Category Archives: author problems

Stop. Start. Write for your Life.

Writing is full of stops and starts–and it’s easy to let the stops get the upper hand. Some of us seem to write daily with no  problems at all.

threads photo Pixabay
threads photo Pixabay

Some of us are more like knitters who get upset with the dropped stitches, the length of time it takes to finish a sleeve or even with the pattern itself. The finished–or in my case usually unfinished– garment looks nothing like the stylish knit shown on the model.

We’re left with work boxes full of useless woolly not-quite jumpers and square socks and resentment at waste of time for nothing.

Sound familiar? How many unfinished, half-finished and rejected manuscripts do you have under the bed? On those dreary days when you can’t concentrate, think nothing’s going right , or wonder what’s the point of it all, try dusting off your past work.

You may well be gratified to find it’s not nearly as bad as you thought.

Five ways to profit from rejections

  • repurpose them as  short articles or blog posts
  • use them as teaching lessons–lots of new teaching platforms around. Look at Udemy, Teachable, Thinkific. You can even find a free version to get you started.
  • Rejig and use as freebies to build your subscriber list.
  • Share them on social media or as serials on Wattpad , asking for readers’ help in suggesting revisions. It may hurt but can only do good.
  • Profit by using them as a basis for improvement. Writing courses abound all over the web and are at their most helpful when you have work of your own to improve.

Q is for Quiz #A to Z Challenge

(Been having connection difficulties and only just managed to publish P after two days of trying so Quizis as yet only notes:)

signpost questions
illustration courtesy of Stuart Miles at

Quizzing your characters is a good way to find out the secrets that only they and the hidden recesses of your mind may  know.

They will not necessarily tell you the truth right away. Our brains love making patterns and finding the easiest way from A to B.  As a cozy mystery author, you realize the straight shortcut may be the fastest but you are trying to construct a maze of misdirection to  ensnare your reader. 🙂

Asking the right questions will let your characters help  with this. The classic  journalist’s questions are Who? What? Why? When? Where? and How? The signpost has added Which? and Whose?

They must all be answered. What the author has to decide is which questions and answers are most important for the telling of the story.


J for Join #A to Z Challenge

join balloons
image by Stuart Miles courtesy of

Join has  been one of my inspirational writing words for as long as I can remember. My first childhood ambition was to do joined up writing.

Then I found out about joining words (conjunctions). And that was followed by learning more varied methods of linking  sentences with dependent clauses.

Joining ideas and thoughts together led to the creation of those first stories which sometimes worked well but very often didn’t.

And now as writers, it’s the way we join our words and ideas together that allows our voice to sing and creates effective writing that readers enjoy.

We link words to each other, sentence to sentence, paragraph to paragraph. We hook chapter into chapter until by the end a perfectly constructed novel  is ready for publication.

Join New Groups

And throughout our time, we reach out to create a network of family, friends, readers, like-minded supporters.

Recently many talented authors of cozy mysteries have come under threat. Penguin Random House and a few other publishers surprisingly cancelled some excellent series to the horror of writers and fans alike.

Show solidarity. Find out what you can do to help. Join the Facebook Group Save Our Cozies.

By joining like-minded groups, you may increase your own support. Join and prosper. 🙂