writing, tweeting, dogs & tags

This is a mish-mash diary kind of entry

I’m pegging on with the sequel to The Aunt Sally Team (http://amzn.to/MgZRmW & http://amzn.to/LJvFhf). Actually pegging on may not be the right description, as it seems to be pouring out at a rate of around 3000 words a day. I haven’t written this fluently since I was a teenager scribbling on my lap in class at school with my desk lid raised to hide what I was doing. Of course, me being me and being quite a perfectionist, I’m deeply suspicious of anything that’s happening so easily – what’s the catch? it’s bound to be inferior if it’s not causing me grief and sending me into displacement activity. But so far it seems fine.

I’m constantly amazed, while writing, at how characters emerge. I may start off with ideas about who they are and what they do, but they soon put me right and surprise me with facets of their personalities that I’d had no notion existed. And people who were minor suddenly thrust themselves into the limelight and take on a more central role in the book. It’s impossible, while in the midst of crafting a novel, not to relate to your characters as if they are real people.

Meanwhile, to return to the leviathan machinations of Twitter, I tweeted recently of how being part of the community of authors on there is akin to being let loose in a huge library: so many excellent books, like gorgeous offerings in a sweet shop window. Just love it! My Kindle is filled to bursting point with wonderful stuff that I’m looking forward to finding time to read. And very few of those books are published traditionally. Although there are some lemons published by indie authors, I would say that there is a vast body of brilliantly written, engaging, absorbing material that the mainstream publishers were mad not to have snapped up. Their loss – and, to be honest, I don’t know that I’d want to go the trad route now: indie lets you keep a much higher percentage of royalties. The Aunt Sally Team earned more in June than my traditionally published books did in six months in the past.

But it’s not all about writing. We take the dogs down to the Kidneys and Aston’s Eyot once or twice a day to run to their hearts’ content. This is a large green area down by the Thames and is filled with trees and wild flowers and various species of wildlife, including red deer, muntjac deer, buzzards, hawks, red kites, herons and jays. This area features quite largely in The Aunt Sally Team and its sequel (which is what I’m writing now).

Mind you, it’s been a minefield down there lately. One of our dogs (the new one, the Saluki lurcher) has taken to rolling in fox poo (which stinks!) and finding rabbit carcases and, last night, a wing from a dead bird – she carries these trophies off in triumph at great speed till yelled at to drop them. I washed her harness two days ago only to have her roll in unspeakable things again. The joys of nature and dog ownership.

Just a final word, while it’s fresh in my mind. If you have a book on Amazon, tags are important. You can do your own tags and hopefully this will encourage others to also tag your book. The tags section is halfway down the page your book is on. Tags help people find you when they are searching via key words, so they are actually pretty important.



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6 responses to “writing, tweeting, dogs & tags

  1. Hi Flick, Great to get the latest news! I know what you mean about the words coming quickly and feeling sure that they can’t be any good because of it. I think though that writers, like others, have ‘purple patches’ and things just flow. My songs would be like that – sometimes they just poured out and almost wrote themselves, other times it was more difficult to get them just right. (Perfectionists Unite… 🙂 I say make the most of it and enjoy! Really pleased to hear of all those words. And great info about the tags. I’m not at that stage yet, but I’ll remember it! See you soon, Ruth x

  2. Ruth, great to connect. i really must subscribe to your blog and add you to my links (if i didn’t already). It’s funny because i used to write like a stream of consciousness, fast flowing and inspired. Over recent years writing has been more like embroidery (which, I hasten to ay, i’m rubbish at – embroidery that is!) each word placed carefully in relation to the whole, bit by bit.
    Flick x

  3. And creativity is so affected by what’s happening around you and in your life and this can often account for the ‘purple patches.’ It also varies over time so much and of course even if you can be creative when things happen in your life. Creativity is a fav topic of mine 🙂 It’s beauty, hardship, joy, absence – the whole lot. Always lovely to see your posts! x

  4. Thank you Ruth. I have several creative outlets (as i think you do too) and my problem is that when one comes to the fore it takes over. In june last year I began learning Gaelic wire strung harp (my first musical instrument) and it took over. that was all i did 24/7 (obsessive, me???) but now it’s sitting on the shelf and hasn’t been tuned in days because I’m writing. as for my camera, haven’t picked it up for a while, though i do snap with my iPhone and iPad from time to time x

  5. I loved this comment, “I’m constantly amazed, while writing, at how characters emerge. I may start off with ideas about who they are and what they do, but they soon put me right and surprise me with facets of their personalities that I’d had no notion existed.” I recently answered an interview question with a similar comment about how a character can reveal a plot to you and only a writer could understand that. I wish you continued good success.

  6. Joe, thank you for your comment and well wishes – much appreciated. Would you post a link to your interview as would love to read it?

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