Saturday, 28 November 2009

What is it about short stories?

I've just added another blog to the list below. THE ELEPHANT IN THE WRITING ROOM has got a wonderful post on the writing of short stories. It features a story by Vanessa Gebbie which I would recommend you get hold of but don't be put off reading the blog. It contains many wise words about what makes a good short story.
Go now. Go on.
Scroll down...on the left.

Monday, 23 November 2009


I've put my first chapter and synopsis in the post so, at last, I can stop thinking about that novel for a minute or two.


I have half a short story written which I would like to return to especially as I have nearly finished reading the amazing Short Circuit: A Guide to the Art of the Short Story.
I can't recommend it highly enough. In fact, I will certainly steal from the ideas and exercises. Each chapter is written by a different prize winning author and they all teach Creative Writing, so are excellent communicators. There's a little list of their own favourite stories at the end of each chapter too and space for notes at the back. It's a great textbook but is so interesting and readable that I'm practically walking round with it.

Best of all, it makes me want to flex my writing muscles. So...

Thursday, 19 November 2009

Am I still here?

I am still here! This long silence is what happens when a deadline draws near. I am going to enter my novel for the Harry Bowling prize and I have been have a late flurry of redrafting. This is in the light of a couple of critiques which have been very useful. Never be afraid of getting work critiqued at any stage! Now, I can read the first chapter without a twinge of doubt. Of course, there is the searing stab of doubt that ruptures a few organs periodically but that's a life issue as much as a writing one.

No, the twinge business has gone because I feel that the first chapter is as good as it is going to ever get. I really do. Really. No, honestly.

Wish me luck!

Sunday, 1 November 2009

This way or that?

I've started something new. Gah! All my fine words.

Don't care really. Perhaps it was the novel in a month business I keep hearing about although I hate to think what the results would be if I tried that. Very bad coccydynia, I guess. I've written a potential chapter one and am now going to make myself write an entire synposis (that was such a nice typo I'm leaving it in). I think it might save me some serious editing in the long run but maybe it won't.

I wrestle with the conflicting thoughts that say, stick with what you know and get better at it and try another way, explore new territory. Perhaps I should think of a pseudonym and do both.