Tag Archives: craft

When Plotbunnies attack

Plotbunny: A tempting idea for a story that hares off into strange territory upon pursuit. Known for breeding rapidly and dividing a writer’s attention to the point of achieving nothing at all. (unword.com)

I think we all know the scene. We’re working away, dutifully writing our current WIP, enjoying the character development, the fight scenes and the build towards a showdown between the forces of good and evil (or the showdown between dog and cat for that matter – it’s your story). Maybe you take a break, listen to some music or read a book.


“What ifs?” explode all over your brain. The entire plot for a new book arrives in a blinding vision of glory. Characters start yabbering away inside your head, telling you everything their life story and all the intricacies of their conflicts with each other.

And it won’t. Go. AWAY!

The plotbunnies have got you. aka Teh Shiney! Continue reading When Plotbunnies attack

Research and symbolism on the doorstep

(Hells bells this turned into a long post. Sorry in advance!)

On our long walk the other weekend I came across a hawthorn in bloom, growing beside an oak with new leaves, over what appeared to be an old well. A raft of symbolism, right there on my doorstep, all tying into the novel I’ve just finished rewrites on – May Queen – and its sequel which I have been researching – Forest King.

I had to share the picture. Oak and hawthorn are representative of my two main characters, and the story is drawn from the folklore of the British Isles so much of which revolves around trees.

Chatting on twitter the other day, I mentioned process and that maybe I would write up a blogpost on it. So this is that blogpost. And the pretty picture… ah well, that’s part of the process too. All will become clear – or more confused. We shall see.

Continue reading Research and symbolism on the doorstep

Critiquing, editing and other methods of slow torture

I’m been something of a busy bee this last while, so please excuse my lack of posts. Hightlight was the wedding of one of my oldest friends. I’ve known him since I was four. It was a beautiful ceremony where almost everyone told them “it’s about time” and they took it with the affection intended and agreed. I have never cried at a wedding before. So there you go.

But that’s what I’m not here to waffle on about today. That is my excuse note – like “the dog ate my homework” or “please excuse Ruth from gym because she hates it with the fire of a thousand suns”.

I read a comment on another blog (no I can’t remember where, seive-like brain strikes again. If anyone knows, point me there) about editing. And I have my thoughts on editing. They also relate in part to critiquing. Actually it all boils down to one statement.

(Leaving aside grammer and typos) editing, and critiquing, are not designed to point out what is wrong, but rather to point out what can be made better.

There is an enormous difference between wrong and could be better. There’s an enormous difference in how we explain this to others. The words themselves do the trick.

“You’ve got this wrong” – oh bad you

“This could be improved by…” – let me help you.

I had a fantastic conversation towards the end of last week discussing edits and came away invigorated, excited and raring to get to work and make my story shine. I think (I hope) I can do that when I critique for fellow writers – word my comments correctly so that they can see the potential I can see in their work. And while the adage is true that the only response to a critique is “Thanks very much”, I’m not adverse to exchanging ideas, to doing some brainstorming or re-reading rewrites. I like to see things grow. I think to see how ideas take form and work their way through a story. Honesty may be the best policy, but kindness works more wonders. So if you’re critiquing don’t hold back, but choose your words with care, thinking about the person reading them at the other end.

But if you can’t take honesty, it may be better not to ask for a critique.

Editing to me is the final stage of creation – it isn’t something that comes afterwards, its a vital part. It is the details on a sculpture, the polish on the marble. It’s what makes a story shine.

And speaking of which I have a critique to do, and then some edits to get to. 🙂

Control, plans and other wafflings

In a fit of organisation I decided I need to blog here a little more regularly. Or at least that’s the plan. And get some more guests as Sarah was so awesome. (Anyone wanna guestblog?) And in the spirit of that decision, I thought I’d actually write about writing. Not just craft, although there will surely be some of that, but also about my writing life, the things that impact me and don’t and hopefully some of it will be helpful.

And if it isn’t helpful hopefully I’ll make you laugh. At me.

Oh dear, I’m not sure this is working out the way I planned.

I’m pretty sure someone else did a post similar to this recently but I can’t for the life of me find it. If I didn’t dream it (entirely possible) I will be happy to link back if anyone can identify it for me. But here’s my take on Control, anyway.

A writer friend of mine emailed the other day to let me know that due to a conversation a few of us had been having via email she had experienced something of an epiphany.

“I’ve been stressing for a year and a half over things I can’t control.”

My first response was: “Aren’t we all.”

Which led to my second: “WHY do we put ourselves through that?”

Continue reading Control, plans and other wafflings

Writing writing writing

I’ve been a busy poster of late. I’ve also been editing a novella, participating in Romance Divas Not Going to the Conference Conference and generally faffing about on the internet.

Found this. It’s been posted elsewhere. I saw it yesterday (er… I think) and its wonderful. (Anyone with sensitive ears beware. She swears a little bit. No really, she does!)

Another thing I’ve been obsessing about is the “live” radiocast of the Apollo 11 moonlanding mission.

And the most recent mission. Actually I spend a fair amount of time on the Nasa site. No really. I do. I blame the obsessions of my other half. And as if I needed to prove to the world how nerdy I really am deep down inside, yesterday I tweeted about Copernicium. Couldn’t help it. It wasn’t the periodic table per se, because frankly that’s just so much gobbledegook to me, but I like Copernicus. And its kind of cool.

Finally, as mentioned above, Romance Divas are holding the Not Going to the Conference Conference. There’s tons going on and I’m late mentioning it, but there is still time. (And all the posts are still there to read). Click on the banner. You can join today (its free and a goldmine of information).

(Linnea Sinclair’s presentation is particularly AMAZING! And there are more to come! SQUEE!)

So that’s it. Lots to do while I try to finish this rewrite. And most of it (apart from Copernicium) writing related. Kinda.

Paranormal YA workshop at Divas

Given what I’m working on, this is timely indeed. Great line up. Come along and play!

Writing Paranormal Young Adult Fiction with Some of The Hottest Authors in the Genre

May 28th-30th at Romance Divas


Rachel Caine

Cassandra Clare

Lucienne Diver

Christopher Golden

Jeff Mariotte

Alyson Noel

Rosemary Clement-Moore

This workshop will take place at the Romance Diva Forum. All are welcome. To get access to the forum you will need to register.

Romance Divas Historical Paranormal Workshop

Writing Historical Paranormal Romance with Some of The Hottest Authors in the Genre

March 20th & 21st at Romance Divas


Colleen Gleason

Melissa Mayhue

Jennifer Ashley

Sharon Page

Jennifer St. Giles

Want to know how to write romance that brings a mysterious and paranormal twist to history? Romance Divas is hosting a 2-day workshop with some of the hottest names in the Historical Paranormal genre. It will take place at the Romance Diva Forum. All are welcome. To get access to the forum you will need to register.