Time management

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay Tuesday afternoon was more ghostwriting. I was late getting started with it, due to date work and scheduling a couple of blog posts in advance. But by the time I got around to it, I’d run out of steam. I was left with a choice: Stare at a blank screen for the rest of the day, or do something else and pick it up again the next day. So I did something else. I […]

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A better day

I had a much better day yesterday. 10-project planner Once I’d written yesterday’s blog, which was 1,293 words before I even started anything else, I moved on to my 10-project planner to add in all the projects I’m working on first. These are: ghostwriting gig (63,000 words in total, 40,000 for January) The Beast Within (80,000 words in total, 10,000 for January) proofreading job (252 pages in total for January) 12 short stories in 12 months (1 story in total […]

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NaNoWriMo Prep: Day 5

My NaNoWriMo for 2020 starts today. I’m still having weekends off, and I’m still having some long weekends with the poet. This means that my daily target is just under 3,000 words. I’ll also be a (working) day behind on the blog.  So today’s blog, for example, is where I was at by the end of the last working day. In this case, unusually, my last working day was actually yesterday, Sunday. Just to show that things are not cast […]

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Tier 3 lockdown

Here is another image from our walk around Hatfield Moor last week. I love that blue glow on the water. It makes it look like some kind of grotto, or as though something magical may emerge at any moment. As South Yorkshire enters tier 3 lockdown on Saturday, we may be taking a few more walks. We are allowed to go out for “outside exercise” in groups of up to 30 people, apparently. This is how our local Ramblers Association […]

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I’ve been having a play …

… because, like, I’m really, really busy. Everybody else seems perfectly able to use Canva for promotional material, but I didn’t even know where to start. And when another one ended up on my newsfeed in Facebook, I just had to have a go. I found a step-by-step idiot guide and took it from there. And here are two I made earlier … What do you think? I think I need to finish the current WIP so I can finish […]

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Diary of a pocket novel – and an oxymoron …

I’ve always wanted to write a pocket novel. There are two of our weekly magazines who publish pocket novels (PNs) – or apx. 39,000-word novellas – and as far as I know they both publish something like two PNs a month. The word-count requirement fluctuates, but they’re roughly 35,000 – 45,000 words long at one time or another, as far as I can make out. I’m also certain that if I looked into it, there’s an even bigger market for […]

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Diary of a Novel: special characters – part 2

Okay, at the start of this week I’d hit a brick wall and was struggling with whether or not to have a “supporter” character in my story. I’ve been playing around with this all week, shuffling between various scenarios. Could my supporter also be my opponent? Could Marcie’s mom be both cheer-girl and devil’s advocate? (Of course, the answer to this is “yes”, but would it work for Marcie? Probably not.) Could I use her dad? Should it be the […]

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Diary of a Novel: special characters – part 1

Now, when I say “special” I don’t mean “special” as such, I mean “other important characters not mentioned already”. According to Ron D Voigts and Writing the Killer Mystery, these “special” characters consist of the following: sidekick opponent supporter My “sidekick” was easy. That’s going to be Woody (aka Mark Palmer/Woodstock) from Night Crawler. He was easy to jot down things about because he also features in the temporarily abandoned Catch the Rainbow, so he’s had a lot of work done […]

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Diary of a Novel: the sleuth

I didn’t get very much work done on the novel at the weekend as we did shopping and gardening on Saturday, the poet had a gig Saturday night, and we were out all day Sunday, walking. Saying that, I did start work on the characters on Saturday morning, writing 85 words. This was mostly writing an alphabetic list and filling in character names to make sure I didn’t have too many starting with the same letter or sounding too similar. […]

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Diary of a Novel: 2 April 2019

Having abandoned – temporarily – Catch the Rainbow, yesterday I started work on The Beast Within: a Marcie Craig mystery. Marcie Craig is the main protagonist and amateur sleuth in my first novel Night Crawler. Whereas that novel was set in a pub where she works as a rock DJ, this story is set in a nightclub, where she works for 2 nights a week. The title, The Beast Within, is a song by a band some of my old […]

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What took them so long?

*** AUDIENCE PARTICIPATION REQUESTED *** For the past four weeks there has been an inquest into the Birmingham pub bombings of 1974. Much of my book, Catch the Rainbow, was set against that period. Some of the plot hinged on speculation and suggestion behind the atrocity on my part. So far, quite a lot of what I speculated has emerged as either fact or also speculation during this inquest, confirming what a lot of people, and conspiracy theorists, have suspected […]

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NaNoWriMo 2018 – day 8

So now I’m thinking, if I can do this in November for NaNoWriMo, why can’t I do it the rest of the year as well? My daily target is 2,000 words, which means I can also have 5 days off.  My usual daily target is around 1,000 words per writing day. If I upped that to 2,000 words, and still had the whole weekend off, that would give me around 40,000 words per 4-week month. NaNoWriMo advocates 30 days of […]

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NaNoWriMo 2018 begins

And so it begins again … I was a little late to the party this year. For the past few years I’ve been ready to go by the end of play on 31 October. This year, I finished most of the prep at around 1:30pm today. Eek! When I say prep, I mean my Scrivener binder – it’s currently mostly blank, but at least all the bits are there waiting to be filled in. I’m being a rebel this year. […]

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NaNoWriMo 2018 – decision made

With only a week to go I finally made a decision, and I’m hoping it’s the right one … bit of a gamble, but that’s how it goes. This year I’m being a NaNoReBel – again! Last year I chose to write a non-fiction book: A History of Cadbury (to be published on 30 November 2018). This year I’m going to revise the novel I wrote for NaNoWriMo 2016: Catch the Rainbow. Above left is a picture of my NaNoWriMo reading […]

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NaNoWriMo rules, OK

About a year ago … actually, exactly a year ago, I was preparing for NaNoWriMo 2017. I had a book contract under my belt for A History of Cadbury and I’d learnt how to use Scrivener. During NaNo I wrote that book and spent the following months (between other work) editing it, polishing it, submitting it, proofreading it and – finally – indexing it. This year, on 30 November, exactly a year after finishing NaNo 2017, my book will be published. This […]

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Diary of a novel: The Beast Within (Week 2) – planning work

We took last week off for the bank holiday. The last time we booked time off was a fortnight in June, when the heatwave was at its height. But we didn’t get to enjoy a single moment of it as we were moving house. So we decided to take last week off. And this time we were firm. We had a proper, bona fide week off, for a change. Because of that, I hardly did anything to The Beast Within. However, […]

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Diary of a novel: The Beast Within (Week 1) – planning work

I didn’t have a lot of time in week 1, which I already knew about. I had two appointments in the midlands that took out two complete days, and I had editing work to do on the three days I was in the office. Saying that, I did manage to do some planning work in week 1. Monday The first job was to gather together all the materials already started. The next job was to decide which planning system I’m […]

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Diary of a novel: The Beast Within

Here’s another new feature for Words Worth Writing, but one that has been well-received in the past, so it’s really being resurrected for the latest project. I’ve decided that my next project will be The Beast Within: a Marcie Craig mystery. When I hauled out my folders for this project last weekend, I was mortified to see I first started to jot notes down in 2003. July 2003. This is an absolute disgrace – but it’s also why I date things. I’ve […]

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Writing and editing and planning, oh my!

I only have a three-day week this week. This isn’t because of any actual holidays. It’s because I have two appointments in Solihull, one on Tuesday and one on Thursday. And as it takes around 2 hours to get there and 2 hours to get back – on a good run – plus the time to get ready (me, the car, the dog) and the time there, that’s two days wiped out completely for me. On Thursday we also have […]

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In a quandary

It was all going so well … With us “breaking up” for the Easter period and me submitting the history book late Thursday night, I was all set to crack on with the new cosy mystery. And I even registered with Camp NaNoWriMo … … and then we built a new office on Wednesday. It’s great. We both have loads more room, everything is in its place so we know where to find it, and we’re able to work together […]

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Why I read books about writing

Lots of writers advise other writers to stop reading books on writing and just crack on with the writing. But I love to read books on writing. I love to see how other writers work and I like to find out new things to try. My husband has been a coarse fisherman for more than fifty years. He learned to fish at his father’s knee and is now a very experienced match angler. Yet he still loves to watch vlogs […]

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