Bits and Bobs

Author Page

 Getting There...


I have decided that there are two things I love doing and they are definitely the things that I am going to focus on in my spare time, from now on. 


Reading is one. I have always found it easy to lose myself in a book and my own reading is always a mishmash of fiction and non-fiction. From dramas and YA fiction books to biographies and historical novellas, my taste is quite varied.


My own appetite for reading feeds my desire to write fiction stories. Nothing is more satisfying than coming up with a brand new idea and watching it unravel in front of me, spreading across my screen. Usually I begin with a character and a setting. Then I start to explore their world and their interactions with other people. The story will hopefully develop as we get to know that main character better. At least that's what I'm going for, anyway.


Normally I have a central theme or a particular nugget of information that drives my narrative or fuels the beginning of my stories, but after that, I never really know where my books will end up. I love to surprise myself as I go along.


I know that some authors spend lots of time planning their adventures but for me I get a lot of pleasure out of taking the writing bit by bit. When I wrote, 'The Fathers, the Sons and the Anxious Ghost' I was aware that it involved three fathers and their families but it wasnt until I was half way through that I came up with the idea of writing the next part of the story ten years later, from the eyes of their children.


There is not one special way of doing it. Writing is organic and the process of capturing a story and handing over to an audience is complex and depends very much on the individual writer. Don't let anyone say to you that you have to have a plan every moment in incredible detail or that your story must have a certain sequence (set the scene, build up, introduce a problem, solve said problem, happy ending). It doesn't and there is no need for you to be formulaic. Just do what you feel comes naturally.


Good luck with the writing and reading. 


Book Blog - Check out my YouTube for regular book recommendations.


Here are three books that I have recently read. Each one is well worth a read.


Orfeia by Joanne Harris


A fantastic book that delves into other worlds. A mother loses her daughter and is swept up in an alternative London where nature has consumed the shops and the streets are full of mysterious characters and wild animals. A journey on the night train to the world of death reveals interesting parallels and intriguing relationships. The main character is treated like a queen and courted by the peculiar Halloween King. All is definitely not as it seems and what it seems like is cleverly described.


Unique and consuming. *****


Let It Snow by John Green, Lauren Myracle and Maureen Johnson


Three interwoven stories set during a snow storm just before Christmas. A well known singer, some troubled teenagers and some interesting situations, involving a Waffle House, a snowed in train and a character who wraps themselves in tinfoil. Now a TV movie.


Modern, easy to read and... well... surrounded by snow.

**** heading towards *****


Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? By Mindy Kaling


A biography that raises smiles. This gem is written by the hugely entertaining Hollywood writer and actress  who became well known because of the US Office TV show. I first saw her in 'Ocean's Eight' and 'Late Night'.


Her recollections of growing up within a traditional family and falling in love with sitcoms, are funny, honest and relatable. 

My rating is ***** for the funny recollections and unique style.


All of these books will be discussed alongside my other recent reads on my new Booktube jamieadstories which can be found on my YouTube page.


  



Welcome to my blog where I hope to make everyone familiar with me as a fledgling writer.


I am so excited to have established my very first website and am pleased to invite anyone to give feedback on my work as they wish.


Whilst starting out in March 2018, my main aim was to write a novella, which should be ready by June. Not being able to wait that long I packaged together a collection of fresh contemporary stories about dating, heartache and loss. I hope that you take the time to glance through them as they mean a lot to me and hopefully will resonate with each reader in a unique way

WRITING TIPS


How to write contemporary fiction (in other words write about what we know, at the current time).


1) Everybody likes to read about something relatable and some of our best writing comes straight from our own experiences, even if we apply those experiences to other worlds or historical periods. The important thing to remember whilst writing about the present is that it very soon becomes part of the past. Will readers picking up your book in twenty years time still be able to connect to your narrative and setting?


2) Having said this, modern fiction is often about a world that is here right now. A writer must draw upon society and make observations about current affairs. This includes referring to the right kinds of technology. For example, a nineties book would have rarely mentioned a mobile phone whereas a comtemporary piece needs characters regularly updating their statuses on apps, texting each other using relevant slang and referring to the latest trending series on Netflix ('Oh my! That Bridgestone Duke!')


3) People love romance and heartache, passion and pain, and of course, a certain amount of controversy. They also like to see the main characters dealing with the stuff that everyday life brings with it and the problems that are thrown at normal people daily. From parking tickets to parenting by ipad. From juggling work, shopping, keeping family commitments and making time to watch the school play, to all sorts of other activities that consume our routines and give us plenty to talk about with our mates over a beer (or perhaps during a Zoom catch-up).


4) Characters still need journeys, whether they are actual travelling encounters or simply stories that follow growing up, changing jobs, dealing with loss or trying to resolve a lifelong bugbear. If characters grow and change, usually in a way that shows they have had a life experience that has taught them something about themselves, then most worthy critics will acknowledge that a narrative has resonated with them somehow.


5) A modern classic will only do well if readers want to share and chat about it. If the situation in the story is similar to something your readers might have dealt with (even though it may well be exaggerated for the purposes of making it worthy of being turned into a TV series) then whoever has the good fortune of flicking through its pages will find themselves discussing it with a friend, rating it on Goodreads or simply showing a picture of its cover on their Insta.


Make it feel real and use what you know. If you do this, then your story will definitely make an impact on your readers and give you the satisfaction of knowing that your writing is valued.