Monday, 30 August 2010

Fourth Edit

I am calling this last edit the fourth edit, because mostly, I am hoping it is the last! Certainly it was the worst, and most horrendous and harrowing of all the edits so far. I did a green inked one, and a red inked one on the printout. This latest edit is the third and fourth put together. Re-reading almost 125,000 words on screen and trying to make corrections from the previous two paper edits, as well as trying to cut 5,000 words, was not easy to do in one go. So I am pleased to have finished. But I had to almost tie myself down to the chair for 3 days in order to complete it! I am disappointed however, that I did not manage to cut the whole 5,000. But I did manage to cut almost half of that... which is an achievement.

Now I am suffering from some kind of blankspaceinthebrain, and I am unable to think through a plot for a short story I would like to write. Maybe I need a rest. But I am anxious to get on. Also, after that spell on editing God of the Cocoa, I am about to re-start Out of the Cocoa... which is not very far gone really, because I have been distracted ... writing related mainly. But with other things related to home, family, summer hols, and other things like the Indo Caribbean Conference, as well as the RNA Conference.

I must leave my manuscript God of the Cocoa, for a few weeks at least, then do a last edit for any last changes, typos, etc.

Tomorrow is another day. I will make an effort to sit in front a computer, blank or not, and try to write. I will not allow the dreaded writers block to take hold.

Monday, 16 August 2010


Characters should have personality...

A Head that thinks

A Heart that feels

A Body that's seen

A Voice that's heard

A Spirit that lights their path


Saturday, 14 August 2010


Firstly, it is important to begin with confidence. Remember NO ONE knows that you are writing, or what you are writing about. Best to keep it that way until you want to tell or enlist someone for research purposes.

Reason? Many will say something to put you off....without meaning to. People are really good at that ... call it jealousy, control, ignorance, or dontknowhowtokeepthegobshut sort of people. Even people who you should be able to trust. Remember most people know nothing about creative writing.

Secondly, when word gets out, and people make comment that you are not comfortable with, just smile and ignore it/them. Thank them even. At this stage, it can be ever so easy for people to discourage you...knock you off your perch. 

Thirdly, remember that Rome wasn't built in a day, nor did Shakespeare write his works in a day. It's hard to write, live in the world, and keep it a secret too .... it's as if you are doing SS assignments, and having to hurry up with it as well. But you have to allow for this. It WILL take time.

Fourthly, NO writing is wasted. Most good tutors and writers will tell you this, but there are a few who will say otherwise. Take no notice. I heard someone saying that if you do not finish a piece of work/book/story, to the end, you are setting yourself up for failure. I do not believe it. It depends on the work, though.

If you are struggling with that novel or story, or realise that it is heading no where, or you are putting all your energies into another piece of work, then you are doing the right thing by abandoning it, at least for the time being.

I repeat, no writing is wasted. If you have to cut out pieces because it doesn't fit into that project, book or story, cut it out and keep it. You might want to used it elsewhere.

Lastly, keep writing. write every day. It's the only way to keep your hand in, as it were, and your mind focussed. Just keep writing.

Saturday, 7 August 2010

Crete 2010

Dear All

I've been away for some time, both from my blog and from the country. I might not have wanted to, but I needed to. Now I'm back!

Sometimes things we take for granted, can just take you by surprise and blow you away. All I expected was some time to relax somewhere warm. But Crete just took me by storm. I had never before been anywhere near Greece or the Greek Islands, neither did I spend too much time thinking about it.

What a place though! So much to see, so much to do, so much to learn. So ancient. Evidence of civilization up to 7,000BC. The place is so full of most interesting archeology, history and myths. I like to learn something new when I can, but I was bowled over, to realise that places that I visited, ruins that I stood in, ground that I walked, was ground where people like the Apostle Paul walked and Titus in the New Testament

I didn't know that the ruling power of Grece was in Crete 2,000 BC, at the time of the Minoan civilization, when the mythical King Minos forced Athens to pay its taxes in blood, by sending their young men and women to Crete (to be offered to the mythical Minotaur, half man, half bull, to be devoured).

The clean air, clear seas and white/golden sands was more than refreshing, and reminded me of parts of the Caribbean - Tobago in particular.

The traditional food is just my sort of thing - a lot of slow cooked lamb and beef. The fish so fresh, and simply cooked over charcoals. Prawns the size of bananas...I am not joking.

For breakfast - thick Greek yoghurt and honey, followed by fetta cheese with olive oil and herbs, on fresh soft brown bread or yellowish white loaves.

The skies were so blue, the seas were so torquoise, the days so warm ... in fact they were a little too hot - over 40C at times. But July is the hottest month. But to compensate, the Cretean people are among the nicest, friendliest people I have ever come across....a bit like the Welsh without the nosiness.

Crete, I think has to be the perfect setting for a romantic novel. The mountains and the rocky terrain, contrast with the cozy coves overlooking the cliffs, and the gentle and most handsome of folk. The men all look like Perseus or Zeus... I suppose they created their gods in their own image. But it is definately the place to write a romantic novel? I keep wondering if I could. First I must read some.

Definately a place to visit. I will no doubt go again.

See you soon.

Love Marilyn xx