Saturday, 5 August 2017

Learning how to do it - novel writing

If you follow my other blog you will see that I am currently reading Talking to the Dead by Harry Bingham. Harry runs the Writers' Workshop and I have just finished his video tutorials in how to write a bestselling novel. I now have all the tools I need to make it. If only! However, I have learned so much from these videos, stuff I didn't know and stuff I probably did but had never really stuck. Maybe it's the type of learning (voice over a Power Point presentation) that works for me. I don't know. Harry comes across as natural in the videos. He is a pleasure to listen to. He has a good writing career and he uses snippets from his books to illustrate points as well as using a range of other popular books.

I feel I have a way into editing now. I need this as I have hit a wall. If after I go through what I've learned it doesn't add up I shall have a task on my hands, or I'll abandoned that idea. I'm still not ready to tackle the editing but I feel I'm getting closer to that point. That is a positive. I think completing a novel was such a buzz for me I thought editing wouldn't be so bad. Huh! Sometimes I think I might not ever be ready to submit a decent manuscript!

Anyway, I decided that I should read one of Harry Bingham's novels - see the master in action! So, right now I'm 55 pages into the first in his DC Fiona Griffiths series. The words flow. Oh for that! I don't really write crime, not the full blown crime thriller. I write what I call the edges of crime, the dodgy dealer, petty criminal type of character in some of my short stories or flash fiction. I've had one go at a crime novel and am way out of my depth! But crime fascinates me and even if I don't write about it I never tire from learning about forensics and crime scenes. And I am interested in how the mind works.

Still, back to my writing. I have much work to do and hope that by putting what I have learned into practice I might achieve something publishable in novel form one day.

Meanwhile, I continue writing and submitting short stories and flash fiction. I heard yesterday that I have been shortlisted for Retreat West quarterly flash fiction competition on the theme of green. Thrilled! Results come out at the end of the month. Fingers crossed.

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