What Makes a Reader Empathise with a Lead Character is Often an Indefinable Combination of Things

Re-reading my favourite novel by Margaret Atwood, ‘Bodily Harm’, made me wonder, as I have done before, whether or not you have to identify strongly with the lead character to be really drawn in by a novel.I like the main character, Renny Wilford, well enough – I like her courage, and her detached, cool humour. … Continue reading What Makes a Reader Empathise with a Lead Character is Often an Indefinable Combination of Things

On Jettisoning 40,000 words and Quotes from Famous Writers

  It was horrible, but there was nothing else for it. I have just had to jettison about 40,000 words of my latest. I had hoped to be in the last stages of publishing it next month; now with the re-writing, it is going to be delayed by six months at least. I wasn’t happy … Continue reading On Jettisoning 40,000 words and Quotes from Famous Writers

Indie Authors: Don’t Give Up On Your Original Voice When Sales Are Bad

https://www.amazon.com/Longbourn-Jo-Baker-ebook/dp/B00CQ1D3BYFive years ago, when I started writing online, I was lucky enough to meet some outstanding writers on Goodreads (I’ve met others since, on Authonomy before it packed up and elsewhere, but here I’m talking about that original base of writer friends). They were mostly women, varying in age. Some came from my native England, … Continue reading Indie Authors: Don’t Give Up On Your Original Voice When Sales Are Bad

Mid Point Crisis in Novel Writing

Oh dear. It’s happened; I think I have come to the midpoint crisis in writing my latest. This is the sequel to ‘That Scoundrel Émile Dubois’. I had already done the first quarter – about 40,000  before I broke off to write, ‘The Villainous Viscount Or the Curse of the Vennns’. As it combines and … Continue reading Mid Point Crisis in Novel Writing

Originality and Breaking the Rules in Writing

When I first started writing, it was in the days before the internet. The aspiring writer had to seek out and buy a ‘How To’ book, or borrow it from the library. The first of these that I read contained this helpful piece of advice from the male author, very successful, but you might say, … Continue reading Originality and Breaking the Rules in Writing

Writing Resolutions for the New Year: Why Writers Might Take a Look at That Unfinished Manuscript in the Drawer

I wonder what people’s writing resolutions for 2017 are? My personal writing resolution is to finish the sequel to ‘That Scoundrel Émile Dubois’ and then, if there is time, to get a novella out which commemorates the St Peter’s Field Massacre of 1818. I had already written the first third of that sequel in the … Continue reading Writing Resolutions for the New Year: Why Writers Might Take a Look at That Unfinished Manuscript in the Drawer