Thursday, 26 September 2013

Wannabe part 2...

Jane Wenham-Jones

The second part of the pilot of Jane Wenham-Jones's excellent idea for a TV show based upon her book Wannabe a Writer?, is now available to view.

Delphine Lever, the brave novice writer acting as guinea-pig for the pilot, goes to meet best selling author, Katie Fforde, who has lots of advice to give.

Katie explains to Delphine the importance of starting the story in the right place and reads an extract from her own very first novel, Living Dangerously, to demonstrate how to draw the reader in.

Living Dangerously

The clip is full of useful and practical information, particularly for those writers who are just beginning on their literary journey.

After their meeting, Delphine went home and, taking Katie's advice, re-worked her writing piece. You can read the 'before' and 'after' versions here and see how she has incorporated what she has learned.

Go to Wannabe a Writer TV Show now to watch the clip and add your comments.

Many people have expressed their enthusiasm for the concept and their hope that one day soon we will see it as a fully fledged TV show on their screens. And I'm one of them!

Saturday, 21 September 2013

Looking around me

It's far too easy when I'm in 'the writing zone' to be so focused on the keyboard or the notepad that I become disconnected from my surroundings. Keen to complete a task or on a roll I don't want to curtail,  I can get to the end of a day realising that I've barely lifted my head, let alone looked out of the window. 

It's not uncommon for anyone, not just writers, to become switched off from where we are, even if where we love where we live.

Every now and again it's good to take a stroll and try to see familiar views and vistas through new eyes.

If you've read my profile you'll know that I live next door to a 13th century church. I see it every day... well, apart from the days when I realise I haven't lifted my head or looked out if the window...obviously!

So I took my own advice and wandered around the churchyard looking closely at little details of this beautiful historic building and snapping photographs. Here are just a few...

The view of the church from over the garden wall
A tantalizing peek inside!

The old west window

The wooden shingles on the tower were blown off once when it was hit by lightening.

Ah well, back to the writing...

Thursday, 12 September 2013

Curse of the creative brain

Visiting friends showed us some stunning ceramic pieces they'd bought but which the artist had wanted to give away (they insisted on buying them!), having deemed them 'rejects'.

Lack of confidence in the work we produce is not limited to ceramic artists. We writers also find our inner gremlins pouring scorn on what we've written. But as Helen Yendall's article 'Bad Rubbish, Good Riddance' in August's edition of Writing Magazine reminds us, even the most experienced writers have  gremlins. She suggests one way of dealing with them is to give them a silly name!

When mine starts muttering (I haven't thought of a name for him, yet!) I reach for my copy of Elizabeth George's book, 'Write Away' ('one novelist's approach to fiction and the writing life'). At the start of each chapter Ms George quotes from her journals, aptly illustrating that self-doubt is not merely the lot of novice authors. 

'What am I doing pretending to be a writer?' she despairs on one occasion, and on another confesses to feelings of inadequacy after reading 'The Constant Gardener' and marvelling at John le Carre's genius.

My favourite entry, though, is the one she wrote after receiving an outstanding review for one of her novels.  Several reviewers had apparently remarked that although they can't wait to read her next book, they're a little scared in case she hasn't maintained the quality of the last one. 'Gee,' she writes. 'They should be on this end of things!'

Friday, 6 September 2013

For wannabe writers everywhere

The ever resourceful Jane Wenham-Jones, author of Wannabe a Writer? and Wannabe a Writer We've Heard Of, has come up with an ingenious idea for a TV programme which will be of great interest to inspiring writers.

Along with journalist and TV producer Stephen Arkell, she has made a pilot episode of a 'How-to' television show in which novice writer Delphine Lever is taken to meet top literary agent Carole Blake for her comments on Delphine's writing.

In the second half of the programme, Delphine receives valuable advice from best selling author Katie Fforde.

Jane plans to pitch the idea to TV companies this autumn and would welcome viewers' comments.

To see the pilot episode go to where you can leave feedback and, if you are feeling brave, apply to be considered for future programmes.