Walking to where?

This is a painting by someone I used to know, a writer and artist. She’s dead now but her images and stories are still here and giving pleasure. She used the theme of figures walking to an unknown destination a lot – when I look at her pictures, I always want to know where they are going and why.


One of the reason I think these images resonate we me is because you don’t know the character’s destination. It is such a contrast to life in general, where everything you do is supposed to have a purpose.

It’s a bit like this blog. You must have a blog, they* said. It’ll get you noticed they said.

* They = people who are supposed to know about how to promote yourself as an author.

Well, I found out this week that someone actually reads it (waves). I feel a sudden sense of responsibility that this has to be more entertaining / amusing / erudite (delete all of the former) than before. Unfortunately, I generally find myself writing here when something annoys me and I want to scratch it, like a scab which is why about the best I can aim for is sardonic. (Very annoyed I can’t say sardony). These ramblings are neither a cutting-edge promotional tool nor a how-to guide to writing, just the musings of somebody who is generally pretty positive and purposeful but occasional needs to give herself a talking to.

So the point of this column – I’m not sure there is one. And that is rather the point…



Points of view…

Weekly, I go to a writing group. Next week, it’s me setting an exercise to get us to think about points of view and the difference these make. I will be asking people to think about a scene and imagine how adopting a different voice for the writing will change the story.

This is a variant on a classic writing technique where, if you are stuck with a scene, imagining it from another narrator or viewpoint can unblock the flow. This can be challenging when you have got yourself into a comfortable niche. The majority of my writing is third person focalised and I find writing in first person very hard to sustain (see what I did there?).

As writers, we are used to doing this. Having a look at the world at the moment, it does strike me that as opinions become more polarised, what we all desperately need is to be able to see the world through someone else’s eyes…

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Someone else’s eyes…

I am a firm believer that nothing written really exists before it is read. It’s in a state of limbo, a concept, until eyes pass across the words and then they take on a form. What staggered me at first is when I realised that the more people that read the words, the more forms they take, each unique to the particular reader.


I’m at that stage of book 2 where I need to read my own work. This is both a positive and a frustrating experience. The story is clear in my mind but when what is on the page doesn’t get that across, there is the struggle to get the two to match.

So, I am very grateful to friends who read my drafts and give me the benefit of their eyes. I’ve just had someone give me comments back on my draft and there are a lot of them. Duplication, things that don’t make sense and outright bad writing – all highlighted. It makes that next stage just so much easier…



Writing resolutions…


As light dawns on a new year, I take the label off a new diary and think what I will be filling it with. I like to plan and have always tried to balance optimism and aspiration with a healthy dose of pragmatism so that I don’t finish the year a disappointed mass.

So, the writing resolutions for this year are:

  1. Finish the second book featuring DI Robyn Bailley. No choice on this one really but there’s also the pride of seeing a character grow and develop.
  2. Help someone else. One thing that really feels like a badge of pride is being accepted as a mentor for the Womentoring project. The mentoring I received was instrumental in me getting published – to be able to pass on some of that help is a wonderful feeling.
  3. The next book. Once you start this writing lark, it’s a slippery slope – there are always more ideas wanting to come out. A first draft is the plan.
  4. And 4 – enjoy being an author. Take part in the writing community, talk (to anyone who will listen) about writing and revel in the fact I achieved a dream in a year which most people seem to feel was pretty rubbish.

May 2017 be the year you want it to be…