A Christmas Gift – Capital Stories

From Capital Writers to our readers a free copy of Capital Stories for 5 days over the pre-Christmas period 20 – 24 December inclusive. Enjoy a moment with stories by Kate Blackadder, Jane Riddell, Anne Stenhouse and Jennifer Young. All set in the Scottish capital and varying in style and tone.

The Castle Rock

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Happy Christmas reading,

Anne

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Diary of a Writer – May Writing Prompt – RNA Summer Party and Joan Hessayon Award

Why, you must be asking is that headline picture a writing prompt for Anne?

Name Badges for the 2018 Joan Hessayon contenders

I’ve been a Joan Hessayon contender – and a wonderful, really wonderful evening I had.

MuseItUp published my first Regency romance – actually on 1st May in 2013. Mariah’s Marriage continues to be available for many electronic readers. It’s also in a library near you through the Linford Romance series.

Anne by Marte Lundby Rekaa

I wasn’t the winner, but the whole team made me feel like one. Also, the lovely Rae Cowie came along specially to support me on the night and Jenny Harper and her husband Robin, were there, too. I’ve maintained links with some of the other contenders that night and I bought a copy of my individual photo taken by the talented Marte. I don’t photograph well, so that one is a particular pleasure.

Well, it’s a prompt because I’ve stepped away. Having been a member of the RNA committee for a few years now, it’s time to use my time for writing my stuff rather than  Facebook posts , Twitter tweets and committee reports.

I will miss the warm and talented guys I’m leaving behind, but  there are other opportunities to catch up with them. The first being the Summer Party which is being held in the fabulous Ashmolean Museum, Oxford. You can buy a ticket here and you don’t have to be a member of the RNA to do that. Come and meet some of your favourite authors in the flesh, as it were.

Now, if you live in Edinburgh, you can catch up with me and two of my Capital Writer pals at the Corstorphine Festival. We’ll be chatting with Sheila McCallum Perry, reading a little of our work and signing copies of our books (the other two here). We’re scheduled for Wednesday 30th May from around 7pm, programme out soon. Venue is CYCC, 191 St John’s Road.

Capital Stories a wee selection of our talent is available for the price of 99p. What else can you buy for 99p?

Diary of a Writer – March prompt

 

 

 

 

 

 

So what comes to mind when you think of a stoat? Is it the beauty of their undulating movement? Is it their gorgeous natural colouring?

Have you been forever alienated by Wind in the Willows?

Have you, like me, watched one fight its natural shyness to recover a rabbit it killed earlier and take it back to the kits?

Sometimes the creative process seems a bit like trying to force a trolley-load of ideas through that small space.

No rabbits were harmed in the writing of this post.

CAPITAL STORIES contains four sparkling five star gems by me and three Capital Writing friends. For your kindle.

Anne

Diary of a Writer – February Writing Prompt

I took this picture in Chile. The island is a resting place for sea-lions, but only after they get onto it. Had I a better camera, I’d be able to show you the bobbing heads and leaping bodies in the channel between the shoreline and the island. The sea-lions spend a lot of time trying to get onto that rocky outcrop. Once there, they rest up, enjoy a bit of sun and get hungry. So, it’s needs must, and back into the spray.

Writing life is a bit like that. Occasionally you finish something that really pleases you and then you rest up a bit until the urge overwhelms you and – needs must – you jump in again and write something else.

Capital Stories – a collection of four gems according to WJRH – by Anne, Kate, Jane and Jennifer and a wee snip at 99p.

 

Diary of a Writer – serially challenging

Diary of a Writer – serially challenging.

It’s always a great feeling to press send on a submission and I did that this morning just before enjoying one of these.

The box was a pressie from a local tradesman in the run-up to Christmas. I really do think it pays to ‘shop local’ and when the dividend comes in the form of Tunnock’s finest, who’s going to argue?

The MS is instalment two of the serial I’m writing for People’s Friend. Fingers crossed and tentatively on to work on Instalment three.

Another two hours spent on choosing the canapés for the RNA’s Awards’ Night Party (it’s a long and truly delicious list) and maybe now I should think about the ‘tea’ – as in that knife and fork repast the household looks forward to in the evening.

Having read the lovely Capital Stories created by my fellow Capital Writers, I’m looking round for something. I see my publishers, Endeavour, are advertising Lesley Downer’s

On the Narrow Road to the Deep North – journey into a lost Japan – which I have on my trusty kindle. Maybe that’s after-dinner sorted.

What are you reading? Both the above books are currently 99p.

Round Robin – Viewpoint

This month’s Round Robin question is about Viewpoint. How do we as writers tell the story, show the characters’ emotions and switch between them?

My normal mode is 3rd person character. That means, I am in one head at a time, but as the author. I don’t find 1st person easy to write. I enjoy reading author omniscient, but haven’t found it attractive enough to tempt me. I’ve never written anything in 2nd person where you might have used 1st, but are allowing a bit of outside observation and comment.

Generally, my novels will employ two central viewpoints. They will normally be the hero and the heroine. I enjoy pitting an attractive couple against one another and I like to see the same problem from two perspectives.

So, in Mariah’s Marriage, Mariah is determined to save Arabella from her brother’s violence, but Tobias is equally determined that doing so would put Mariah herself in danger.

London Girl

It’s a conflict of opinion. We, the reader, see Mariah enlist the help of her maid to outwit the considerable obstacles Tobias has placed in the way of her leaving the house. Eventually, we understand why Tobias has acted the way he has and, tension mounting, we’re in his head as the drama unfolds.

I think that’s why I find 1st person difficult. There just seems to be so much more needed by way of comment when that single voice has to keep filling us in. Things like ‘Of course, I didn’t know at the time, but Tobias thought I was dead.’ – are well enough, and often skilfully handled, but I prefer to be in Tobias’s head while he’s doing that thinking; while he’s doing that sufferring.

Maybe it’s because I used to write plays…

The serial I wrote for People’s Friend in 2016, A Traveller’s Life, had several voices. I enjoyed that a lot. It was liberating to leave the (self-) imposed discipline of two voices and allow one or two more to take centre stage. Again, the dramatist in me loved hearing what all these people thought. However, it’s not unbridled by any means. People’s Friend like their serials presented in ‘chapters’ so each one had a central Viewpoint. I was not head-hopping.

So, here’s the divide – what is head-hopping and why do some editors permit it?

Head-hopping is where the author allows everybody and his auntie to have their say – in one chapter, sometimes – I’ve seen it done – even in the same paragraph.

Personally, I find that way of writing too confusing for words. I want to know who I’m rooting for and whose story is the one being told. The Raj Quartet by Paul Scott is a modern tour de force and some of it tells the same story over. However, Scott uses different books to do this and that’s not a luxury offered to all.

I have a short historical story in a new anthology by Capital Writers, Capital Stories. It’s available for your kindle and a wee snip at 99p/$1.37.

There are other opinions on this fundamental writing skill and you’ll find some of them here:

Dr. Bob Rich https://wp.me/p3Xihq-1ag
Connie Vines http://mizging.blogspot.com/
Helena Fairfax
http://www.helenafairfax.com/blog
Fiona McGier http://www.fionamcgier.com/
Judith Copek http://lynx-sis.blogspot.com/
Marci Baun  http://www.marcibaun.com/blog/
Anne de Gruchy https://annedegruchy.co.uk/category/blog/
A.J. Maguire  http://ajmaguire.wordpress.com/
Skye Taylor http://www.skye-writer.com/blogging_by_the_sea
Anne Stenhouse  https://annestenhousenovelist.wordpress.com/
Beverley Bateman
http://beverleybateman.blogspot.ca/
Rhobin L Courtright http://www.rhobinleecourtright.com

Diane Bator http://dbator.blogspot.co.uk/