Friday, 24 August 2012

The Waiting Game

I have come to the conclusion that writers are the most patient type of people there is. We hit the keyboard or scrape our pens across paper in moments of joy or desperation and struggle for hours with plots and characters that go AWOL. Next is the editing and then more editing. Followed on by searching for agents and publishers to send our sweet little babies off to, somewhere where they will be nourished and loved like we love them. That is what our scribblings are to us, our babies, we suffer mixed emotions when creating them from joy to frustration.
So then they are emailed or posted out and we wait, wait some more, then wait another bit and finally we wait. At present I have my novel and short stories out in the world seeking a home. So each morning I wait a little bit more for an email or a letter. Even a rejection would be welcome at times. So you see, writers are the most patient type of people I know.

Friday, 17 August 2012

What's in a Name?

At a recent writing meeting a discussion started up about characters names and the influence if any they have on a story. It got me thinking on how important the right name is. Think back to when, if you have children and it was time to choose their name. When a name is suggested one automatically associates it with either someone they know with the same name or a place etc. Well at least it does with me.
Naming my characters is not a job I take lightly nor should you. A handy way of testing if you have a suitable name is to say it out loud. Can you conjure up a picture of that person? Does it match what you had in mind for your character? Sometimes it will be okay, with others it may be way off. At times when I’m not paying much attention to what I’m doing, a character tells me its own name and that’s great as it makes my story easier.
Personally I feel a male character is more difficult to give a name to than a female one. For a female baddie, I just think back to my young days and remember all the girls I didn’t like and hey presto, I have a baddie. But with the guys, well, I just loved all the guys I knew!! Try it and see if it works for you.
Another idea for you to consider is buying a baby book of names and their meaning. Then if you need to get an idea for the type of male/female character you have, the name will give you a clue. For example, my name Mary is Hebrew. Of course the most well known Mary is the Blessed Virgin and in some cultures it is considered too holy to be used. It is often said it means ‘sea of bitterness’, ‘rebelliousness’ and ‘wished for child’. I hope it was the latter that my parents were thinking of when they named me! After all there isn’t a bitter bone in my body, though rebelliousness definitely lodges within me.
 Thinking about this topic, I wondered about my children’s names and why I named them what I did. I’m happy with my choices, and so are they, I did ask them honestly!! A name is a badge of identity and it is the first gift parents give to their child so put time into it and think and choose wisely. Pity the celebrities of this world didn’t check with me before they named their darlings, after all, Apple, Blue, and Peaches would remain fruits and colours like they were meant to be. See, not a bone of bitterness in me!

Sunday, 5 August 2012


I was recently interviewed on my local radio in connection to my writing and my collection of short stories that is in the bookshops. It was a wonderful experience and those at the radio station were so welcoming. So follow the link below and listen to me chat to John and Charlotte. While at the bcr92.6fm site, listen to other excellent podcasts available.