Exciting news! There’s a whole load of new stuff to explore on this site – recently arrived from my neglected (and soon to be comatose) other blogs. More on the details in a moment, but first, some context: Regular visitors to this site will have noticed that I recently upgraded to get rid of the… Continue reading New Stuff has Come to Light!
Creating images of the characters that feature in your novel is a great way to help you visualise your cast. You can do the usual checklists and build psychological profiles. You can list their hair colour and height, what they like to eat, how they talk, and so on. But nothing beats an actual image.… Continue reading Creating Character Portraits: Meet the cast of The Shining Ones
Last time we looked at the art of morphing the reality of real locations to suit your story. Sometimes reality gets in the way and it’s easier to make stuff up. Creating fictional locations means you can ignore the facts and get on with the business of telling the story – which is the whole… Continue reading Tweaking Reality: Should you rename locations in your novel?
Describing reality in words is a tricky business at the best of times, and in fiction especially so. Part of The Shining Ones is set in and around Newcastle where I live so I should have no excuse for getting the locations wrong. But it’s not that simple. Some of the locations weren’t quite right… Continue reading Tweaking Reality: How accurate should locations be in your novel?
A blurb can sometimes mean a short review quoted on a book cover, but in this post we’re going to look at the other kind of blurb: the book description. The blurb is your sales pitch, printed on the back of your book or quoted on its sales page online. It’s the second most important… Continue reading How to Blurb: Writing a book description that sells
It should go without saying but: I’m not a graphic designer or an artist. I’ve taught myself how to design book covers and this post distils what I’ve learned from people wiser than me online. The most important piece of advice is: Don’t design your own covers unless you know what you’re doing and have… Continue reading A Blagger’s Guide to Book Cover Design
Designing a book cover is lots of fun and a welcome change from word wrangling and beating your novel into shape. But it can also be a frustrating experience. I scheduled two days to work on the cover for The Shining Ones, but in the end, it took a week – and it still needs… Continue reading The Shining Ones Cover Considerations
I’m up to my red eyeballs with editing and proofing The Shining Ones – putting commas in and taking them out again – so here’s a short post about things I’ve never done. (And my eyes really are red! The heating is back on and they’re not happy about it, and staring at a computer… Continue reading Write What You Know: Things I’ve Written that I Don’t Know
They always say you should never give up on your dreams, but what if your dream isn’t worth fighting for? What if it turns out to be a nightmare? I’ve been writing and sending my work out for years, trying to get the publishing industry interested in what I’m doing. But the publishing industry has… Continue reading Why I Gave Up the Dream of Getting Published
The title of this post sounds like a bad thriller, but anyway…last time I promised to tell the story of how the tax credit office almost killed my novel, The Shining Ones, but first, some context: A few years ago I was made redundant in the Tory public sector cuts and, what with one thing… Continue reading The Tax Credit Office and the Sword of Damocles
I’m amazed to announce The Shining Ones is finished – well, apart from a final polish edit and proof. No matter how many times I tried to kill this book, it wouldn’t die, which is appropriate because it features characters who are reborn from long ago – but that’s a spoiler so forget I said… Continue reading The book that wouldn’t die: A History of The Shining Ones
I’m at that tricky, frustrating, and frankly boring phase of the writing process with The Shining Ones – editing. So I wanted to get back in touch with my ‘real’ writing – see if I can remember why I started down this path in the first place. And this is the perfect time – what… Continue reading Backwards in the Dark: Reconnecting with my Writing