About Me

My photo

Louise's current project is to make all her sweet romances available on the internet.
Look out for her new Regency romance, Regency Fortune, coming soon!


Tuesday, 28 October 2008

The Wonder of Blogs

Yesterday, without knowing it, I wrote down the answer to my problems. The end of chapter three truly isn't right. Jen commented that the chapter was 'episodic' and I think that's because the last scene isn't dramatic enough and it doesn't tie in with the rest of the plot tightly enough.

Blogging is so great.

Sunday, 26 October 2008


Not as exciting as finishing a book - but my accounts are done. And I had a better year last year than I suspected - partly because I spent the whole lot on root canals (the specialist said he'd never met anyone who needed three at the same time before) and partly because the money came from books I wrote some time ago - both of my Black Lace titles sold to Germany. What a nice surprise.

So far as Glass Cliff goes, I've had two very short sessions on it. Blogging is great - there's no hiding the fact that one hour in 5 days is an abysmal work record.

John Gardner said that writer's block is actually writer's impatience - maybe a part of me knows that the end of chapter three isn't right yet. It needs to be an exciting cliff hanger that's going to make the purchasing editor sit up and say: my, this is going to be thrilling! I can't wait to read the rest of it. Dear author, here is your contract....

Tuesday, 21 October 2008

Where Do You Get Your Ideas From?

Here's the answer - a whole filing drawer full of them. As part of the year end tidy up, I'm about to weed this drawer. Each file is an idea for a book. For example, watching the TV show, Who Do You Think You Are? I thought it would make a good romance premise: she is a history geek, he is a successful businessman, over in the UK for a short time to research his roots - so you get them thrown together and they can't walk away because she needs the money and he needs to use his limited free time. Let's say he has to get back to work in three weeks (and there's the obligatory parting before the happy ending). They can travel to different areas, following the trail and they can discover different sides of themselves during the experience. So, I opened a file marked: Who Does He Think He is? and any time I read something about tracing your roots, or a female who works as a researcher, or I read about a man who wants to trace his family tree - then I hurl the cutting into the file. And there it sits, along with all the other idea files. Sometimes a file sits there for years. Sometimes a book emerges. And sometimes I sell the written book. If I sell a book, then I throw out the ideas file - it's served its purpose.

I did write yesterday. Mostly revising Chapter Three bearing in mind the comments from Jen and my sister.

Monday, 20 October 2008

Getting Started

I am reading the Green Mile by Stephen King. His character was talking about writing and comparing it to an old Ford that was hard to start, but always ran well once the engine was going. Then the metaphor is extended into a great bit of advice for writers:

"As with most dirty jobs, however, the hardest part is just getting started. It doesn't matter to an engine whether you use the key or have to crank; once you get it going it'll usually run just as sweet either way."

It so impressed me that I did sit down and write on Saturday. Stephen King's books on writing are excellent. Of course he's good and popular, but I also think he's a much better writer than some experts give him credit for - there's real poetry in some of his lines.

I went for a Bowen treatment on Friday. I'm recording it here because I'm beginning to see a link between my output and when I had a treatment.

Saturday, 18 October 2008

D - u - l - l spells dull

I wasn't sure how interesting blogging about writing would be. I can say that blogging about not writing is a non-starter!

Other than it keeps me tuned in to the fact that I'm not writing.

Wednesday, 15 October 2008

Null Points

No words today. I have read the critique from Jen Black -as usual full of useful stuff. Some of the things she points out are so obvious that I can't believe I missed them. For example, I describe a floor as grubby, then have a female kneel on it to pick up a voodoo hex. Jen's right. It wouldn't happen. The female would crouch, or stoop, or bend down - especially as the character likes clothes. No way she'd let her new skirt touch a dirty floor. Obvious - but do I see it? That's why good critique partners are above rubies.

Also got to the point where my next job is to open a new spreadsheet and label it: 2007/2008. Sigh.

Tuesday, 14 October 2008

Am I Working Hard Enough?

Here's a question that I read some time ago. I can't remember where, or in what context, but as I sort through the year's accounts and think over what happened, it's coming to me in this form:

'If you had employed you to advance your career as a writer last year, would you have have been satisfied with your performance?'


As an example, this is how my conversation with the boss would go this week: 'Well, I don't think I'll bother showing up this week because I'm feeling a bit wimpy and it's dark and I've my accounts to do and college work to get my head around, and you do understand, don't you, that I couldn't possibly fit in any work?'

Put it that way and I don't think I'd get a bonus this year.

Monday, 13 October 2008

Null Points

I think I'm going to have to give this week away - adding degree work to an already overstuffed life feels like one spinning plate too many!

This week I'll get all my course notes and text books organised, do my books, finish planting the garden and tidying up generally, then next week, get back to writing.

I rang Bury College this week and I can do the PGCE there in Creative Writing for FE and HE next year - selection process and government bursary all falling into place, that is. I thought I might have to teach English, which I'd like, but apparently it's being phased out as a subject - they were much keener on Creative Writing and there'll be no trouble finding placements etc in it, so that is absolutely brilliant. I have to wait until March to begin the application process, which is frustrating.

I'm also going to send Chapter Three to Jen and my sister for their comments.

Friday, 10 October 2008

I blame BT for three days' zero output.

But I do have email again now. It took a trip to the loft, three hours and a call to India. For my benefit and to improve security, BT had disabled my passwords. I had to open the hub manager, enter the serial number of the router, then reset the passwords, then bingo, everything worked again. They had not sent an email to let me know what they had done. Oh well.

Today I wrote a synopsis for the script treatment my sister has done for Whirlwind Wedding.

And that was it.

Wednesday, 8 October 2008

Day Off

It's college tonight (hopefully!) so I've decided to do chores today - but ideas are simmering, oh yes they are.

For example, I have one person tell the heroine about a death in an empty corridor. Heroine is shocked, feels faint.

How dull is that?

Suppose heroine had just walked into the finance department to meet a load of new staff AND then she gets the news and reacts - more fun, I think.

I also have to go back and change the doors in the office - they all need to have keypad locks on them.

Tuesday, 7 October 2008

800 Words and Stars

The Glass Cliff is an interesting book for me to write because I have absolutely no idea what's going to happen! This week a character has popped up in my head - he's called Ivor and he collects the essence of stars. I saw a man doing this on TV - maybe a few seconds, probably 20 years ago - and that fragment has stayed with me all this time to appear now in a novel. I do not know why he's appeared, and what his purpose will be. I find that scary because I usually plan my books carefully.

This book is also going more slowly than usual. I wrote 800 words today, which is good, but I also have gaps and days off, which is unusual. Probably the average is around 500 which is low. Part of the reason for that is that I am researching carefully. When the heroine meets Ivor, at night in the cemetery, he teaches her a few constellations, so I had to look up where they would be at this time of year and what colours of stars to look for. It's fun.

I do not know if anyone but me will ever read this book - but by trying to be commercial I've never had much success, so I might as well enjoy myself. I watched a TV programme on Pink Floyd (which brought back memories of my hippy days!) and Dave Gilmour said that art is something you have to do. You're just lucky if other people happen to enjoy it, and pay you so that you can go on doing it. I heard the creator of the Simpsons say much the same as well. He said: people say I'm lucky because of the success of the Simpsons, but what you have to realise is that I'd be doing this anyway. It's just chance whether it brings in enough to live a bedsit in Florida or a much better lifestyle. He also said, laughing, that he wouldn't get a job on the Simpsons now, so rigorous is the selection, so high the standards. He doesn't draw well enough.

Isn't TV wonderful? It's great to hear what these guys think.

Monday, 6 October 2008

16,637 Words in Total

I've lost my little tally sheet, so I don't know how many that was today - quite a few. I didn't write at the weekend, but I was turning over ideas and improvements in my mind. Still no email. Trying not to get stressed!

Friday, 3 October 2008

Motivation is All

See how many noughts there could be in this cheque? A tiddler like this is better than nothing, but one day I'll get nice, big, fat cheques that I can live on. Cheques with numbers not stars. It will happen.

In the meantime, I could do with throwing my email out of the window. It still isn't working, and it's eaten up hours of valuable time - not to mention the frenzy of frustration that despite my best efforts to stay calm, has wound me up into a frothing, moaning wreck.

It's a good thing I live in peace time. If I can get this undone over email, I don't know what state I'd be in if I was being shot at! Vow to cultivate sense of proportion.

Wednesday, 1 October 2008

Better News Today

A nice cheque from BBC Audio Books - still only £78, mind you, but I can work on getting all those noughts filled in as I get better.

I'm not writing today because it's my first day back at uni and I want to keep my brain fresh for that - but I am still working on my horrible files and getting my books into some kind of order.

Last year I got a scary letter from the Inland Revenue saying they were keeping an eye on me and describing all the penalties for fraud. The letter had a distinct flavour of 'something lingering with boiling oil' about it, but I never heard anything after that, so maybe it's just a random scare tactic - or maybe they didn't believe that I earn so little? I wasn't too worried because I keep all my paperwork and I can prove that, yep, that was it, mate. No JK Rowling style royalties for this writer. And don't I just wish I had a tenner for every time somebody says: 'I bet you wish you had her royalties!' On second thoughts, make that a hundred pounds! I deserve it for the aggravation factor.