Saturday, 20 June 2015


I'm stuck. I can't do it. It's not working. I don't know why I ever thought I could do it. I should just stop harbouring such ludicrous ideas and give up. It's a waste of my precious time. Everyone will laugh at me because I thought for a few minutes that I could have a chance at something even though it was patently obvious to anyone with half a brain that I was on a hiding to nothing. They probably are laughing already. I should stop telling everyone what I'm doing anyway. It just makes my inability to do it worse. What was I thinking?!!!

In short,  it's not going well......

I've been messing about with the start of this rewrite for three weeks. I'm clear about where I'm going. I have the story in my head and I know how it's going to slot into the main story ark. I'm not short of things to say. And it's exciting, this bit of the story. It's powerful stuff....

Or it would be if I could only work out how to tell it because, sure as eggs is eggs, the way I've tried to do it so far is not good. It's not good at all. I write a bit. It seems ok as I'm working and the story races along but then when I come back to it later, it makes me cringe. That's not good is it? Cringing at your own work!

So what do I do? Should I plough on telling the story and hope that as I go I'll stumble across something that I like and can nurture into something stronger? Or do I tinker about at the edges experimenting and thinking but getting nowhere? I don't like either plan.

So I'm left, wasting time. A blog post, for example. Some research into what they wore. What was Number 1 back then anyway? What were we all watching on the telly?

Of course, I know the answer to my problem. I have to keep experimenting until I find what it is I'm looking for. Whilst I'm desperate to just dive in and tell my story, that would be the wrong thing to do. I must be patient and keep trying until I've found something that feels right. And in the meantime, I have to remember that I love to write and not lose heart.

No one said it would be easy.... Deep sigh.


Wednesday, 3 June 2015


My last assignment of the year is submitted and so my attention turns to my real distraction - Postcards from a Stranger.

For those of you don't know, this is my latest novel and the one that I've decided not to pack away in a virtual drawer. Having commissioned an editor's report on why it isn't yet a best seller, I am now armed with all I need to magically transform it into one. Well... that's the plan at least.

So my next task is to start to tell parts of the story from another character's point of view. This is all well and good. Telling her story is one thing. Deciding HOW she'll tell it is quite another.

It's not that I don't know Anneliese Ferensby. She's been in my head for over a year now and she's even spoken out loud from time to time. I know quite a lot about her, enough to be able to write it all down but what does she sound like? How does she string her sentences together? How does her mind work?  And, most importantly, how is she different from her daughter Cara who has been doing all the talking for the last 85,000 words?!

These are big questions and ones that I need to get right at this stage as my hands hover over the keyboard waiting to begin.

And it's not just her voice that I need to find but also how I, as the writer, should express that for her. First person or third? Past tense or present? In her head only or floating above her and watching her every move? I read voraciously, trying to absorb every writers's techniques and skill. This influences how I approach my work. It's not Oasis and The Beatles exactly but what I read does make me think about how I'm writing.

I started yesterday - 815 words, third person, past tense, omniscient narrator. I'm not sure it's right so today I'm going to rewrite what I have differently and see if I feel any more confident. It won't come overnight, Anneliese's voice, but at least if I set off in approximately the right direction it won't be so difficult to rediscover the path when the snows come.

Anyway, I'll let you know how I get on.....