So you want to write a novel… but where do you start?

The world is full of people who really want to write. For some, it’s a burning ambition. They dream about days of sitting in front of their computer (or even more whimsically, in their attic – with pencil and notebook), having great ideas and getting them all down on paper. Some of it is like that. It’s exciting seeing your ideas grow and develop and watching the words appear on the page – sometimes it’s as if your sub-conscious has taken over and when you read back your latest chapter you think “where the hell did THAT come from?”. It’s a wonderful experience. With the growth of self-publishing and the ease with which any writer can publish their work, that dream can become a reality. But where do you start?

What makes a perfect thriller?

Asking that question is a bit like asking “What makes a man sexy?” or “What makes a plate of food delicious?” because for each of us, the answer is different. And that’s just the way it should be. With that in mind, I will say at the outset that all the opinions stated in this post are entirely my own. When I started to write this, I realised I was prefacing every paragraph with “In my opinion” or “For me,”  – so can we please take it as read that this is just what works for me and is in no way a definitive list of prerequisites for a good thriller. The first thing that occurs to me is the range of books that are often classed as thrillers. I love all crime books, providing they are well written. But not that many of them actually make my spine tingle,

From Professional Hockey Player to Published Novelist

Author Luke Murphy talks about his journey to becoming a published author – and his book is currently free on Amazon.com until 20th February – see link below.  From a family of avid readers, even as a child, I always had a passion for books. Whether it was reading novels on road trips or writing assignments in school, literature was always part of my life. In the winter of 2000, after sustaining a season ending eye injury while playing professional hockey in Oklahoma City, I found myself with a lot of time on my hands, and a new hobby emerged. I didn’t write with the intention of being published. I wrote for the love of writing, as a hobby. I continued to hobby write through the years, honing my craft, making time between work and family obligations.

Editing your book – great fun, or complete nightmare?

If I’ve been quiet for a while on this blog, it’s because I’ve been editing. And editing again. And reading out loud. Then editing again. And to my huge surprise, it has been a most absorbing and fulfilling experience. I don’t think I had understood what editing really was before now. I think I was living under the misapprehension that when somebody edits your book, they find all the bits that could be better, and they rewrite them. Oh no.  Nothing like that at all, as all you experienced writers will know. You get back your whole book with notes scribbled all over it. Things like “too much dialogue – let’s have more insight into what Tom is thinking” or “too factual – make it more personal” or “What sort of a voice does Tom have?” or even “There’s something a little odd about this line”. There were lots of

Guest post : A Free Tool for Writers—the Writer’s Knowledge Base

I came across this amazing resource for writers a couple of weeks ago, and I contacted Elizabeth S Craig to see if she would be kind enough to pay a visit and tell us all about the Writer’s Knowledge Base. If you don’t know about this, you need to visit the site and bookmark it, because it is crammed with really useful information. We agreed to swap posts this week. I have written one on her site for Indie Authors : Getting those All-Important Reviews and you might want to check that out too. Here’s what Elizabeth has to tell us. A Free Tool for Writers—the Writer’s Knowledge Base—by Elizabeth S. Craig The Writer’s Knowledge Base, or WKB, is a free search engine that’s specifically for writers. For years, I got frustrated with Google when I was trying to find articles on the writing craft. There were tons of writing

When is writing art? By Scott Bury

I invited Scott Bury along to give some insights into writing styles. On his blog, Written Words, Scott has written several great posts that provide writing tips, and so I asked him if he would kindly give us all the benefit of his experience. This post will utlimately become part of my series “Killer Plan or Lady Luck?“ but for today, we’ve swapped posts, and I’ve written a post for his blog on the subject of “The Best and Worst of MarketingOnly the Innocent”. I recommend checking out his blog and scouring the archives for his words of wisdom! When is writing an art? Writing is a craft, sometimes an art, but it’s certainly not a spectator sport. Writing about the process of writing is sure to bore readers to death—or at least to clicking to another page. So I won’t tell you how, when I get stuck with an