mr Sansom portrays the fear and suspicion of those days and the men who made their fortunes on the back of it with fascinating insight.

The Blog will also be presenting Author Promotions, starting on Sunday 19th October with Mirella Patzer’s Novel Bloodstone Castle. I have inserted a widget above – another procrastination toy which keeps me away from actually writing. Mirel…

Pet Peeves of Writers as Readers

I stumbled across the Blog of Nathan Bransford, a Literary Agent at the San Francisco branch of Curtis Brown by accident and spotted his request for things that annoy writers when they read. Some were hilarious as well as thought provoking. Read on.

I really hate when an author uses a ten dollar word like strabismic and then two pages later uses it again. Once is enough, and in some cases more than enough. I can just see them sitting there having just perused their thesaurus, thinking, "Oooooo, I love this word, it's so shiny and new, I just have to use it." And then an hour later, "Once more won't hurt." Yes. Yes it does. Just say squint.

Stilted dialogue and too much telling of the backstory. I'm reading one right now that has both and I'm ready to throw it across the room - And yep, you guessed it: it's a best-selling author who's well-regarded.

My biggest turn offs as a reader are when the author fumbles over words enough that you have to r…

Halloween Fiction Blog

Just in time for Halloween, a new blog site for lovers of horror fiction. Author Ron Adams has created a blog called, Shadows and Night dedicated to short fiction with a sense of the macabre.

He says it's meant to be a place to showcase not only his own writing, but the best short stories from any of his colleagues with a taste for the strange, the unusual, and the frightening.
So if you have a short story-your own work of course,that you would like to contributeto Ron's Blog- E-Mail Ron Adams

You have to be a grown up for this one! Join him at:
Shadows and Night

I Love My E-Reader

For everyone who e-mailed asking what I thought of the Sony E-Reader - Well, I have had mine 24 hours now.The first thing I did was download the user manual onto my laptop. As the paper one opens out like a world map, I gave that up very quickly.

I was prepared for a lot of menus and buttons, which defeat me on mobiles phones - but there aren't many at all their functions are straightforward. The size of a small paperback but very slim, the reader is satisfyingly heavy and finished in a smart brushed steel and is supplied with a soft cover like an ordinary book. The text is easy to read and the font can be changed to three sizes.

Once charged, which takes about two hours and is done by plugging it into your pc, you have to upload the library software to import e-books from online stores, or CD. Then it’s simply a drag-and-drop process to get them onto the E-Reader.

About 100 books are included on a CD, and I chose a few old favourites like Pride and Prejudice and Persuasion, but was …

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