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Showing posts from July, 2014

Rewriting to Rebranding - Guest Post by Jan Edwards

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Rewrites must be top in my list of ‘Mind-boggling Things You Take On.’ I mean, editing is one thing but total re-writes can cause you some serious brain-blitz. Some years ago I won an award at the Winchester Writers’ Conference for ‘Best Slim Volume’ with a series of linked short stories. That is to say, I sent in one story and the synopsis for another nine. 

The prize was to have the collection published (in a very limited 30 copies print run!) and it seemed like a fabulous prize. Winning was certainly a major boost to my self-esteem ... until I got home and realised I had a deadline of less than a month to write the other nine stories based around the handwritten book of wine recipes handed down to me from my Grandmother.

Each story in Sussex Tales included a recipe as well as notes on the medicinal value and folklore attached to the main ingredients. It was a good premise that should have resulted in a great book – and yes, I completed the stories in time ... but oh my then editing l…

To kill, or not to kill, that is the question! Guest post by Katie Salidas

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At the end of Pandora’s Box (Book three in the Immortalisseries) I left readers with a question, “Is Lysander truly dead, or can he be saved?” 

No, I’m not going to reveal his fate now, you’ll just have to read Soulstone to find out. 

I know, I’m such a meanie.

But, it brings up a great topic. Killing off characters.

As an author, my characters are somewhat like my children. Each one has a backstory, a current story, and a potential future. I’ve taken a lot of time developing them. I’ve created them from scratch and watched them virtually grow. So, with that in mind you’d think it would be abhorrent to me to end their fictional existence. I mean, what mother would ever want to harm their child, right? 

In some cases, yes. There are some characters that would break my heart to destroy. On the other hand, there are some characters who need to die. Boy do I sound mean now. Stick with me though and you’ll see what I mean.

Some characters have to die. It’s the circle of life. (insert the Elto…

Mind Your Own Business! - Valerie Laws Helps Us Out - Again.

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On the 29th, we try to post a 'How To' blog - but it's hot, and all the electrics are off sunning themselves.           So, since many of us are gearing up to the dreaded tax-filing ordeal, here's 'another chance to see' this How-To post from Valerie.

Following on from Catherine Czerkawska’s excellent post the other day, asking why creative writing courses don’t prepare would-be writers for the business side of writing and promoting, I’m going to come out now right here in front of you all.

I am a business.

There, I’ve said it. Many of you are already businesses, but perhaps you don’t know it yet. Perhaps you are in denial. You don’t want to photocopy your bum at office parties or wear boring suits or behave like Mr Banks in 'Mary Poppins'. Or as a writer, you work mostly alone, and think of yourself as an individual, a maverick, a wild card, a free spirit, and anyway your office parties would be embarrassingly sparse.
But think a…

It Was a Dark and Stormy night... by Enid Richemont

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Weather, drama and emotions seem to go together, so whichever unfortunate would-be author who first wrote these infamous wordsdid have some idea of what he/she was doing.Rain and tears seem to go together. I remember seeing a film in which a disastrous marriage played a major part, where the camera focussed, during the wedding scene, not on the bridal couple, but on the raindrops 'weeping' down the stained glass windows of the church.

For the last few days, we've had heat and humidity in London, but only one dramatic storm. It's felt like being around someone who bears me a grudge, but won't come out and say so. The sky is sullen, and there are distant rumbles of thunder, but nothing happens. Later, there might be a storm when we can really sort things out - scream, yell and hit each other - oh the relief! But in the meantime, there's this grey, silent, endless, hot, debilitating SULK. And while I often cringe at  forecasts that anthropomorphise the weather - fr…

Stepping into The Spotlight - Andrew Crofts

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“So, when are you going to write your own memoir?” people ask whenever I tell stories from my many, many years of ghostwriting.
“Never,” I have always assured them. “I can’t because of all the confidentiality agreements I have signed, all the relationships of trust I have built up with clients over the years.”
Well, now I have done it. Not every story can be told, of course, but for those that can, names have been changed, stories and locations mixed and matched, permissions sought and surprisingly readily given. In the days when I started ghosting, around thirty years ago, secrecy was everything. No one ever admitted they used ghostwriters, no ghostwriters were ever credited or talked about in polite publishing circles. That seems to have changed and most people now get the fact that books need to be written by professionals, edited by professionals and published by professionals.
So on August 14th, “Confessions of a Ghostwriter” will be coming out from Friday Project, an imprint wi…

Have E-books Breathed New Life Into Anthologies? by R.A. Barnes

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Warning: this blog post contains diabolical and excruciating similes - like a man who grows long black moustaches and greases them into twirls to make himself look more evil, whereas they just make him look like a lion tamer.
          Ah, anthologies. The Frankenstein of the book world. Someone’s torso, a leg, an arm, all stitched together and with a bolt through the neck from the editor. Oh, don’t forget the head, and other parts.           My first anthology foray was a piece in our writing college collection Original Sins. That title was original in the way a fat man in a bright orange shirt is individual at a party attended by lots of other people in bright orange shirts, except the other people are all slim.           I’m not a short story writer, I’m a novelist, and my contribution was a cheat in that it was the first chapter from my (at the time unpublished) psychological thriller The Baptist. The wisdom of this choice became apparent when I read out my opening pages at the book…

Page the Consultant! - Or, A Guinea-Pig's Tale - by Susan Price

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RLF Consultant Fellows
The  Royal Literary Fund Register of Consultant FellowsHere we are, then.           This is the reason I've been pleading that I'm too busy, for the past year. I've been an RLF guinea-pig on their latest project, the Register of Consultant Fellows, the aim of which was to turn twenty writers into people capable of 'operating with appropriate training and to high standards of professional and ethical practice, to facilitate writing-related activities with groups of students or staff.' This is a quote from Trevor Day, the highly qualified educator and writer (and marine-biologist who swims with sharks) who devised and led the training-course.  (Trevor has modestly asked me to add that the course wouldn't have been the same without the 'considerable input' of  Marina Benjamin and Tina Pepler who 'helped design it and steered it in new directions.')          I think the Consultant's Register is part of the wide change ta…