If you are in the UK, for 7 days you have the opportunity to enter a Goodreads giveaway to win a free copy of ‘From Story Idea to Reader’. The details are here.
From Story Idea to Reader
From Story Idea to Reader is an easily accessible guide to writing fiction. Whether you are brushing up on your writing skills or starting out, this book will take you through the whole process from inspiration to conclusion. No matter if you are looking to submit your work for publication, enter a competition, or want to self-publish, this practical guide will help you every step of the way.
Between them, Patsy Collins and Rosemary Kind have sold hundreds of short stories, written sixteen published books and produced numerous articles for Writing Magazine and similar publications. They’ve both judged writing competitions and run workshops, and Rosemary has read and edited thousands of short stories and published dozens of books for other writers.
With the information, help and encouragement in this book, you too could see your work in print.
Alfie Dog Fiction – HERE
Amazon UK – HERE
Also available from other online retailers.
Earlier this summer, prolific short story writer, Patsy Collins and I began to discuss writing a book with advice for writers. Patsy has a number of novels to her credit and has written hundreds of short stories, which have been published in all the leading women’s magazines both at home and abroad. I, as you may have realised by now, have not only written several books, but as editor at www.alfiedog.com have edited several thousand short stories in the last few years.
What all that means is that Patsy’s and my combined experience could prove very useful to other writers. We’ve also both run workshops and judged in writing competitions as well as having written articles for the writing magazines.
We began to look at the whole process and between us have written a guide taking you from how to generate ideas, through to how to get your work published. It runs to nearly 300 pages and hopefully has something for every writer. The project is now complete and ready to be launched into the world. It comes out on 30th November in paperback, but is already available to pre-order as an ebook. Don’t worry, I’ll remind you when it comes to launch date. If you don’t need it for yourself, it really would make a great Christmas Present for the writer or wannabe writer in your family.
Paperback ISBN 978-1-909894-32-7 £9.99 in the UK
Ebook from all leading outlets £3.99 Amazon UK is HERE
As a writer I spend most of my time sitting in an office with no one to talk to but the dogs (and my characters). It has always been said that there is a fine line between creativity and insanity and I walk that tightrope daily. When you find yourself surrounded by people it is easy to reach the conclusion ‘I don’t fit’. Instead, you sit in the corner with your notebook and observe, listen and jot down notes. People watching is an important part of the job and you let your imagination take the conversations you hear on into territories which might horrify the person you were listening to… if they knew!
Normally, in a crowd of people I feel drained and want to escape. It’s nothing personal. I love some of those people dearly, but I need to be able to think and be creative and I can’t do that in the midst of the bustle.
Then you come away for a week on a Writers’ Summer School. Wow. I’m surrounded by a couple of hundred people walking the same tightrope. Some of them have more poise and almost seem sane. Others have fallen over the wrong side of the line and are the most marvellous eccentrics I’ve ever met. I feel totally at home and am loving every minute of it. When I talk about the conversations with my characters, no one here thinks I’m mad. Of course, they’re wrong, but the beauty is that we’re all mad together.
Hopefully, at the end of the week they will let us all out to go home. We will be the richer for coming together and the poorer for being parted… until next year.
Before I came, I confess I was anxious and was not looking forward to it. How wrong I was. If you are creative and have never had chance to get together with like-minded people then find a way to do it. It’s marvellous. I’m coming away with more ideas of things I want to work on than there is time to do in the next twelve months. I’ve got a plan. I’ve got direction. More than that, I’ve got new friends and deepened existing friendships.
Watch out world, I’m fired up and ready to roll.
This going public makes a big difference to the old self-discipline. I’ve ended the month on 64,000 words so all in all not a bad month. If I’m being honest, there was a bit of a flat patch and that chapter is going to need more editing than the others, but there is at least something to edit.
It has set me thinking about the whole question of ‘point of view’ in novels. Now if you are a reader and not a writer it is something you may not really think about. However, if the writer has worked closely with one particular character’s point of view and not others, you will feel closer to that character and feel you know them better. It is one of the things that novice writers can get badly wrong, hopping from head to head and leaving the reader feeling a) confused and b) not sure who they should be rooting for. If you are writing in the first person then it is obvious whose point of view you are working with, but if you are writing third person narrative then you need to decide how many characters’ points of view it is reasonable to give the reader.
Using more points of view does enable you to convey thoughts and feelings of characters other than the lead, but if you aren’t careful it gives them all equal weight and whose story is it? I’m reading a Robert Galbraith novel at the moment and it is interesting that the book does use multiple points of view as an effective way to keep the reader abreast of what is going on that they might not otherwise know. It is only really noticeable when the point of view characters are in a scene together.
So far, except for one very minor section where in writing it I could find no other way to convey what was needed, I have stuck to the points of view only of my three lead characters. However, another character has been arguing with me that her point of view is equally valid and would be beneficial to the story. Now I need to decide whether when I come to edit the book I should be stubborn and ignore her pleas or whether she has a point. I may also edit out the point of view that is the minor deliberate lapse that I referred to a moment ago.
Meanwhile back in America in what is now the 1860s Daniel is still in custody and things are not looking good!
What can I commit to for April? It’s a busy month with other work, but I don’t want to lose momentum. I shall set a daily target of 200 words, that should be easy enough. By the end of April I will aim to be at 70,000 words. You heard it here first. I’ll let you know mid-month how it’s going.