Sometimes When I Tell People…

Why bother writing novels in the first place? Our Year of the Novel Blogger, Caro, comes up with some answers in her latest post. Sometimes when I tell people I’m writing a novel, I can see a question forming in their minds. The honest/brutal ones ask it aloud, but even the polite ones are thinking … Continue reading »

Had yourself a sluggish Christmas?

Caro returns to writing after the holidays, and talks about getting started on her manuscript after a short break… Happy New Year and welcome to 2012!  I hope you all had a lovely festive season – I personally decided to celebrate by gorging myself on (delicious) stodgy foods and slipping into a two-week turkey coma. … Continue reading »

(Literary) pick-up lines.

Like a desperate young man who knows he’s only got one shot at the attractive blonde at the bar, a good writer knows how much an opening line matters. This week’s Year of the Novel homework is to write our opening lines and it’s a task that I’ve been spectacularly proactive in avoiding…

This guy has been stalking me…

This guy has been stalking me. His name is Nick and he is tall and thin with a creepy hook nose and deep, nice-sad eyes. He’s restless, always tapping his skinny fingers on cereal packets and waiting room armrests and the edge of his pocket; his mind wanders. He ambushed me in the supermarket the other week, and appeared in my car on the way to work. He’s started to show up while I’m in the shower.

But before you call the cops [Mum, if you’re reading this I mean it – put down the phone], it’s ok. He’s not dangerous. He’s imaginary…

In the beginning

There is plenty of advice around about how to start a novel. Some people will tell you to begin with a one-sentence summary. Kim Wilkins advised us to start with a commitment and a space to write in. Others suggest starting with characters or plot, brainstorming or flash fiction or an arresting premise.
But they’re wrong.

Apparently, a novel begins with panic.