Saturday 31 January 2009

Why do we do it?

I've not been posting lately because . . . wait for it . . . have you worked it out yet? . . .
because I haven't had anything interesting to say.

The new date for CUT SHORT is July 2009, according to my publisher, to whom I am eternally grateful for having faith in my talent. I'll wait and see what happens this time.

I wonder if the Post Office appreciates what a stirling job we writers do, sending out letters in A4 envelopes (paying a premium for the large size) stuffed with synopses and extracts (extra cost for additional weight). I couldn't say how many letters each publisher receives daily, or even how many publishers there are, and then there are the agents. If publishers and agents et al decide to accept submissions online, I suspect the Post Office will go the way of the telegram. (Do they still exist?) Anyway, I've done my bit this week. In a few months, letters may start falling through my letter box. Of course they're likely to be rejections if they arrive at all, but at least I can comfort myself that I'm helping the Post Office. It's an ill wind . . .

Given the rate of rejection, why do we bother? Answers on a postcard, please . . . or you can reply here on the blog (sorry Post Office - but you did keep me waiting in a queue for HALF AN HOUR this morning - I wasn't going to mention that, but it just slipped out.)

Monday 12 January 2009

Life's full of surprises

I have NO IDEA how this happened but I've inserted a link on my blog:

An article published in Crime Time Magazine, pages 25-26, pages 14-15 on the screen

Thank you to Debs and Aggie who gave me instructions on how to insert the link which I succeeded in doing after only about four attempts.

Is that laughter I can hear from all you IT literates out there? Don't care. I've inserted a link on my blog - (still not sure how it happened.)

Here goes again -

Here is the link to an article about Cut Short (or not - depending on whether I manage to insert the link or not...)

Now I've forgotten what I'm supposed to do...
I just tried to create a link to another website but it doesn't work... Can anyone tell me how to do it?

link to an article in Crime Time Magazine about Cut Short :

Friday 9 January 2009

my name in print at last! (not yet a book)

1) Look up - (you can google Crime Time)
2) Click on Crime Time Magazine (somewhere top right)
3) Check out page 25-26 - article by Leigh Russell

Back to the blog - Please join in the discussion that's started on my previous post: how do you set about writing a book?

Wednesday 7 January 2009

Process of writing a book

Despite all my real life aggravations, I'm feeling rather pleased with myself. I've just more or less finished the book I was (re)writing over the Christmas period. I have no idea if I'm
a) exactly the same as every other writer
b) fairly typical or
c) weird
but my books appear to develop according to a pattern - bearing in mind that I'm a novice and this pattern may well change radically. When an idea is buzzing in my little brain I'm never without a pencil and paper, in case words flit into my head and I have to capture them before they vanish into the frightening abyss and crannies of my memory. (It's so great to be blogging not writing - I can reiterate and repeat myself, and rabbit on without restraint - sense? what's that about then?)

This is my pattern (at the moment) -

1. Have what I think is going to be the main idea
2. Wiggle my fingers on the keys as the main idea writes itself out
3. During stage 2 find another idea/character develops along the way
4. Mesh the two ideas/plots/characters together
5. Realise something isn't working (1st panic)
6. Rewrite the whole thing, cutting out about half the MS
7. Fear that it won't be long enough (2nd panic)
8. Fill in the gaps and work out the details
9. Realise that it is going to work out after all
10. Polish

Amazingly, ten stages. (OK, I made it work out that way.) Rereading the 10 steps, it does look very unnecessarily complicated.

Question - is this how other writers work? Is every experience different or do you have a customary way of approaching writing, and if so, is it anything like mine? And if not, perhaps you can help me to find a better way?