Ruth’s Blog

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This year’s book is at the printers!

Here it is - the cover of the new book. It's due out on November 6th 2020, a child of the lockdown, and a good yarn. I'll add it to my Paypal-linked website bookshop before publication day, and the Kindle version will be available after Christmas. The ISBN number is...

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The muddle in the middle

I can’t be the only one who struggles with a muddle in the middle. This is the stage where the story gets complicated, and possible blind alleys are introduced to tempt the reader but end up confusing the writer instead.

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Problem with Endings

Eighty-five thousand words in, with a plan that looked OK for a while and has now been changed countless times, I'm still unsure how to end the story. I've been here many times before, six times before in fact, once for each of my previous novels. Endings are the bane...

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Plot, character and setting: which comes first?

When I'm talking about writing, explaining the balance between plot, character, point of view and setting is a helpful starting point for people who haven't yet thought about how a novel is developed. In my West Cumbrian trilogy, the first novels I wrote, setting was...

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Who pulled the plug out?

Last week, little more than two months after starting it, I finished the first draft of a new novel. At just less than 90,000 words, it's currently shorter than some of my crime novels, and my editor may suggest that it needs more depth in some places, more...

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When plots strain credulity

The current fashion in crime fiction seems to be for the writer to visualise the plot of a story in terms of a series of gripping scenes. It's certainly the way to go if you fancy selling to TV. The drama of these scenes can lie in the characters and their individual...

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Can you plan a book around key scenes?

Over Christmas I read Peter Ackroyd's excellent biography of Alfred Hitchcock, and was particularly interested in how Hitchcock set about planning his films. He began not with characters, or even with a plot, but with a series of scenes - actions in a setting - and...

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Scratching the itch

After the difficulties in writing and publishing my last novel 'Burning Secrets' I vowed I wouldn't put myself under that kind of pressure again. I would not set immutable deadlines, or make important decisions too quickly. And I would set time aside for other things...

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