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I’m less than a month away from my sixth year anniversary of starting a blog at WordPress. During those years, I’ve blogged on a regular basic on subjects such as writing, music, photography and the performing arts, although I’ve posted less these last twelve months.  I intend to keep on blogging.

 So what are my general thoughts about the blogging process and WordPress?
  • Mostly excellent.
  • Completely free, unless someone requires additional services.
  • WordPress one of the best – if not, the best.
  • Ability to create more traditional websites using WordPress.
  • Great layout.
  • Read other blogs and meet interesting people online.
  • Powerful publishing platform.
  • Most important of all, you make the blog what you want it to be.
The disadvantages? I can think of just one. Difficult to maintain the blog.
Here’s to another six years of blogging!

Finally, frost has arrived on the pavements of north London and the temperature has fallen even further.  My present work as an accompanist pianist has stopped for the Christmas break, leaving me with lots of time to write.

One topic that fascinates me is the writer’s struggle to mark out the central character’s thoughts, actions and motives whilst allowing that character complete free will.  I suppose this dichotomy would exist in Theology too – but that is neither here nor there.  In terms of creative writing and fiction, the author must create a character that is independent from the author.  Yet, the author has complete control over the character’s life.  A balance that poises difficulty.

How can a writer give back free will to their characters, especially those main characters like protagonist and antagonist?

Some ideas:

  • Look inward when sifting through the character details and outward when plotting the story structure of events.  Concentrate on projection, not introversion.
  • Following on from that, modify story questions so that they’re not so personal.
  • Let themes and ideas develop, as if they were coming directly from the character rather than the author.
  • Include scenes and monologues that differ from your own.

Just a few of my thoughts.

 

Another week has gone by, and mild rain has come, casting more grey across the north London suburb where I live. I haven’t done any more work on my current novel, just waited to hear back from an agent.

However, during the week, I read a first-rate psychological thriller. In the story, a man flees London. The narrator doesn’t state why. Instead, the back story comes in short sections throughout the novel. The present setting – a remote farm in rural France – works well with a sense of rising menace, especially as the two-time frames collide.  The writer has a sensitive style with insight, a refreshing change from other crime novels I’ve read. I don’t want to give away any more.   The book?  Stone Bruises by Simon Beckett.   Read it!

Meanwhile, my debut novel Secrets by Lawrence Estrey is available from Amazon in paperback and e-book.

Check out the reviews for Secrets.

Newspaper article on author.

EggHead by Lawrence Estrey: Questions And Answers

EggHead reviews

 

Mist And Cold, Autumn

Finally. Mist has fallen over the London suburb where I live, bringing down the temperature and casting grey over the buildings, and I think a long and cold winter lies ahead.  This type of weather does little for creative inspiration, although I like watching rain and listening to the comforting thud. At present, I’m still waiting to hear back from an agent regarding my latest novel, and apart from ten days of vigorous pruning unnecessary detail in the text, I haven’t done any more writing.  I’ve spent most of the time playing the piano and brushing up my foreign languages: French, German, Russian.

Come back, Summer!

I spent the last week or so going through the manuscript of my current novel and weeding out unnecessary details that can cause a story to drag. Writers differ, of course, but for me the worst two culprits are ping-pong dialogue and instances of droning monologue. Cut these, and the manuscript begins to flow, the story takes shape and readers can better identify with the events on the page.

Can writers cut too much? I think so. I would advise any writer to keep copies of all past manuscripts, carefully titled to avoid confusion – for instance “draft five, summer eleven.” Ruthless editing will usually strengthen the overall structure of a novel, but sometimes a writer goes too far in cutting superfluous material, losing a degree of immediacy and individuality in the process. On those occasions, the writer might consider going back to a previous draft, lifting a few favourite sections and carefully implementing these in the new draft.

Writing Again!

After a much-needed break from writing, I’ve finally gone back to my current project, a novel for Young Adults. In the story, a teen concert pianist gets drawn into a complex murder plot, though unwittingly. The results are disastrous. The story falls in the crime/psychological thriller genres. Occasionally, I find myself holding my breath when reading some of the more scary sections.

At the moment, I’m only tidying the manuscript – for example, making sure the middle chapters don’t meander and getting rid of all those annoying small sentences that contribute nothing to the story. I’m still waiting to hear back from a literary agent, so it’s a case of not doing too much yet.  Still, it’s great to be back.

 

A Bereavement

Dealing with a bereavement. 

Back soon.

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