Quick Tips #2: Write Small

It's tempting to think you have to "write big" about big issues. It's much more powerful, however, to write quietly; to whisper the most profound things. Even better, to "get out of the way" and let those things whisper their power all by themselves. Often what we leave out - or what we gently brush past…

First Person POV: the risks and rewards

As those of you who visit regularly will know, my first novel is coming out in February next year. It's off to be typeset shortly, then printed. I'm excited and terrified - primarily that as soon as I flick through a printed copy I'll find a typo. These are the fears that keep a proofreader/editor…

A Novel Contract

Yesterday I signed a publishing contract with New Zealand Publisher Cloud Ink Press. My debut novel will be launched in February 2022. A friend asked me how I felt (which I thought was rather lovely - most people offered their congratulations, which was fantastic and expected, but this friend, perhaps aware that signing a publishing…

The Pantser and The Second Act Sag (Or, more things I have learnt writing a novel)

I've finished my first novel, and plans are underway to publish it. As I bask in the afterglow (AKA the thank-feck-that's-over, Netflix-saturated, crap-magazine-reading malaise), I've been reflecting on the novel-writing process and what more it has taught me (You may also want to read my earlier post, Ten things I have learnt writing a novel).…

I’ve put this post off for weeks: A new way of looking at procrastination

I may be mediocre at many things, but one thing I am brilliant at is procrastination. I seem to make a lot of well-intentioned plans and set myself what I think are realistic writing goals, and I still find myself wandering round the house picking up and putting down ornaments when I should be working on my…

Wrestling the Octopus: how to avoid writing a novel

At a certain point, a novel-in-progress starts to get a tad unwieldy. When you begin, you have a blank screen and the boundless enthusiasm of a puppy. After a few months you have a mountain of scrap paper scrawled with half-finished paragraphs and synopsis drafts, screeds of ideas jotted down and pinned all over the walls in your office,…

Endings

Today I'd like to say a brief word about endings. We hear a lot about beginnings, and how difficult/important they are. "A journey of a thousand miles starts with a single step." (Lao Tzu) "The beginning is the most important part of the work." (Plato) "Every moment is a fresh beginning." (T.S. Eliot) "For fucksake…