Thursday, 30 December 2010


Whilst I read for enjoyment, I also read to learn about good writing practices. I read, to see how to good writers write successfully. I read fiction to learn from good novelists. Much but not all of my enjoyment of a novel, comes trying to figure out how the author did it.


As a reader, I like to know Why? What? How? When? Where? etc.

What I mean is, that I like to know the REASON a character does what he does, behaves how s/he behaves. The Meaning? Any possible Reason. I think that the writer owes it to me, if I am spending my time  to read the book.

Yes, I like a good story, but I prefer one that does not leave me for a long time. I want one that has had an effect on my mind long after I have read the book.

I want to be able to say : -
"Oh yes, now I know why he likes cooking, and touches food the way he does on TV"

....or, "Oh! Now I understand that he is an angry man because ...."

or, "That's why he's so pernickety about his clothing."

 These reasons and meanings help me to see life through the eyes of the character. It helps me to empathize with him or her. It helps me to like, or understand behaviours, when necessary.

This is why I like to write this into my own writing. Because as a reader, I long for the writer to let me into the minds and lives of the characters. Without it, I feel the writing is empty.

Tuesday, 28 December 2010


28th December

My imagination is poor....which is a difficult for writing fiction...and more difficult to admit to it in my blog. Sounds an impossible situation! Mainly, it is poor, if I am to just create a world out of nothing, nowhere I'd ever been, seen or heard of, with people or beings, doing things I have never thought of or heard of. I suppose I could probably force a little imagination, but not enough for a whole book.

I find though, that I am better if I can start from a place, person or situation, that I do know, have heard of or have become interested in. What I have found, is that once I have begun writing, imagination becomes alive. And   the most curious thing can happen, when a character that I have created, takes over, and begins to do things or say things, that were not in my plot or in my head.

It is like being taken over by aliens, because it is a feeling of losing control...not always in a bad way, but in a magical way. I let it happen, and continue to write, led by the voice of the character. When I am finished, I will re-read it, and decide whether to cut it, or parts of it, or keep it. But this is not always easy, because I always wonder if the voice of the character should be kept instead of my own voice, which could sound stilted and unnatural in comparison.

I am writing the prequel of Deep in the Cocoa, which is the second of the Cocoa Trilogy, and I have found that throughout, my imagination has certainly been sparked on many occasions, from the humdrum of reality of the historical elements in the story... although not all the historical elements are humdrum. Some of it is horrific, some of it scary, some of it quite unpleasant. Too much is the latter. And I have had to use my imagination to create the pleasant from the horror.

This Christmas morning, my son asked his girlfriend of 7 years to marry him. It was a long awaited event...especially by the girlfriend. But it is because he wanted everything perfect. The perfect ring, and the perfect timing, when she was not expecting it. I think it got the desired result. Of that I am sure. Now, because I have a poor imagination, I am thinking, that this could be the perfect launchpad for me to write a romantic novel. In fact, it could be the perfect romance. But I am still struggling to write romance. Every time I begin, my hero or heroine goes off and does something that I cannot get them out of easily. But I will not let it deter me. I will continue to try. Whether the engagement will be the beginning or the end of the novel, I don't know. But I won't let it go to waste.

As it is said, don't look a gift horse in the mouth. I ought to take advantage of this opportunity...

Hope you had a Merry Christmas.

Best Wishes
Marilyn xx