SILLY ROBOT GIRL SEEKS LIKEMINDED PEEPS for sporadic adventures into literary lunacy.
Respondents must be curious, bookish types seeking intermittent journeys into fantastical lands of fiction.
Preferred applicants should be courageous, open minded and possess a basic ability to suspend their disbelief (especially when the author insists the tin robots on her desk occasionally help out with the narrative).
I always been more of a planner than a pantser. I build the outlines of my stories with as much research and precision as I can manage, staring over their blueprints like an architect with a deadline. I never really saw the joy in the pantser perspective – just planting little buds of plot here and there like a gardener and allowing them to grow into whatever the story needed them to be. Because how on earth could you trust the story to tell itself?
Well, for all the ups and downs I’ve had this week, I suppose I’ve discovered that I might have a green thumb after all. Continue reading →
As any well weathered traveler will tell you, it’s usually best to abide by the rules of the places you find yourself in. But when the first rule is that no one living should be there, abandoning all hope may be the least of your concerns.
When eleven year old Millie finds herself stepping through the dark and onto a strange-looking train, there’s not an awful lot she can do. Without her parents and the comfort of familiar surroundings, Millie is left to ask strangers for help. But the other passengers are silent and sorrowful, looking anywhere but at her – and they won’t tell her the name of the next stop…
It’s hard to believe really, but this novel (my first, completed, honest to god finished novel) has taken me over a decade to write. It started life as short story in my first semester at university and by the end of the term I was pretty damn sure the bloody thing was cursed. Continue reading →
There are twenty-seven notebooks on a bookshelf above my bed. They’re all about the same size (A5) and the oldest was given to me as a Christmas present in 1996; it’s spiral bound with a clear plastic cover and it’s the only one that has something written on every page.
I can’t have been the only one who, upon first reading about Albus Dumbledore’s Pensieve in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire thought, god I wish I had one of those! A magical pot swirling with all the memories you wanted to keep alive and rewatchable, Catch-up TV style? Fantastic! It would be the most useful thing I could ever hope to own as a storyteller, with one slight alteration. Instead of memories, it would have the option to hold the flashes of all the untold fictional worlds in my head instead. Imagine, just like Harry, being able to tumble through the fog and emerge on the other side only to see a vivid dreamscape – one of your own creation. Continue reading →
I sometimes wonder how many other aspiring authors have full time jobs. I follow lots on Twitter and WordPress both, and they seem to write a new novel every other month. I work forty to fifty hours most weeks and while I know this isn’t uncommon anymore (they keep putting the price of tea bags up!) I feel suddenly lucky to suffer from insomnia. I’d never get anything done otherwise. Continue reading →
Rewriting short stories and switching between one point of view and another sometimes feels like interviewing narrators. Most are outsiders, wise and all-knowing like the teacher that read to you at the end of the school day. Some are the characters themselves, blinded by their own emotions and stumbling through a plot they have no clear vision of because they’re the ones driving it. Once in a while you may even open a book to discover you’re the one telling the tale as you read it, asked by an author to become a different person and experience events with all the insight of an amnesia suffer. Continue reading →