Summing It Up

Writing a synopsis is, for most writers, nothing more and nothing less than an interminable, howling chore. I speak from experience, having struggled endlessly to condense my 150,000 word epic fantasy into 500 words or less. It was, needless to say, a low point in my creative process. Then I came upon this very helpful... Continue Reading →

Pinning It Down

As promised, here's a little peek at my process of writing. I'm just doing this in case anyone was curious. At the moment I'm doing my continuity edit on Coals of Fire: Ash, so this is a nice little interlude for you fine folk to have something slightly different. I'm also attempting to write some... Continue Reading →

The ‘End’

The end of the first draft, for me, is always something of a cathartic experience. The ideas that have been boiling in my head for months (and, in the case of some scenes, years) are 'on the page': I've pinned them down, given them substance, made them physical. In the case of the more abstract... Continue Reading →

Road to Nowhere

Well, I promised you a new Lifting the Lid, so here it is. Today I want to spend some time going over my actual process of writing; that is, the nuts and bolts of what happens when I sit down with my laptop or iPad and just write. So I'm assuming at this point that... Continue Reading →

The Gathering Storm

"Readers can't survive on e-books alone. The rapid rise of e-books and online sales of printed books pose threats to bookstores, the book publishing industry and the rise of new authors." These strong words come from the mouth of Richard Russo, Pulitzer-prize winning novelist and author of Interventions, which is to be sold (quite pointedly)... Continue Reading →

Sweat The Small Stuff

(Slowly) making my way through sort-of second draft edits on Coals of Fire: Ash at the moment. It's interesting, the difference between writing fantasy and thrillers. I've never written a thriller before, so the experience is a new one, and I'm learning every day. One of the main lessons I've learned can be boiled down... Continue Reading →

Me, Myself and I

I. It's the smallest word in the English language, yet it has the biggest implications. As writers we are concerned with the idea of self: what it means to be a human being, how people grow and develop, how we cope with problems and how we overcome adversity. Of all the viewpoints in which we... Continue Reading →

Plot, Character; Character, Plot

Those of you who have been following this blog from the beginning will know that the relationship between character and plot is one of my favourite subjects. The way the two run together, informing and supporting each other, is what makes brilliant writing. In a recent post I mentioned that I had a run-in between... Continue Reading →

There’s More Than One Of Everything

The title of this post comes from Fringe, the excellent sci-fi show about parallel universes. I used it because this post concerns parallel universes of a sort: the kind that come about in different drafts of a novel. Things can change drastically from one draft to the next, and I believe the draft below demonstrates... Continue Reading →

The Nike Imperative

The question I most get asked is, "Where do you get your ideas from?" In second place is, "How do you do it? I could never write a book." There's a saying that everyone has a book inside them. I agree with this. But not everyone has the right combination of motivation, enthusiasm, inspiration and... Continue Reading →

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