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12 Books in 12 Months

writing books and blogging about it

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ALKennedy

5 Useful Links for Writers

Wednesday will shortly be interview / guest post day again, but in the meantime here are some links of interest.  They are predominantly writing related but everyone in the world should watch the video at the bottom.

Advice
I interviewed novelist and comedian ALKennedy for IdeasTap (which is a useful resource with lots of features and funding opportunities).

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End of Books: The Return

“I’ve got an idea for your blog,” Bob said mysteriously at the office tea point one morning, “but I won’t tell you about it now, I’ll speak to you later.”

Then he vanished into the mist like he’d never been there at all.  Being as how I’m not much of a pre-10am person this was a little befuddling.  Why was our office so misty, and on a sunny day?  Still, an hour or two of putting together resource packs sorted me right out.  By the time he reappeared to expound on his idea, I was alert as a tack.

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A.L.Kennedy at Edinburgh Book Festival

If you don’t know of A.L.Kennedy, you should rectify that state of affairs immediately.  I first came across her through her column in the Guardian, which is very funny, but she does all sorts of other stuff too – book writing and stand up being the main activities where it’s socially acceptable to follow her movements (although not in a stalker-y way).  Yesterday she was at the Edinburgh book festival talking about her new novel, The Blue Book, so I went along to listen.

Kennedy began with a reading from near the start of the book – “it’s page 31. Not much has happened, not much will,” – a passage including the character description, “red shoes and amateur clown hair,” which I loved, although naturally she says it better than I do.

She was then interrupted by an enigmatic lady leaving the auditorium with the chilling words, “I know you from a long time ago.”  Not the most traditional of heckles in my experience, so top marks for mystique there, especially as she proceeded to stand in front of the stage repeating the phrase over and over again…

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Are You Sitting Comfortably?

A couple of people have suggested lately that one way to get more words done is to record myself telling the story rather than taking ages typing it all up.

Whilst doing the whole thing that way would undoubtedly end up as a rather mad sounding stream of consciousness for about 90% of the time, I think there’s a lot to be said for doing some audio excerpts. It means that interested parties can have a listen, and it’s helpful to me to read out what I’ve written because hearing it back will help me decide what works and what doesn’t. I also recently read an article by A L Kennedy pointing out that if you want to find your writing voice, you should probably try speaking in it.

So, here is a wee excerpt about Ingmar, a troll who looks out for our vampire heroine from afar. I think the introduction to his character works quite well in the third person, although at some point his internal thoughts are going to be put out there. But I’m not sure I’ll be able to do it in a Swedish accent without sounding like an awful caricature. At the moment I am leaning to having a different character’s voice or perspective in every chapter, to make it easier for the reader to engage with individual characters.

Incidentally I did four takes of that, so the notion that it’s quicker than typing is somewhat misleading!

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