Tuesday, 30 November 2010

The Call

It’s happened…

I can hardly believe it……

I was at work when the call came and I’ve been grinning from ear to ear ever since.

I want to shout it from the rooftops – but perhaps I’ll just whisper it really quietly…

I have an Agent………

Friday, 26 November 2010


One of the things I love most about living where I do is watching the changes - the seasons - the tides - the weather.

It's freezing cold, the first really cold weather this year. Until a few hours ago we had brilliant sunshine and crisp blue skies. But that's changing. The first altocumulus crept down from the north a few hours ago and now, over the hills, the clouds are thickening to grey.

There's a weather warning on the met office website - heavy snow and icy roads. And these days I don't just need to rely on the sky - I can see it tracking down across Wales on the rainfall radar.

I'm like a small child once again, my nose pressed against the frosted glass peering out at the sky -

Is it going to snow?

Did Father Christmas get my letter?

Will I hear back from that Agent soon?

Thursday, 18 November 2010

In the Footsteps of Vikings

Sometimes a throwaway comment is all it takes. A chance word and from nowhere a new idea springs into life.
This time it happened as we sat round the fire in this Viking Longhouse chatting, while the kids were outside ploughing the fields (I'm not making this up - they were - but as there weren't any oxen they had to pull the iron age plough themselves)

A casual comment from one of the archaeologists and a whole new dimension to my WIP sprang into my head.

I've been trying to work out how to fit it into the story, except I can't. It wouldn't work. The plot doesn't need anything so major.

But then I realised that it would make a fantastic sequel, notching up the tension and the stakes tenfold.

I've never done this before - I normally put everything into the story I'm working on. But this case is different. I'm barely 10K words into DF and already I'm planning a sequel!

And for anyone who is wondering this Viking Longhouse is at the Cranbourne Ancient Technology Centre.

Wednesday, 10 November 2010

And So It Begins...

When I wrote my first novel I started with a character and a setting, nothing else. I sat down and wrote and let the story take me where it wished.

The novel rambled. It wandered off at a tangent and when at last I drew it to a close the ending felt contrived. That novel now gathers dust in the Box-Under-The-Bed.

These days I start somewhat differently. I let the idea marinade in the juices of my imagination – the characters grow and mature, the setting takes shape, the plot forms structure. I jot down notes. Soon these become an outline.

Then I start to write.

But wait. Something else is happening. When I take a closer look I realise that the first couple of chapters aren’t really needed. The third one makes a better opening. By then the voice of the piece has settled, the characters have developed. The action really starts.

What I’ve been doing is writing my way into the story.

So Chapter Three becomes Chapter One (For now).

And this is where I’m at – a new project flowing from my fingertips, the characters arguing with me in my head whenever I give them the chance. (Plus it stops me fretting about WRRW as I wait to hear if I hit the mark with my revisions).

Enough blogging - back to the writing!

Thursday, 4 November 2010

Here be Dragons

Some people come here with their binoculars to look at the sea birds, but I come here looking for dragons.

There are caves like these all along this stretch of coast. Not many people know it but there are dragons living in most of them. They’re very shy and hard to spot. But if you are patient and sit quietly as the sun drops below the horizon and the shadows deepen into dusk, you might just see one slip out if its cave and take flight over the sea.

Back down on the shore I wandered into one such cave with my children. It’s okay though. I checked for tracks in the sand by the entrance before we went in. It was definitely uninhabited.

Even so, we didn’t go too far – just in case.