Thursday, 29 October 2009

Writing events in Portsmouth

Monday 2 November

The WriteInvite short story evening is at Rosies Bar in Portsmouth, England. Ten writers will be reading their pre-written short stories to around 40 other people in cabaret style. 7.30 for 8 pm start. Great for listeners and writers. Plus the wonderful female singing duo fresh from The Havant Literary Festival, THE FAKE AUNTS.

Winners will be listed in Kudos bi-monthly. If you haven't been before but fancy an evening with a difference it's £3 entry for listeners and £4 for readers. Bar available plus complimentary nibbles.

Monday 14 December

The WriteInvite Christmas night (uncompetitive story evening).

For more information check

Wednesday, 28 October 2009

Tuesday, 20 October 2009

The end is really the beginning

I was asked the other day how I feel when I tap out the immortal words THE END at the completion of a novel. The question hints that the novel is perfect first time round, when in reality this is far from the truth.  The first draft is simply that, a first attempt to get all your thoughts, ideas, plots, characters and dialogue on paper or on to your computer.  It is by no means THE END but only the BEGINNING.

The timing of the question was quite eerie because I was just reaching the final pages of the copy edits of my latest DI Horton marine mystery crime novel Blood on the Sand which is being published by Severn House in February 2010. It is the fifth in the Inspector Horton series. Reaching the end of this my feelings were relief mixed with anxiety: is it good enough? Should I re-write one more time? Could I have changed anything? Too late…I’ve pressed the send button and it’s gone to my editor. The next time I’ll get to review this will be at proof reading stage and all the anxieties over what, if anything, I should have changed will return. But by then it really is too late to make changes.

So how do I feel when I tap out the immortal words THE END at the completion of a novel? (Although I don’t actually tap out THE END).

It really depends on which draft I am writing. After the first draft there is a feeling of elation - I have finally managed to reach THE END after bashing out, as quickly as I can, somewhere between 80,000 to 100,000 words. With the second draft comes a greater sense of satisfaction that all the ends are beginning to tie up neatly. The third and fourth drafts fine tune the novel and by the time I’ve reached the fifth and sixth I’m beginning to know it backwards, upside down and inside out and can no longer see where the glaring holes are – time to get a second opinion. But always, no matter how many drafts it takes to get to the final version, when I reach THE END I feel a shiver up (or should that be down?) my spine. This can be a shiver of satisfaction or excitement or both, and if I feel that then hopefully my readers will feel it too. And I’m pleased that Inspector Andy Horton has survived another case and will live to solve a new one in the next novel.
Taking time over the revisions and revising again and again until you are happy with your work is essential for any author seeking publication. So don't skimp on it. And if you need to get a second opinion then it could be worthwhile sending your MS to a literary consultancy or manuscript consultancy service  for an unbiased opinion and suggestions where you can improve your work.  It will cost you but it could be money well spent.

Monday, 5 October 2009

The inspiration behind a novel

A while ago I posted an article on this blog about Michael Dean's novel The Crooked Cross.  He also wrote a guest blog on 3 May 2009.  You can search for it by using the search function on the right.   Below is a very interesting article written by Michael, which also gives an insight into the inspiration behind his novel.