A Knotty Problem Unravelled, or How Knitting Saved my Novel

My third novel was languishing in a bottom-drawer file on my PC. I couldn’t see the way through it, even though I had all the characters, the plot and subplots, and the ending, firmly in my mind. I wondered if I’d bitten off more than I could chew. Was I being too ambitious? It’s actually a good story; I’m very proud of it, but it had become a dense, tangled muddle. I had to figure out why it wasn’t working, why the damn thing wouldn’t progress. I decided a more forensic approach was needed if it was going to be resurrected. Continue reading

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Credit where it’s due

I’ve been giving a few talks to local writing and book clubs recently and one of the questions that keeps popping up, particularly from aspiring writers, is, ‘How do you deal with the problem of potential plagiarism when you submit your work to agents and publishers/competitions/tutors/writing groups?’

I haven’t got an especially suspicious nature, nor do I think my writing is so ground-breakingly original, artistic and eloquent that someone might want to appropriate it and pass it off as their own, so the idea had never occurred to me. But it’s obviously a worry to a lot of people. Continue reading