Tag Archives: Paint me a Picture

Writing a novel.

Have you ever written a novel, and been struggling with characters, and wondering why these people bother to get up in the mornings? I love choosing a catchy title, getting going with the opening lines, then a few more paragraphs. I even get through a chapter or two, then the interest drifts off. Once when I got stuck on chapter 11, I went through my vast bookcase, looking at as many chapter 11’s as I could to see what goes on in chapter 11… You see, I’d got bored with my own story by then. Isn’t that daft.

So, to remedy this, I’m doing an online course with the lovely Sally Quillford who is full of good advice; isn’t it strange that when people point out where we’ve gone wrong, it becomes clear. Just like those detective stories when all is revealed at the end. Speaking of detective stories, I’ve just finished reading Paint me a Picture By Patsy Collins. It’s an interesting read, with Mavis being the main character. Through the story, Mavis becomes more and more confident, and has some romantic moments. At one point, I worried that her boyfriend was something more sinister. Won’t give it away though, as it’s well worth reading.

I have a few short stories out at the moment, and sending one to WW this week, so keep fingers crossed for me. To get to grips with the novel, and keep at it and at least get it finished, I’ve created a group on yahoo.com… it’s called writingyournovel where anyone who wants to discuss what stage they’re at, or how they’re going on is welcome to join. Let me know if you’re interested in having a chat on there and I can add you to the list. There’s one member so far, and that’s me. Aw,,,. The thing that keeps me going with this particular one is that I was on the shortlist last year at the RNA new talent awards. I’ve had good feedback from the lovely judges, so I owe it to myself to keep on with it. If you’d like to join, send me an email.

Digital image

Digital image

Digital image

It’s all getting a bit of a squash on our front windowsill as you can see.

A review at last.

cover artIt’s taken a while, but at last ‘Growing up in the 70’s’ has had a review. It’s not as brilliant as I’d like it to be, and the reviewer has read story one and two, and is about to start on the third, which is mine. Obviously I don’t agree that the stories don’t set the feel of the seventies. The second story about the Welsh rugby is about that year of the grand slam. I’m married to a Welsh man, and I bought him the dvd of the same which is quite funny. That was around the time we met, so I do associate it strongly with the seventies. Also story number one was quite funny I thought. Oh dear, I wanted to review it myself, but I’m not a glove puppet, so thought I’d better not.

The reviewer also says that we don’t mention music and fasion. Obviously hasn’t read my story. I suppose we have to be open minded and take what people say as ‘their opinion’ though I still think they’re wrong, and it’s a lovely collection. Can’t win them all though can we?

I’m up to 19,500 wds of the novel, and it’s getting exciting. Along with other books I’m reading, like Middlemarch, by George Eliot, Paint me a Picture by Patsy Collins, and Careless in Red by Elizabeth George, my Hats off to Love story is brewing up lovely. I’ve got, a hero, boy next door,lovely old lady, neighbour who’s boy next door’s Gran. Main character who’s fabulous. A gang of factory workers who are extras. Possibly too many characters, but I’ll chuck them out if need be later, at the moment, they’re in the story.

Paint me a picture, interview with Patsy Collins.

I’d like to welcome Patsy Collins to my blog today to tell us a bit more about her recently released e.book ‘Paint me a Picture.’  I know it began as a short story, so here’s Patsy to tell us a bit more.
SUE.  When did Mavis come to mind, and how long has she been a story in progress?
PATSY.  I first created her about ten years ago and I’ve been working on her story (and improving as a writer) all that time.
SUE.  At any point in the story, were you tempted to let Mavis jump? 
PATSY.  Oh yes! That was the original idea but she was never quite ready for that.
It’s not simply that I’m squeamish – I’ve killed other characters including some who I was very fond of. There’s one character in Paint Me a Picture who I feel guilty about killing, but for the good of the story she had to die. There are also a couple I rather enjoyed bumping off (obviously absolutely none of these were based on real people who’ve annoyed me).
SUE.  I’ve read the short story version of this, what made you extend the story and make it a novel?
PATSY.  Mavis made me do it! That’s really how it felt. In just the same way as she wouldn’t die, she wasn’t content to stay a short story. With all my characters I know more about them makes it into the finished story and usually that’s just fine but in this case I had to keep writing her story. So I did. All 103,000 words of it.
SUE.  I’m glad to see you sticking with a story you have faith in, if you love it, then your readers will too.
PATSY.  I do hope that’s true!
I’m glad I didn’t know at the start how long it would be – or how many times I’d have to rewrite it. Actually there’s a lot it’s a good job I didn’t know at the start!
I was so new to writing back then that I didn’t know we’re supposed to write in a particular genre. Admittedly that was a disadvantage with regard to trying to get it published! I think it was a good thing for her story though. If I’d known I was supposed to decide on romance or thriller or crime or whatever I’d have chosen just one of those and left out much of what makes Mavis who she is.
SUE.  Thanks for sharing that with us Patsy, and hopefully it will help others like me who hope to publish a novel one day.
Paint me a Picture is available here.
You can see more on Patsy’s writing here.