Thursday, 28 February 2013

Writing up to the End

I’ve always been good at starting stories, but not so hot at finishing them. I have files full of starts just waiting for an ending.

Having wailed my dissatisfaction with myself to my writing tutor, Sue Johnson, she came up with a ridiculously simple way of solving the problem. Her suggestion was to write the first and last lines of a story before you write anything else.

Using this technique you always know where you are heading. Drumroll please… works! I’m actually finishing stories.

 A personal happy ending.

Sue Johnson has just had a new book published Surfing the Rainbow - details here. This book is for anyone who has tried and failed to create the novel of their dreams. It aims to help writers with visualisation and chakra balancing.

Surfing the Rainbow book 

I think Sue deserves the advertisement for getting me on track with finishing my stories.

Please share below any writing gems which have helped you.

Thursday, 21 February 2013

Don’t Laugh – Button Productivity

I love writing. I hate editing.

In an attempt to increase my editing productivity, I am trying a new system – the button productivity method.

My estimate for a first pass at editing my RNA New Writers’ Scheme novel is one hundred hours work. I have painstakingly counted out two hundred buttons into a jar. The idea is that I will put one button into a jar labelled completed for every half hour of editing I do.

I’m not sure if this will work yet, but at least I should be doing more editing than I am now. It is all too easy to write fresh material or to engage in displacement activities instead of getting on with the edits. The NWS manuscript needs to be sent off for critique before the end of August, but that will be here very quickly. Wish me luck. If nothing else I get to look at my lovely button collection.

What methods do you employ to keep your nose at the grind stone?

Monday, 4 February 2013


Those of you who follow my blog will know that my step-father died recently. I can’t believe that it is only two months this week since he passed on – in a lot of ways it feels longer.

My own father died from complications due to his multiple sclerosis at 58. Multiple sclerosis is the link between my family and that of my step-father. My dad had it and so did my step-dad’s late wife. Indeed in a plot twist most writers wouldn’t think up, the romance between my mum and step-father blossomed after a meeting to discuss how my late father’s wheelchair could be used by another MS sufferer.

My step-father worked for the local MS branch, including being president, for many years. It is fitting that the collection at his funeral raised £2518.57 for the MS branch! There were 120 ‘with sympathy’ cards. What a fitting tribute for such a lovely man.

Have you a real life plot twist in your family that no writer could have imagined?