One thing that has been true throughout history is the need for a good edit! Image via Pixabay



When Push Comes to Shove looks at how your characters would act when under real pressure and why they would do so.  Are they driven by cowardice, heroism etc?  What would effectively come out from their subconscious when they are driven by fear etc?  Do your characters show signs of changes in their behaviour as their stress levels rise?  And, as writers, what do we do when push comes to shove?  What will we do to get our work out there?  Are we prepared for rewrite after rewrite to get it right?


Getting the Job Done opens with one of the best openings I’ve written I think.  See what you think, however!  I talk in the post about ways and means of achieving things.  I also talk about all writers having to fight the procrastination monster and to get on and get our work out there.


Am delighted to share news reviews for my flash fiction collection are coming in for both the paperback and the Kindle version.  Many thanks to the reviewers.  Also the cyber launch will be on 1st April 2017 between 10 am and 6 pm UK time but all welcome.  There will be giveaways…! 

(In other news, I hope to produce my own monthly newsletter soon and once I’ve sorted things out will put on this site a sign up form.  I plan to share in this newsletter advance news and share extracts from work in progress (hopefully for the next flash fiction collection!) and things like some of my notes from my flash fiction workshop for those who sign up.


I talk about reviews tonight, as a result of having more reviews in for From Light to Dark and Back Again.  I talk about some of the difficulties of writing reviews (you want to say enough to make people want to know more but not give too much away for one thing).  I also share how I go about this when I write reviews for Chandler’s Ford Today.

Well, what IS your story? Image via Pixabay.

How do you review stories without giving too much away?  I share some thoughts on my Facebook Author page. Image via Pixabay.




The old way of writing a story! Image via Pixabay



In When In Doubt, I suggest some things you can do if you are in doubt about characters, your plot, and/or writing competitions.  Hope the tips help.  Re the writing competitions, I also give some pointers as to what to look for especially if the fee seems to be steep.  Sometimes this is genuine.  You would expect to pay more for a novel competition as you are paying the judges’ for their time in reading your book.  Golden Rule:  always check it out and if in doubt ask other writers, writing organizations like the Society of Authors and see what reports there are about the competition on the net.


Murphy’s Law for Writers looks at how the infamous Law, which says if anything can go wrong it will, applies to writers.  I look at writing conferences, powercuts and deadlines amongst other things.  For example when it comes to powercuts, Murphy’s Law would be:-

Powercuts:  Never happen at a convenient time for anyone.  Yours will happen just as you were about to save a mammoth writing session.  You will lose it and have to redo it.  (This will only happen the once though as after that you will become paranoid about it happening again and will be selecting back up options every five minutes!).

Can you think of anything to add?


I look at three letter acronyms for writers tonight.  For example, FBP = Forgot Backup, Powercut.  Yes, there’s a theme tonight!  Always back up work frequently.  I once lost a whole evening’s work when I forgot to do this and a power cut hit.  Never again (I can’t stop the power cuts but I can back up!).



Don’t let power cuts take your ideas. Back up your work frequently.  Image via Pixabay



There's still a place for writing directly to paper. Image via Pixabay



In News Worthy I look at what counts as news both for your characters and the world in which they live.  I ask what would make the news and whether there is any control over what is reported as news.  How do your characters react to news?  Do they like the serious articles or prefer the more lighthearted items?


Have managed to alter the spacing of images on my News page so that it looks a lot better.  I’ve got images relating to my cyber launch in one row across the page rather than down it (as this was pushing the text out of sight and just didn’t look right.  Not sure why it happened last night but all appears to be well now). My post is Ten Most Useful Writing Tips and I share some of the most useful advice I’ve been given or read in my time. Hope you find it useful.


Glad to say that despite the details only going up very late last night, there have been acceptances and interest shown.  Hope that continues.  Am planning for the launch to be a lot of fun for all!


I discuss just how boring riding an exercise bike is but it does have one huge advantage.  I get to catch up with my reading!

Where good ideas start...

Where good ideas start…





I am thrilled to share news of my first cyberlaunch for From Light to Dark and Back Again.  It will be on Saturday 1st April between 10 am and 6 pm UK time, though all are welcome.  Please see my Facebook page for more details.  In the meantime, I have put up a screen shot below and the FB link.  I will share more news (and snippets) as and when I have it.

Cyberlaunch Image


In Heroes and Heroines I share a link with my latest Chandler’s Ford Today post (more below) but also talk about how we create such characters.  Are they based on who we would like to be or the best parts of our personalities?  I talk about the importance of all characters being true to themsleves – they really must be their own people to convince readers.


I don’t know quite what went wrong tonight but my post Reviews and Events was meant to show my CFT post and my cyberlaunch news AND talk about what your characters would review and what they would read.  What is showing up is a link to my cyberlaunch and given I’ve put that up above there is no point repeating it here.  I have, however, shared the link to my TWAO News page which does refer to CFT and the launch.   There are more pictures here (I couldn’t seem to do anything with the spacing of them.  Really not my night on this site tonight, unfortunately, but hey the writing life can be like that at times.  Frustrating when it doesn’t quite work out as you had hoped/planned and wonderful when it does!


My latest post here is a review of part 1 of a series of graphic novels.  Blood and Valour retells the stories of Sir Bevis of Hampton, Southampton’s legendary hero.  Henry V was known to read the stories on tapestries (what works of art those must have been!) so to retell these tales in graphic form is hugely appropriate!  I love writing all my CFT posts but the history ones (including this which has a link to the Road to Agincourt project) are a particular joy.  I am very happy to recommend Blood and Valour.  The artwork is stunning, the stories wonderful (and there should be more to come).


Two entries tonight – one for my cyberlaunch (link above) and the other for CFT (also link above).  Busy night tonight!

Feature Image - Blood and Valour Young Sir Bevis Comic Review


The magic of stories. Image via Pixabay



Wishing looks at what your characters do when in a tight spot.  Do they just wish and hope their fairy godmother turns up?  Or do they do everything they can to get themselves out of said tight spot (and if that fails then wish?!).  I must admit I prefer the latter.  They are at least proactive (even when they get what they do wrong).


The Wise and the Foolish again discusses character type (no prizes for guessing which I prefer!).  The foolish will seek to take the path of least resistance and do what is easiest for them and won’t think to question whether this could be a trap.  The wise do the opposite and will question.  A well portrayed villain will use traits against a character.  The foolish are far more likely to die – horribly!


I list 10 things (bar food and drink) I can’t do without.  Do you agree with my list?  What would be your 10?

A way into the magical realm, perhaps? Image via Pixabay.

The foolish character will always take what seems to be the easiest path.  A decent villain will exploit that.  Image via Pixabay.



My debut flash fiction collection from Chapeltown Books



In Fairytale Proverbs I share what the magical world could have as some of its sensible sayings.  This includes “never cross a witch” (if you want to live) to “talking animals may well make more sense than you do” amongst others.


Life Lessons is my more serious post tonight in that I look at what lessons you characters have learned in their fictional life and how do these shape the way they act now.  I also ask about those characters who seemingly never do learn from their errors and wonder what it does take to bring them to their senses.  Also, experience should shape how a character acts and reacts.  Do yours react differently to the way they once might have done because they do know better now?


Am delighted to share the links here to some wonderful reviews for From Light to Dark and Back Again in both paperback and Kindle formats.

I’ve also created a specific page within my Fairytales with Bite website for the book, which I hope to copy across to This World and Others before too long. I share all relevant links here.

Am also pleased to say the book is now on Writing Magazine’s Subscriber Showcase spot.


I’ve booked my two “big” writing events for this year – Winchester Writers’ Festival in June and Swanwick Writers’ Summer School in August – and am looking forward to them both.  I discuss in my post tonight a little about what I get from events like this.

The wonderful world of stories... Image via Pixabay.

The wonderful world of stories… Image via Pixabay.




Relaxing with a good book. Image via Pixabay.



In When Everything is Coming Up Roses, Beware of the Thorns, I ask how your characters  react when things  are going well, then suddenly they’re not.  I also ask how they react when things are going badly for them but other characters are still doing okay (which is not always easy to handle). How do your characters handle adversity in general?  (A lot about their true nature can come out in how you show this).


In Going Home I look at exactly what this means for your characters as they try to resume normal life after their adventures.  I also look at and ask about what a typical home would be like in your setting.  (I always thought the hobbit holes in The Lord of the Rings looked nice and cosy!).


I discuss a horrid video I saw on Facebook today which shows a book being gutted.  I know – a truly horrible thought.  Some people clearly have no shame…

Poetry conjures up images so beautifully. Image via Pixabay. See Sandra Lyn Gordon's wonderful poem on Chandler's Ford Today for another example of great imagery.

The fields of home, perhaps?  Image via Pixabay.




Imagine the wealth of fairytales and other stories in here. Image via Pixabay.



In Down Time I look at the need to show how your characters relax.  Nobody is “on” all the time and I think fiction should reflect that.  Your characters need to eat, drink, sleep etc and I would argue down time in which to relax is crucial for mental and physical well being too.  So how do your characters relax?  How can you show this in your story (without slowing the plot up)?  My thought here is a line or two at appropriate points in the tale to show what your characters are like outside of the “main action” is more than enough.  Yet it will be these details, I feel, that will add depth to your characters and, as a result, to your stories.


Remembering What Is Important is vital for us all.  After all, it is why we commemorate Remembance Sunday, Veterans’ Day, Holocaust Day and so on.  It is so important we don’t forget.  So what would your characters want to commemorate?  What rituals and customs would they follow?  How are birthdays, weddings, births, deaths commemorated?


As it is a short post tonight, I thought I would just copy it across here rather than use the link.  What genres do you read?  Have you tried new genres?

One of the great things about reading is that, at whatever time you like, you can try a genre new to you. I’m currently reading my first graphic novel and loving it. Hope to review this for Chandler’s Ford Today at a later date as it ties in with other posts I’ve written.

Have happily been catching up with Poetry, Please on Radio 4. Love the real mixture of work on here. Also, the programme shows up beautifully why reading work out loud (whatever you write) is such a good idea. You do pick up on rhythms and how dialogue sounds in a way you can’t do when just reading “internally”.

Two formats for reading and Chandler's Ford library stocks both. Image via Pixabay.

Whatever the format, you can’t beat a good book. Image via Pixabay.


The wonderful world of stories... Image via Pixabay.


I had a wonderful time meeting old friends and making new ones at the Association of Christian Writers’ (UK) Writers’ Day in Birmingham today.  The speaker, Sheridan Voysey, was wonderful and spoke on radio interviews and podcasting amongst other topics.  Really useful day too.


Getting Out and About is inspired by my trip out today and I look at transportation in the magical world.  I must admit I don’t fancy the idea of broomstick riding (not exactly comfortable!) and wing power has its disadvantages too.  Still, at least those methods don’t mean people standing on their way home because there are too few coaches…


Getting to Know People is another post inspired by my trip out today and reflects one of the huge advantages in going to a writing conference.  You get to meet other writers – and not only do you make friends, you learn from their writing experiences and you from theirs.  In this post, I look at how your characters would make friends.  What are the rules?  Would there be those they could never befriend?


Again I talk about the ACW Day but I also share my tale of woe and how an unexpected knight in shining armour came to my aid – a Brummie cabbie!


The old fashioned notebook and pen still have major roles to play in interviewing - image via Pixabay

Plenty of notebooks and pens used at the ACW Day today.  Image via Pixabay





I discuss interviewing and include news of my Chandler’s Ford Today post as part of this, more on that in a moment.  But from a world building viewpoint, who does carry out interviews in your fictional setting?  What passes for the media in your world?  Who runs it?  Who asks questions on behalf of the layman?  All worth thinking about.


I talk about Meeting and Greeting tonight.  I’m looking forward to doing quite a bit of this tomorrow when I go to the Association of Christian Writers’ Day in Birmingham (UK).  But from a story viewpoint, how do your characters meet and greet each other?  What is the hierarchy?  How welcome (or not) are outsiders?


I am delighted to say that fellow author, Georgina Hannan, invited me to donate a prize to one of her recent giveaways.  I donated a signed copy of From Light to Dark and Back Again and the winner is Doris Orman and I will be posting her prize off to her next week.  I was thrilled to be asked to join with this – and even more thrilled I have a book to be able to offer!


I talk about the joy of interviews in this week’s Chandler’s Ford Today post.  I share some questions I was asked by fellow author, Jacci Gooding, and discuss what I liked about the questions.  Jacci was great at asking me questions that made me think about what I do as a writer and look back at how far I’ve come so far on my own writing journey.  The best interviewers draw the interviewees out and I think Jacci has great talent here!  Certainly it was interesting being on the other side of the interviewing fence!


Feature Image - The Joy of Interviews - image via Pixabay

This week’s CFT post.  All credit to Jacci Gooding for setting some excellent questions.  Image via Pixabay