It’s ready now.

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Now ready for downloading from Amazon UK Kindle Store.

Wonderful, isn’t it to have completed a year’s work and have it published.

It was no easy task but it was worth it to see it in print, albeit digital. (ebook)

Perhaps after seeing what one person can do, might encourage others do the same.

I’ve already had the inspiration to start my next crime novel. I didn’t think it would come this early, but after an experience in a Glasgow library, it came to me. I might call it – ‘The Twisted Heart.’

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Should I change direction?

Is there an end? Is there a resting place? Is there a haven when you have finished an objective?

I have come to think that once you have attained your goal – for instance written a series of novels in a certain genre, you might want to change direction. One doesn’t want to feel that you have found a recipe for writing a novel – a reader might recognise the plot and tire of it.

Perhaps a change of genre might be the right direction to take to find new readers and enhance your writing ability. For example instead of crime you could write romantic fiction. A compilation of short stories might be a good idea. The goal would be the same, but you would have fun getting there.

I am aware that there is a lot of hard work and determination to reach the number of words in a compilation of short stories that will result in a book. Also coming up with fresh ideas for each story is no mean feat. A novel is a much easier task than a list of short stories.

However if the result takes you in a different direction, gives meaning to your life, reaches more readers, produces enjoyment in what you are doing, your goal will have been worth it.

 

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Decided on Free Verse

Winter shows its beauty

Snow and frost shine

But its cold bite

Drains the soul

And makes the body

Wish for warmer climes.

 

People in doorways, sitting in the rain

With not a penny to their name,

Makes me know

I’m lucky to have a roof

Over my head, food and a warm bed.

 

Always have love in your heart,

To show that you care,

Lonely, sad and the unclean

Don’t want your pity

Only the recognition of their suffering

Will satisfy.

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Should I expand and write poetry?

I find it difficult to be pleased with what I put down on paper, but nevertheless I’m going to try no matter how hideous it is.

Brain, brain, please shut down,

Your twittering is getting me flustered,

Eyes aflutter,

Lips aquiver,

What am I to do, but drown.

 

Sleep, sleep, it just won’t come,

What am I supposed to do?

I rumble and tumble,

I groan and grumble,

Yet, no way am I numb.

 

At last I feel drowsy,

I’m shutting down slowly,

Pictures fading,

Words abating,

Bliss – so heavenly woozy.

 

Result – not too bad, at least it rhymes. I’ll try again later. It’s a change from writing prose.

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Where do ideas come from?

While I’m waiting for a worthwhile idea for my next crime novel, I’m using my time to write short stories for Women’s Magazines.

Again ideas don’t present themselves on a plate for me to choose.

Recently I used my garden to write ‘Having Faith’. I wrote about wanting to be able grow and sell my vegetables from my drive.

Another idea was prompted when I showed my photograph album to my daughter. There was a photo of my family walking on the local beach, where  we had many memories. It struck me I could write and reflect on these memories with the idea that I could relate them to my grandchildren when they eventually arrived.

Lately, I was waiting for inspiration and my eyes launched on a water-colour painting I had pinned up on the wall beside my corkboard along with two others. It was the picture of a stile that one climbs over to get to the other side of a field. A memory of one similar I used to climb to get onto a hill, came to me and the beginning of a story presented itself. I named it ‘The Promise of Tomorrow’.

When I came home the other day from my painting activity, I pinned up my new painting – an acrylic painting of a rocky shore, cloudy sky and surf breaking over the rocks. Almost immediately I had the beginning of a story. The title might be ‘Troubled Times’. I’m still considering the outline and the ending. I guess you have to use whatever means to get those creative juices flowing.

I’m still pondering over my next novel. It’s got to feel right because once you start, it’s a long journey.

No-one knows where the next idea will come from. You just have to keep an open mind and use your eyes and ears and your sixth sense.

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Should I write from the first person viewpoint?

The danger is that you might think that by doing so, you are giving too much away. But this is rubbish because if you are writing fiction the main character need not be you, it is someone else who is telling the story and it is from her point of view.

For example –

I nearly freaked out when I heard the two women say my name in hushed tones. My ears twitched, I had to hear what they were saying about me and more importantly that it was me and not someone else by the same name. They sat two seats in front of me in the bus and obviously didn’t know I was there.

“It’s true,” said the woman with black rinsed hair. “She’s been seeing the butcher over the past year and they’ve got awfully friendly. My cousin wouldn’t lie to me.”

The other woman cocked her ear and didn’t say much except, “You don’t say or I can hardly believe it.”

I seethed. I wanted to go down and punch them for mentioning my name on public transport and ask them if they realised they were broadcasting someone’s secret life, but what good would that do? It would only bring attention to myself and give them more to talk about.

When I got home, I threw off my coat and let my handbag find a place on the floor. How could she have told her cousin about me? I thought we had a beautiful friendship and I treasured it up until now. A real friend wouldn’t have divulged my secret love affair. I was crushed, broken and I sobbed my heart out. Afterwards the world seemed an ugly place, even the roses I had brought in from the garden had lost their glow. I decided I wouldn’t confront my so-called friend and accuse her of what she had done, but the closeness we had shared was lost and I doubted if I could trust anyone again.

Please note –

That the reader will have empathy for the character towards the end of the passage more so than if you had written it in 3rd person.

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Can I learn from other authors?

I have always thought that one should read as much as one writes. And although I notice the different ways writers handle their work, I don’t always put it into practice. I feel I should because if one is convinced that there is a better way, why not adopt it. It doesn’t mean that you are copying. The words are still your own, but you are learning construction and if that makes your novel more readable, why not?

My detective normally goes into his office, hangs up his jacket and gives orders to his sergeant before leaving for a coffee in the canteen. (A reader can imagine the set-up, but it’s not exactly painting a picture with words.)

Recently I came across Denise Mina’s novel ‘The End of the Wasp Season’ and I’ve been blown away by her writing. For example – When the detective enters her office, she’s sweating, tired and out of spirits. We know by the dumping of her bag on the floor. She looks at her in-tray and takes a deep breath. She places a hand on either side of the desk like a pianist centring herself before a recital. She doesn’t want this case. She’s losing compassion for the victim and she doesn’t want to meet the killer.

It goes on to paint the picture of her sterile office and compares it with her friend’s chaotic, garish  kitchen.

What the words are doing is giving us an insight to the detective’s character.

I need to sit down and examine parts of my own writing and put in the bits that are missing.

(Please note – Amazon ebooks -pen-name Sarah Wallace (six novels self-published).

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