My Rules for Writing.

books two

I read a virtual acquaintance’s blog recently regarding his take on writing a good novel. I totally agreed with his comments, and told him I had my own set of rules. But, I only touched on my own personal, lengthy, list to give three of them.

So, what are my first rules of writing?    1)   Don’t pad.   2)   Read, then re-read to wheedle out typos and clumpy sentences.   3)  The writing of sex should not rely on using metaphor for body parts. Along with this goes the use of swear words: we all curse when in stressful situations. I should have also added: 4)  Repetition, but didn’t, as I wanted to keep my comments short. After thinking about it, though, I should have put in another two which are just as important: they are:  5)  Show not tell.  And, last but not least, the most deadliest of writing sins:  6)  Author instrusion.

I have just finished reading a thriller, crime novel which was spoilt by the author’s voice continually jarring the narrative. But the last straw was when two men were indulging in banter which bore no relevance to the plot or story, and didn’t tell us anything new about the characters. One of the characters; wanting an end to the banal banter; simply said, ‘Drink your coffee.’ What happened next? Well, I was most surprised to read the following narrative sentence to be, Translation: I’m ending this stupid conversation.

Why insult the reader’s ability? Why should the author think the reader is unable to think for themselves? To me this was the most heinous of any writing sin; having the author explain what a three word piece of dialogue actually means. Luckily for this author, it was near the end of the book, and I still had to find out what the connection was between the killer and a politician, or I might have dropped it there and then.

To me this is shoddy workmanship, but I must admit I didn’t spot one typo. There were a few cliché’s in there, though, something the author could have dealt with better. Like the phrase, up shit-creek without a paddle, which was written as narrative, NOT dialogue. This is a well known phrase of which we are all familiar, therefore, why couldn’t the author have used his/her own words to describe the feeling of getting nowhere, fast. It’s not that difficult, you just have to sit and think for a while how to re-phrase it into something more original.

As a writer I strive not to let my views, my opinions, my personality show through in my work. I am not writing about me, I am writing about fictitious characters that I have made up and have come to know very well. And even when writing about the most evil of characters they should have, at least, one redeeming feature.

As I have said before, I don’t write to  genre, even though I may read certain genres, I read and write outside them. But there is one thing we authors must never forget: that is, the reader is smarter than the author.

Read All About It! – New Novel Released.



Forbidden Liaison CoverMed

Forbidden Liaison will be on Amazon from tomorrow. Monday, 23rd March. 2015. IT WILL BE FREE FOR TWO DAYS ONLY, Saturday 28th AND Sunday 29th MARCH, 2015.

If you like historical novels mixed with a bit of romance, then this should be right up your street.

After recovering from his wounds sustained on the Eastern Front, Infantryman Oberleutnant Heinrich Beckmann is posted to the Channel Islands. This cushy posting soon becomes complicated when he meets a woman on the beach. They become lovers, but they are both married.


Horror-scope or Hope-scope?


I don’t normally read my horoscope, but as I was feeling rather down and in need of an injection of something positive, I googled my yearly star sign as everything seemed to have turned pear-shaped. And to cap it all, a few days ago, I heard my nephew, who has just undergone his 3rd operation for a brain tumour, was told he didn’t have much longer to live. After a post-operative MRI scan they found he had developed more tumours that were growing at an alarming rate. He is wheelchair bound now, and has little use down his right side. He is 36 years old.

According to my star sign, this year started off with a turbulent bang, and the onset of 2015 was emotionally loaded – what an understatement that turned out to be. It also stated I’d had every nerve and sensitivity tested over the past few years – how true that was, because in 2013 Hubby underwent a triple heart by-pass operation. It also says home and career continue to be my major areas of focus due to strong lines and paths that will meet in my domestic and professional life through to the end of the year – eager to find out about this – but apparently I am to expect something to push me forward and onward – and, hopefully upward.

It also says I have a tendency to work, work, work, then crash and not want to leave the house for days – this, also, is true, as when I’m writing a new book I simply can’t stop until I’ve finished. But before I read my horoscope, I had already decided to get my arse off my computer chair, leave my desk, and go to the gym. It also says around March I expect to find something unexpected and immediate regarding my career –  can’t wait – and as I’ve been feeling stuck or stagnant on a professional level, I should expect an innovative surge of new energy to open up my creativity – simply longing for this surge. 

There’s appears to be a new phase in the second half of my year, where wisdom and opportunity feature and apparently I will become lucky and inspired when it comes to all realms of communication, marketing and getting my message across: all this because of my ability to pay close attention to detail which will pay off into some big-picture awesomeness – all I can say to that is WOWSER!

This year should be the culmination of initiatives I started in the spring of 2014 and I’ll see the final fireworks of my creation towards the end of the year – shall certainly see fireworks when November comes around again. In fact, time and urgency is of the essence,  so I can’t afford to waste even a second as this is the year for maximum productivity.  Apparently I’ll work smarter instead of harder, leaving me time to read books or watch films – lucky me; show me to the sofa and a box of chocolates.

Seriously, though, can our lives be foretold by the stars? It will be interesting to see if any of the above actually comes to anything, and I will look upon this blog in a year’s time to find out. So sceptics, along with believers, watch this space.

My 5th book FORBIDDEN LIAISON (a historical romance)  will be out in a couple of weeks time – I am waiting for the cover. It will be dedicated to my nephew; the bravest and nicest man one could wish to meet.