NaNoWriMo Prep: Day 1

NaNoWriMo would not be the same without the participant badge and every year, in case you hadn’t noticed, I do like to display said badge. So, here it is. I really like this year’s. I like the colours. The other imagery that I like to do for NaNo is to create a book cover. NaNo gives you a feature for uploading a cover and I think it’s a nice thing to have anyway. I still have 2 contenders for this […]

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52 books: Writing the Killer Mystery

I set myself the goal of reading and reviewing 52 writing guides over 52 weeks. The initial year has sailed on by, and my last post was so long ago I couldn’t find it on my dashboard. I want to finish the project, though, and only have 6 books left. So I’ve renamed it simply 52 Books, and here is book 47 … well, when I say book … there are actually 5 of them in this series. BUT … […]

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Diary of a Novel: plotting Acts I, II and III

I picked up the story bible for The Beast Within at the weekend and was mortified to see I’ve not done anything practical since the end of May. Saying that, I have been reading. I’m still on Writing the Killer Mystery by Ron D Voigts, Volume 3: Plotting the Murder. But I stalled when I got to the end of the book and didn’t know what to do next. In the meantime, I’ve been working on other projects, namely the pocket novel and the biography. […]

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Tuesday 6 August 2019

I’ve had a bit of a busy week where my own work has suffered – and some of my clients’ work. But I’m sorting a few things with my dad’s estate that have finally come to fruition (it’s only taken a year …), and I’m amazed at how complicated it all is and how unhelpful some folk can be. It’s in hand, though, so I can get back to work. I wasn’t completely idle, however. On Friday 26 July, I […]

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Wednesday 17 July 2019

It was so hot here yesterday I ended up stripping down to just a nightie and flip flops to sit and work in. That felt both refreshing and quite liberating. I’m not complaining. The last house was the coldest house in the world and cost us a fortune to heat. At least that’s one thing less to worry about here. Yesterday started early for me because the poet has sold his car. He’s had a company car for a while, […]

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Diary of a Novel: plotting the murder

I haven’t been completely idle since 10 June when I last updated the novel-writing diary. Aside from completing three large editing projects for a client, I’ve also started work on a pocket novel and joined a new writers’ group. Yesterday a short editing job arrived all the way from Hong Kong, from a new client. And this morning a longer proofreading job arrived in the post from lovely-already-client. This means I’m going to be busy next week as well. Since […]

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Diary of a Novel: advance character work done

Over the past two weeks, including the weekend, I’ve been quite busy doing a client edit that turned into a major rewrite. Writing uses up most of my creative energy. I gave up teaching because that depleted my supplies too. I try to just copy edit rather than development edit or rewrite so that I can continue to work on my own material. On Wednesday evening last week, at around 9:30pm, I completed the rewrite and submitted it to the […]

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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 suspects

The intention was to take The Beast Within away with us on our recent holiday and do some work here and there … Unfortunately, we were so busy enjoying ourselves that the story was completely neglected. Fortunately, before we went away, I did some extensive work on my suspects. The first of my suspects was always going to be the first of my suspects. But I always knew that this person was innocent. Because s/he also appears in Catch the Rainbow, this character […]

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Diary of a Novel: the killer

I had a lot of fun working on my killer this week. Wednesday was the day I did this work, and I didn’t even reach the end of the chapter in Writing the Killer Mystery for creating the killer. I was itching to get creating. This story, The Beast Within, has been stewing for many years, ever since I finished Night Crawler, actually. Well, I had the title and I’ve been dipping into it ever since. (I finished Night Crawler […]

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Diary of a Novel: the victim

Details of the victim have been percolating in the back of my mind this week, while I did other stuff. When I finally came to sit down and write the ideas up, I was surprised at how much I’d learnt about her. (I’m not throwing out any spoilers, remember. This will be on the book blurb.) The first reason for her death isn’t the one I ended up with. I explored her story and decided it was even a different […]

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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: Great beginnings

I didn’t do any more work on the novel on Tuesday, so I wrote the grand total of 197 words, bringing my running total to 464. Instead, I carried on with the edit that I’d started on Monday. I worked on that all day Wednesday as well, and most of Thursday, submitting it yesterday teatime-ish. Before I’d finished that job, a new job came in from another client, and I was printing that off yesterday as I was finishing the […]

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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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