Five Facts About Aurelia Miele

Many thanks to Angela Barton who passed the “five facts” baton to me. What’s this? Well, writers are sharing five facts about a character from their work in progress. These aren’t necessarily facts you’d learn from the book but may form part of the back story which, as the creators, only the authors know about. You can read about Angela’s five facts here. And here are mine from The Knife Thrower’s Assistant. My main character is Aurelia Miele who lives in a southern Italian village. The story begins just before WW2 when Aurelia is 12 years old. She has a scar on her foot from when her mother dropped a knife on it when she was only three years old. Aurelia loves to pick olives from the trees surrounding the village and...

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Stabby Words and Cutting Remarks

Last week Gary Parkin wrote a very good blog post about word lists and why it’s a good idea to use one when you are writing. You can read what he had to say about it here. Basically, Gary makes the point that it can be useful to have a small lexicon of era/genre/character specific words which you can use to make your story more believable and timely. Gary puts it much better so you should go and read his post. I’ll wait ’til you come back. There, good, isn’t it? This got me thinking. Firstly, it’s a bloody good idea, but there is another way I think the word list could be useful. When I write, I like to pay attention to theme and metaphor. I usually get an image or a situation and use it to permeate all areas of my story. Take a short story I wrote called...

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The Quick by Lauren Owen

I love a book which conjures me away to a different time, a different life and The quick, the debut novel by Lauren Owen certainly ticks those boxes. Brother and sister James and Charlotte live in Yorkshire where, in the absence of parents (a dead mother and disinterested father), they are looked after by household staff. Charlotte, the elder of the two, teaches James to read and write and together they explore the sprawling grounds of their house. When their father dies the purse strings are tightened, and while Charlotte goes to live in reduced circumstances in a cottage on the grounds with Mrs. Chittering, their father’s relative, James is sent off to school and university. James’s ambition is to become a writer and he heads to London where he shares rooms...

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NaNoWriMo #1

I haven’t written much for a while. There are all sorts of boring reasons with which I shan’t bore you, but ‘ma heid’s been like a stair heid’. It’s better if I don’t translate from the Weegie. Anyway, I’m hoping to change all that come November when I take part in this year’s NaNoWriMo. In case you haven’t heard of it, the National Novel Writing Month is when you write 50,000 words of your novel in November. Last year I got 15,000 words of a kids’ novel called Jimmy Gingerbeard written before admitting defeat – I had elbow surgery at the end of October and had to type one-handed. This year I should have no such handicap. My only problem – apart from terminal procrastination – is what to write about. I have more irons in the fire than a...

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