Tag Archives: Writers Resources

The police procedural

Riozoli and IslesCandice: I like to read police based fiction as the main body of my reading matter, as well as watching it on TV too.

To me it is the toughest kind of writing, as I always struggle to work out how they come up so many different ways for people to commit a crime, with added twists and turns and red herrings. I know, during the writing of the book, Phil and I have created some side stories to make things more interesting but none of them involve having to know about police procedure or medical technical jargon. They just involve mad ideas that popped in to our heads.

When I read and watch these dramas I am just amazed at how they come up with the route to the end of the story, does the crime and culprit come first and then the padding of extra characters. How do they manage to find so many ways for people to seem like they’ve done it, when they haven’t ?

I love to work out who has actually done it before the end, I actually quite good at it, but it doesn’t mean I could write a story like that. So hats off to all you crime writers out there.

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A taste of things to come?

Candice:  Phil and I have been beavering away in the background for the last few weeks working on our next project.  We’ve mentioned that we have been looking for new ideas and have been drafting something different from the usual.

Now Phil’s done all this research into Chick Lit, but no, to be different we haven’t written a Chick Lit story, but a horror story.  As he pointed out it has generated a few comments in our weekly meets in the local near my work.  Especially if the people listening also work there…. Hum that woman in Marketing was talking about murder at work… (well, to be honest, I feel like murdering some of them sometimes).

Anyway, the story is now finished and has been submitted to a writing competition.  It’s with a magazine called Writer’s Forum who publish entries every month and you can pay extra to have a critique of your entry.  Well, we are not expecting to win on our first entry (well, I am, but just trying to be modest) but we both think this is a cracker so are dying to see how we get on.

Writing a short is a different kettle of fish to a full book.  We both got a bit lost into the reasons why our characters would do what they do when I pointed out, “We don’t have to explain, that’s what a short is all about.”  My favourite parts were coming up with a punchy start and crafting the ending that just leaves things hanging.  It was actually quite nice to not have to finish it off and round it up to explain all.

So, I thought you might like a taste of what we have been writing.  I’m not going to give you it all until we’ve got the competition feedback, but tomorrow we’ll give you a taste of Nolan Parker, Horror Writers of repute.

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Turning points?

Candice: As promised, I said I would blog about the birthday…  I have never really had a problem with my age, it ain’t nothing but a number, as they say.  Around the 30 point I had abit of a moment, everyone was getting married, I didnt really like my job.  So I booked myself a three week holiday to Australia to visit friends and escape.  This time around its abit different, I have a lovely husband, nice house etc… but it’s still time to sit back and have a think about where I expected to be at 40.  I’ll tell you what’s nice, the number of people who have said I don’t look 40, and I’ve not paid them to say it.  And I certainly didn’t feel it when I was throwing shapes on the dance floor on Sunday.  We have friends who have been 40 recently or have it coming up and are shying away from the concept, but I think you should really go for it as, as my parents card says, you are only 40 once!

I’ve got some lovely presents and cards (thanks Neil and Phil) – I like unusual ones ie my inlaws have bought me a framed print plus actual film cells from Grease,  Richard bought me a weekend in Rome (though I did drop some very unsubtle hints for this), and my family and friends have bought me a Mulberry handbag (well it’s still in the shop but vouchers towards). Phil got me some “calorie free” cakes, I don’t know if that’s a comment on my waistline, you can see them in the picture.  One is a money box that says “holiday fund”, but to pay for the next holiday I think I’m going to need a bigger cake than that!

But, with all this talk about it just being a number, I went to the gym on Wednesday and on the treadmill you have to put in your time, weight and age.  Typing ’40’ was hard.  Just had to run a bit harder for a bit longer to make up for it!

So back to the reviewing of where you are moment.  Phil and I had a deep conversation the other week about the book, and the fact it hasn’t really moved for a year. So now is the time to stop with the talking and start with the writing again.  We are currently looking at writing courses and short story competitions to give us a deadline to work to, as it seems neither of us are good at moving it along on our own.

Plan for year 41 – get something published that is not on word press!

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How to get published…again

Candice:Last year, Phil and I went to an event called “How to get published.”  Organised by the esteemed publication, the writers and artist yearbook. We came away with lots of ideas about our writing style, what might work when writing to an agent, and how it’s all really a game as there are no right or wrong answers.  We also learned alot about our fellow writers, their thoughts, approaches and dress sense. (Nice Mulberry bag not essential but  a bonus).

Nearly one year on and we have a few more rejection letters under our belt, some more feedback from our readers and some suggestions for a rewrite.  In fact, I had another idea about an approach when I was out running the other day, but I am going to keep that between me and Phil for our next catch up.  So, we thought we have a dip into this how to get published malarky again, just to keep us fresh.

Tonight we are off to an event that is part of Stratford Literary Festival so see if some of the Bard’s success will rub off on us. We’ll let you know how we get on.

Once more unto the breach, dear friends….

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