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Showing posts from March, 2010

Writing rules

An early criticism of my novel (yes there was one - more than one, but we won't go there) was that there wasn't enough character description - the reader felt like she couldn't 'see' my main character clearly, and that I should include more physical description to bring her to life.

Harrumph, I thought. Sophie Kinsella, author of the popular Shopaholic series, purposely didn't write a description of her central character, Becky Bloomwood.

In a recent interview she said she deliberately never described what Becky looked like, partly because she wanted everyone to relate to her and partly because when she's writing, she's not looking at her, she's looking through her eyes at the world, and didn't think in real-life anyone would ever look look in a mirror and say, "Wow, my shoulder-length, blonde-streaked, shiny hair looks fab today!" though she might say "Wow, my hair looks fab today!"

(As an aside, it's been a long time …

Guest post - Elise Chidley

Today I’m delighted to welcome author, Elise Chidley to my blog. Elise has written two wonderfully warm and witty novels, The Wrong Sort of Wife and Married with Baggage, and I absolutely loved them both. Intelligent and romantic, as well as funny, they’re peopled with characters you can’t help warming to.

Elise is giving away 2 free copies of The Wrong Sort of Wife and 2 copies of the American version, Your Roots are Showing. If you’d like to leave a comment below I’ll pick the winners at random on Sunday!

So, without further ado …

Elise, when did your writing career begin?

I’ve been writing for a living since my first job as features writer with a national women’s magazine in South Africa, but I started writing fiction after my third child was born. At that stage, I was telecommuting as a staff writer for a publisher of health care magazines, writing three feature stories a week. The pressure of these deadlines, coupled with looking after three small children, was just not sustainable. …


Technology's a marvellous thing for a writer - endless info at your fingertips, access to lovely blogs and writing forums and groups - it's enhanced my career (if you can call it that) no end, as well as presenting me with online friends and endless ways to procrastinate. But in terms of telling a story, especially one with a hint of mystery, it can be a hindrance.

There were so many times when I was writing the novel that I thought ... hang on. All she has to do is Google him and she'll know everything there is to know. Because that's what people do these days. Or ... wait a minute, why doesn't she just whip out her mobile and phone him? Because EVERYONE has a mobile phone. It wouldn't make much of a story though. Girl meets boy, isn't too sure about him, checks him out on t'Internet and they live happily ever after.

It wasn't realistic to make my main character a techno-phobe, as she runs her own business. And that was another thing - I sudd…