13,000 words into my new project and I’m starting to get to know my characters better. I heard David Mitchell speak once at a meet the author type event and he said one of the ways he gets to know his characters before he even writes a word is to write them letters, and get them to write to him. I chat to mine in my head, and sort of see the world through their eyes whilst I’m writing them, but it takes me a good chunk of writing them in before they properly take shape. Once they do, the story kind of takes off itself and I struggle to keep up, my typos getting more and more frequent. (I type with four fingers and the P on my keyboard doesn’t work very well. So it’s not great typing. I always promised myself I’d learn properly but never have – I’m fast, but sketchy as hell. And my four fingers get sore – a sort of keyboard hammering injury.) Once I’ve done that, I go back and read the beginning again once I know them better, and often things have changed, so big chunks get rewritten. But not until it’s all finished! It’s the bit of advice I read most often. FINISH IT FIRST. And I think it’s the best piece of advice I’ve ever been given.

Nice comments on the latest shortlist, which made me smile 🙂




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I'm a writer living in the NE of Scotland. I write short stories, flash fiction and to date, three novels as practice ones. I've won a few competitions and been published in a few places, and I've been shortlisted too... My stories have been described as easily readable, but with serious themes. I'm finding my own unique voice as a writer and it becomes clearer every day. I'm a mum of two young children and have a partner who is very supportive. I give English tuition to anyone who needs it and I drive taxis part time. In between being a keen cook and making ignoring housework a new hobby, I write. I manage a few hours a day during a good week and one day I'd LOVE to spend a week or so on a writers' retreat. Having said that, the busier I am, the more I write. I like working under pressure (hence my attendance on sites such as 'Hour of Writes' and 'Write-Invite') and it never ceases to amaze me what pops out of my head when I sit down to a blank screen. I am a member of a writer's group called Mearns Writers, a lovely bunch of (slightly bonkers and thoroughly interesting) people indeed. I'm trying to build an on line life as I believe most writers nowadays need to have a readily availble 'CV' in the form of a blog/twitter account/social media page and though I would rather spend time writing stories I suppose it's time I collated my successes and made a page that, hopefully, a publisher/agent will read one day. Happy reading!

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