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I am a writer - late developer since I wasn't published until I was 50. I have now written 23 novels, numerous short stories and articles.


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Sunday 11 April 2010
I’ve finally been sent the URL of the place in France where I shall be running a course his summer. Do take a look. They are a lovely couple and the house is fantastic and it is such a beautiful area of France. My aim with this course is to help with work in progress and to look, in depth, at the various aspects of writing a novel. Back to the drawing board! Meanwhile I can safely say I’ve been practising what I preach. I’m half way through a new novel. I was as pleased with it as is possible at this stage - which means I didn’t hate it but then that doesn’t mean I loved it. It was ‘all right.’ My agent had read and approved. It was sent out to a publisher. The rejection which followed was written in such glowing terms it read like a rave acceptance – but then, we know, don’t we that publishers can be quite strange at times! The odd thing is I wasn’t at all upset. And odder still I wasn’t surprised it was almost as if it was what I expected Why? The little group I mentor are used to me rabbiting on to listen to your inner voice. They query if it exists, where is it and how do you recognise it and how do you know it is right? It lives within you, you learn to recognise it and it is always right. It’s that inconvenient whisper which tells you what you have written is not working. That it needs doing again. It tells you when aspects are being overlooked – it is really clever. Now my inner voice was telling me something was wrong, that the novel needed attention. Why it could not have told me before I sent it off, which would have been useful, was a mystery. So what had gone wrong? Viewpoint, it told me. Could it be fixed? It would mean a re-write, but, hopefully yes. As it stood I had one 3rd person VP. I tell my students often enough that to sustain interest for a whole novel with only one viewpoint is difficult – why can’t I listen to myself? I don’t know what had made me do it that way. Three VPs, I’ve always found, works well. So three it is. The other two are already there with minor roles now they will be beefed up into major. They must feel like understudies - their moment has come. The beginning of the novel has changed. The ethos appears to be different too. Last time I did a rewrite it was my first novel, and in the days of no word-processors, I rewrote it seven times. This time if I only have to do this once I must have learnt something in the past twenty five years. Or have I? Being a writer really is the oddest occupation. s


  1. I think we learn all the time, Annie. I know I do. And every time I re-learn the same thing I'm utterly astonished at myself for not realising.

    Strangely, I blogged about that myself just recently. It must be in the air!

  2. I find it incredible as I edit, new things to learn, new methods of writing and new ideas. Exhausting.
    The villa in France looks lovely, have fun with your course.

  3. I'm listening to that voice. It may never be happy.