Category Archives: author resources

F for Flibbertigibbet

The original plan for F was for fast and furious writing.  According to writing coach Rob Parnell, he of the Easy Way to Write system, this is the way to go. Fast writing pushes out your first draft without allowing you to stop, think, or edit. It can produce some wonderful challenges to a previously outlined plot. It sets your creative mind free to make unexpected leaps and connections.

This morning, I switched on my computer as always. The notes and timetables for today’s work sat beside me ready. As I waited for the machine to load, I noticed a DVD (Bob Dylan’s Modern Times) on the dedsk, and just had to load that on to the computer first. It could count as an F for Flower Child at a stretch.

 F for flibbertigibbet ambroFfdpnetflounced out of nowhere. So, of course, I had to look it up.  According to Wikipedia, it’s a  Middle English word referring to a flighty or whimsical person, usually a young woman. In modern use, it is used in the North of England as a slang term, for a gossipy or overly talkative person.

It appears in Shakespeare. Sir Walter Scott, and The Sound of Music.

According to my mother, it’s someone like me with a mind like a butterfly.

Research Time

Then I had to spend hours researching photos and found two flibbertigibbet blogs listed. Diverted but returned to photo search  and again did best at Free Digital Photos–oh dear, this post could go on forever if I chose F for Free. More flibbertigibbeting–and what did I say yesterday about overuse of em-dashes?

Fast and furious writing to complete this post. The benefits  of Fast Writing are a lightening of the writing load and a cathartic sense of release.photokanokfdp

Whole morning gone. 🙁

What I need is F for Focus.

Any more flibbertigibbets out there? Are you a fast writer or compulsive editor?

image courtesy of Ambro, at Free Digital

and F image from Photokanok again at Free Digital Photos

D for Database

spreadsheetmorguefileDatabases are not what immediately spring to mind when you’re a creative author. They’re okay for IT and business solutions, but for a writer?

Useful Database tips

  • create timesheets: log hours (minutes?)worked, progress on the WIP
  • track submissions: name of work, where sent, date, and result
  • track review sites :url, what is required, free or costs
  • track writing opportunities and free lance work.

Some helpful databases online may be of help if you’re not into planning your own.

Author Resources

Freelance Writing has a page for Writer’s Guidelines

The Writer’s Database is a free web-based system where you can track submissions, find markets by sharing listings and even get charts of your writing habits to show how much you are writing and when. You can even browse the markets without logging in. Find fun widgets there too.

Authors’ Database is a promotional site where you can add your book to the database for free. If you go on the theory that the greater web presence you have, the more likely you are to sell your book, then this is another place to use for a listing.

What sort of database info would you want to log, if any?

spreadsheet and D pendant images courtesy of the Morgue File

and a glittery D to brighten the databases  🙂


C for Cozy and Clue


I love cozy mysteries and find them totally addictive.  So, following the write-what-you-know maxim, I knew that’s what II wanted to create.

Cast of characters: write down a small bio for each. Plot: plan according to a composite of screenwriting and novel advice.  (Shall look for links and update later,) Motivation: Lots of murderous motivations to call upon. Don’t we all have them ? 🙂

And conflict–perhaps this should have been C for Conflict. Conflict is not people having cantankerous quarrels. Conflict is created through internal and external character goals which seem irreconcilable but must be reconciled before story end.

But when it came to clues, I was clueless. The deceptive facility of the genre caught me out.  The solution: read from back to front, noting what clues might be needed, what clues are missed. They can then be inserted and hidden as appropriate earlier in the novella.

The Importance of Clues

Readers love puzzles, like looking for motivations and wondering how conflicts can be resolved.  Without this reader involvement, without reader identification with the main character or characters, novels fail.

Whatever we’re reading, we are always, consciously or not, on the lookout for clues to know what we’re supposed to be understanding from a book.

Today’s Tips: Author Resources

Canva: a great photo design site which makes it easy to create your own images. Free photos and design tutorials.

Calibre:  wonderful free software for converting a book into the reading format you need for various platforms and devices. Invaluable for reader re views as you can convert files into pdf. mobi. epub. Extra tip: I still find it best to convert a word file into pdf. before uploading. So pleased with it, I even donated…and I’m a Scot. We’re very canny with our money. 🙂

Images courtesy of Simon Howden at

Chicken fdpnetI could say I used C for Chicken as I am such a coward when it comes to sending manuscripts for editing. But it’s here because I like chickens.