Yesterday was our last residential day on the MA. Just over two years ago, I'd just heard that I'd been offered a place and I thought that all my dreams had come true - two years later and dreams I'd never even really contemplated have come true. It's been an amazing time that has just … Continue reading So long, farewell… for now
I've written before about the struggle between confidence and wanting to burn what I've done and run screaming through the streets - it's odd that a career choice that is actually quite insular is driven so much by external validation. As a writer just starting out, it can be really hard to find the kind … Continue reading What a difference some external validation makes!
Welcome to 2018 everyone. How exciting! A new year! I always love New Year for the possibilities that it brings. Is there any other time of year that holds so much possibility and hope for the future? Last year was pretty good for me in terms of my writing. Sometimes when you're in the middle … Continue reading Happy New Year – Let’s make 2018 the Year of the Writer
I've been giving some thought recently to the crippling self-doubt that seems to afflict many writers (and although I'm still in the almost- camp, I can definitely relate to that almost paralysing fear that what you've written is maybe, possibly, almost certainly utter rubbish) and wondering how I can benchmark my career as a writer. … Continue reading My writing bucketlist… or how will I know if I’ve made it?
I've been really quiet lately - a combination of ill health and the fact I suddenly had 20,000 words of various essays to be completed and handed in for the MA - but I'm back to wellness now and have met all my deadlines so yay me! When I first got accepted to the MA … Continue reading A year in the life of a Crime Writing MA
In my head, my novel had two protagonists, a woman and a man. Part of the draw of the novel was supposed to be the relationship between those two characters. After all, one of the things that keeps me reading the excellent Ruth Galloway series is the relationship between Ruth and Nelson. I've been struggling though. … Continue reading To boy or not to boy
Next time I'm at the UEA, we've got a drinks reception with agents and editors and so in preparation for that, we've had to put together a biography to submit to them and other agents and editors who are unable to make it. Exciting stuff! Our biography has to be condensed down though to around … Continue reading Biography Smiography
It's hard working out where to set a novel. Especially if you're hoping to have more than just one, it needs to be sustainable. I explained last time about how I'd been originally planning somewhere entirely fictional but was persuaded to choose a real location. I chose Sheffield because... It's Northern I felt very strongly … Continue reading Making my fictional home in Sheffield
When I started writing my novel, I was virtually certain that it was going to be set in a non-specific location (i.e. a fictional city) - after all, Susan Hill does it in the Simon Serailler novels and it works well - she creates a sense of realism in her place. My tutor however was … Continue reading A Sense of Place
I was listening to a podcast from The Bestseller Experiment in which Sarah Pinborough (currently topping charts and twitter channels with her novel Behind Her Eyes) was talking about how she writes. She said that as long as she was thinking about her writing every day, then it didn't matter that she wasn't physically writing every … Continue reading Finding the time and the mental space
Don't get me wrong. The process of workshopping is infinitely valuable and I am utterly and totally appreciative of all the effort others are putting into reading and reviewing my work. But emotionally? I am not cut out of this level of focus and analysis! I admit - I am not a person who takes … Continue reading Workshopping: My Personal Hell