Lazy Writers

Och, ma heed. I over-indulged last night.

However, at the start of the night I met friends, and was sat at a table with a 7 year old and his parents. Once he found out I was a writer he asked me loads of perceptive questions about writing, characters, story ideas, settings, what it was like being stuck on an island writing Turner, why do people read sad stories, and so on. Kids often seem to like me, and to be honest, it's fun being interrogated about a subject you love.

At the end he asked how long it takes to write a novel.

“Well, for a 70,000 words, maybe it could take two years. A year of research, gathering ideas, plotting and so on; then a year of writing and rewriting.”

“Why does it take you so long?” he asked, looking shocked. “I think of an idea in about five minutes; then spend another few minutes writing it down. Then if you just go to a quiet place like a library and work hard, you should have it finished within a week. Two years is just lazy.”

“I have no answer to that,” I said, shamed.

Maybe I'll try his method and write 52 novels next year. We'll see.

Writing Courses In Welsh Coastal Life

I recently received a copy of Welsh Coastal Life magazine, where I had contributed to one of the articles on writing courses. I'd attended courses at Tŷ Newydd in July of this year and August last year (amongst many other writing courses over the years, and a week-long Arvon course last month). The article was necessarily truncated, but here's the full text of what I said about the writing courses, which includes some tips on attending them.

1: Which courses did you attend at Ty Newydd, and when?

In August 2014 I attended Fiction: Where to Start? run by Mavis Cheek and Francesca Rhydderch; then in July 2015 I went to Writing Women’s Popular Fiction run by Julie Cohen and Rowan Coleman. Two courses in twelve months!

2: Why did you decide to sign up?

Back in August 2014 I was editing my third novel prior to publication, 2000 Tunes, and it seemed like a good opportunity for some intense creative work. Also Francesca had agreed to look over the final draft for me, so it seemed sensible to attend one of her courses and meet her face-to-face first. She was as friendly and talented as I’d hoped.

At the time of the Julie and Rowan course I was starting a new project – two collections of short stories, which are a mix of existing work published elsewhere, and brand new stories. As such, the timing was ideal. This course appealed to me because I often write from a female perspective, and for a mixed audience (c.75% of my readers are women) so I thought a course on writing popular fiction for women would be a way of saying thanks to my fans.


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