Fiction, therapeutic writing

Update: Books, Research and New Projects

Hello all,

It’s been a while since I blogged about any of my goings on – mainly as I’ve been desperately trying to finish a book. Thankfully, that happened!

I’m excited to announce that Goodbye Ruby Tuesday  will be released on the 28th April. You can pre-order it now. There will, as usual, be a blog tour, a (truly) fantastic give away and a really different and creative event to promote the book and raise money for a great cause! The excellent Sara from Huhbub will be arranging all of this for me, so if you are a lovely blogger interested in the blog tour, leave a comment or send me a twitter message (@almichael_).

Goodbye Ruby Tuesday

It’s a book about three childhood friends who are brought together by the death of a rockstar they used to know, and start up an arts centre. It’s a noughties nostalgia-filled jaunt through the creative goings on in north London, with three friends fighting to create something special in memory of their friend.

Research:

My research into the application of creative therapeutic writing in eating disorder recovery starts next week. I’ll be running workshops in London, working with some lovely people in order to research how useful creative writing can be. I really do believe in the power of writing to heal and help arrange thoughts. I’m excited to see what this research discovers.

Future Writing:

Goodbye Ruby Tuesday is the first in a series of three books coming out this year. Each main character gets a book, so I hope you love the girls as much as I do, because there’s a lot more coming from them this year. The second book, Nice Day for a White Wedding will be our over the summer. The third, you’ll have to wait and see, but as I’m sure it’s clear, I’m picking some of my favourite songs as titles this time!

Other:

I’m excited to say I’ll be back at the wonderful Larmertree Festival this year, providing some creative writing for wellness workshops. They’ll be focused on nature and the body, really working to be inspired by the natural environment of the festival. If you’re there this year, stop by and try it out!

 

 

 

 

writing tips

Reading as a Writer and how it can help your work.

I don’t mean that as a writer, you need to read. That’s one of the basic tenets of writing. I read an article this morning that had a list of things NOT to say to an agent or publisher, and ‘I don’t read because I don’t want to steal anyone’s ideas’ is one of them. Not to say it’s not a fair point, I think we all have that worry, but it’s imperative you’re reading. You don’t ask a painter to create for an exhibition when they’ve never even stepped inside a gallery.

But, that’s not what I’m talking about. I’m talking about the way you read. I’m currently in another of those ‘this is crap, this is so crap’ points in my work in progress (40000 words in, I should have expected it) and every line looks boring, or overdone, or slow. So I thought I’d go back to looking at some of my favourite books, and looking at how they do it. So I started reading as a writer. I looked at where she put the commas, how many times she used ‘said’. What the sentences in between the speech told us. I thought perhaps there was some sort of style or code to this author’s perfection. And what did I find?

Zilch. She uses said a lot. The sentences in between do the same that mine do. It’s not that fast paced, it’s just enjoyable to the reader to go on the journey, because the dialogue is funny. And that’s what I realised- when we write, we are judging our own work as critics of the language. We’re strangling the adverbs and looking at individual lines and worrying, worrying, worrying.

But when I read a good book, all those things become invisible. The ‘said’s cease to exist, because they’re just markers. The description translates directly into a vision of a character, I’m not sitting there wondering why she used a certain word, or commenting on the vocabulary- I’m too busy disappearing into the story!

Which tells me two things:

  1. I’m probably not as crap as I think I am right now, and I just need to buck the hell up.
  2. Some of the best writing is ‘invisible’ to the reader.

So happy morning all, I’m off to write some invisible words on the page now.

Uncategorized

First Draft Finished!

As I’m sure you know from facebook, if you’re on there, I’ve finished the first draft of my novel. 6 months, baby.

I then planned to do as many esteemed writers suggest, and leave it in a box under the bed, and not look at it for a good month or so. Except, as soon as I decided to do that, I started getting more ideas. And worked out how to fix certain problems, and just in general, got my behind into gear.

Also, today, found a very interesting method of novel-brainstorming. Using collage. Cool, huh? So I think I might try that, if I can get my hands on enough glue and glitter. Firstly, because I love projects, secondly, because I love projects masquerading as work, and thirdly, well, maybe it’ll help. It’ll definitely help me decide if my character’s eyes are green or blue (have already switched three times as far as I can tell in about ten chapters!) and things like that.

Hmm, yay, Stuff that masquerades as art. Plus, it’ll make my blog look prettier.

Here’s a link to excellent writer Jennifer Crusie’s novel collages

 

This is Jennifer Crusie's- isn't it awesome?

Thanks to those who’ve said they’d like to read a copy, I’m going to get it through the edit and redraft phase, and then I’d really love some feedback from all that want to give it. Perhaps you could list yourselves in the comment box if you want a copy? I’m going to have the most thoroughly edited piece of work ever!