A Non-Fiction Writer Switches to Fiction

Nice pants!

Apparently I’m a pantser. Who knew? I certainly didn’t when I decided in a rash moment of hubris to switch from travel writing to fiction. Whenever I’d answered authorly interview questions from those kind enough to feature me on their blogs and we’d got to the plotting or pantsing bit, I was easily able to sidestep the issue. When you write what really happens, it’s no different to ending an eventful working day in the pub, each incident becomes a funny story and eventually there’s a bookful.

This would be different though. This would be ‘proper writing’. But how do you start when you don’t yet know if you are a plotter or a pantser? Obviously you start with several hours learning your way around Scrivener. Oh look, you can put notes on a cork board! And you can develop your characters in individual files. Let’s do a corkboard for the whole thing…plan out where the plot points are, space out the beats and the cliffhangers correctly… Continue reading “A Non-Fiction Writer Switches to Fiction”

Pressbooks: another formatting resource for Indie writers

Pressbooks LogoI recently mentioned using Pressbooks to format books in my post about memoirs. It occurred to me that I had yet to wax lyrical about this great website. So, this month I’m going to give you a guided tour.

I found Pressbooks.com a few years ago, when I wanted to generate epub and mobi files of a book that would never see a formal distribution channel. My client just wanted to be able to place files on a website for readers to download free of charge. At the time it was a new site, still in beta, and those of us who used it chatted back and forth with the developers occasionally. I found them charming, clever and helpful; I remain fond of the site as a result.

These days it’s pukka, with paid services, distribution channels and a string of glowing reviews from small publishers. Although it now goes way beyond simple ebook production, you can still access the services completely free. Who would want to though, and why? Continue reading “Pressbooks: another formatting resource for Indie writers”

Writing Resolutions for 2015? A Good Idea?

something motivational - a writer's new year's resolutionWould now be a good time to ask you about New Year’s Resolutions for your writing? I’ve never tried it you see, but this year I’m giving it a go.

By the time you read this the turkey will be a distant memory. Unless, of course, like me you make a massive pot of stock with the bones, put it in the garage for lack of space because the fridge is full of leftover yummies, and then find it in the Spring. Continue reading “Writing Resolutions for 2015? A Good Idea?”

Does someone you know want to write a memoir?

Elderly person writing a memoirEver had a writing project just pop up and take over your life? This month I’m going to tell you about the memory book I’m working on just now­ — partly because it’s taken over my head­ — but mainly because, now I come to think of it, you might be able to make money from something similar. Or make people happy for nothing if that’s your thing.

I’m compiling and publishing a little book for the family and friends of an acquaintance who died a year or so ago. Now, with the internet age and all, this particular project has been made simple by the fact that this pal left behind several thousand fascinating and witty emails. He was a member of an email list of a couple of hundred people, who all bickered and joked and swapped news and stories on a regular basis. After the nth person said, ‘I wish I could read his emails again, they were so funny,’ I realised that we could actually do it. Continue reading “Does someone you know want to write a memoir?”