Mystery Novels, NaNoWriMo and the Review Winner

English: Weetwood Hall Hotel

Weetwood Hall Hotel (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Last weekend I went on a Relax and Write course at Weetwood Hall in Leeds.
I went to learn ‘How to Write the Mystery Novel’ with Eileen Robertson. We did character sketches of our heroes and villains, we thought about their motivations and what had brought these characters to where they were at the start of the novel. We gave brief descriptions of how our plots might develop and everyone chipped in with their own suggestions for each other’s storylines – something I found useful.

The accommodation and food for the weekend were excellent (although the bar prices were rather high!).
But it was the other course participants who made the weekend particularly enjoyable. We all got along and, as most writers seem to be, everyone was very generous sharing their experiences and advice.

Several of us are intent on doing NaNoWriMo during November (National Novel Writing Month). So you might notice this blog go rather quiet as I try to churn out 50,000 words. I did it about four years ago, so I know how tough it is. I’m hoping the challenge will kill off procrastination and give me the skeleton of a novel that might be worth spending more time on.

Finally, I am pleased to announce that Chris Sullivan is the winner of the Book Review Competition that I ran a couple of weeks ago. Chris has a book review blog at The Voyage Out – do go over and have a look at it if you enjoy reading.
Many thanks to everybody who took the time to download, read and review Karen’s Story and any of my other books. It was much appreciated and I’ve taken all your comments on board.

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  1. #1 by ann harrison on November 3, 2013 - 10:51 am

    I have come out of NaNo Sally, yes, at this early stage. As you mentioned in an earlier blog about not finishing a book, I realized I had made a wrong decision in signing up to do 50k in the month of November. I was using it also to step out of procrastination. I had done my research, I had my characters, my theme, my setting. It was in preparing all this, that my procrastination faded away.
    Then I thought, why the hell am i putting myself freely into all the tension and angst? I am of an age(retired) when I can leave all those feelings to the ‘young uns.’ And concentrate putting all angst, tension and other feelings into my stories/characters and work on my much neglected blog. But I do wish you and everyone taking part —Good Luck.

    Ps, I have cupboards and a fridge freezer full of food and treets for the whole of NaNo month, if you run out, I can send you some.

    • #2 by Sally Jenkins on November 3, 2013 - 3:22 pm

      So, NaNo served its purpose for you, Ann! Good Luck with getting the novel written at your own pace now. And yes please, do send me some of those treats from your freezer!

  2. #3 by Lesley Dawson on November 3, 2013 - 12:23 pm

    I’m glad your mystery writing weekend was a success, Sally, and good luck with Nanowrimo. I hope you’ve been busy writing! Congrats to Chris also … I’ll head over to his blog for a look. 🙂

    • #4 by Sally Jenkins on November 3, 2013 - 3:25 pm

      Thanks, Lesley. It’s the end of day 3 and I’m on target so far.

      • #5 by Lesley Dawson on November 3, 2013 - 7:34 pm

        Great, keep it going! 😀

  3. #6 by susanjanejones on November 3, 2013 - 5:00 pm

    Hi Sally, sounds a great weekend, and I’m nanoing, it’s fun at the moment, and makes us do random stuff with our characters I think. My normally placid friends, have had an argument, and one of them has gone and got drunk and taken on a bar job!!! Whatever next? Must write more to find out……

    • #7 by Sally Jenkins on November 3, 2013 - 7:32 pm

      Sounds like you’re having fun, Susan! I think dropping random stuff in is a good way of testing how well we know the characters.

  4. #8 by Anne Harvey on November 3, 2013 - 7:45 pm

    Glad you enjoyed your course at Weetwood Hall, Sally. I know it well as it used to be part of the University of Leeds where I worked (not sure if it still is). Also, congratulations on starting NaNoWriMo. You have more stamina and courage than me. My views coincide with your first poster, Ann Harrison. Why put myself through it? But I do wish everyone of you doing it lots of luck.

    • #9 by Sally Jenkins on November 4, 2013 - 8:26 pm

      Thanks, Ann. Not sure whether Weetwood is still anything to do with the Uni now – it seemed a bit too posh for students!

      • #10 by ann harrison on November 5, 2013 - 10:34 am

        Sally, re treats for NaNo month. I have a four pack of mars bars, a twix pack. One kilo of Licorice Allsorts. A pizza and four ready meals. (I cook all my own food so anything ready-made is a treat, (now and again.) All the small packs of maltesers/ Revells/ caramel chocolatey tiny things, were eaten the week before while I was researching/thinking.
        Sending mars bars while you think what next you would prefer.
        Pleased your word count is up to scratch.

      • #11 by Sally Jenkins on November 5, 2013 - 5:31 pm

        Wow! Thanks for the Mars Bars. Will ponder on what to have next!

  5. #12 by Diana Jackson on November 4, 2013 - 6:33 pm

    I’m sure you are sent lots of awards Sally. Thank you for your advice to writers. I’ve mentioned you on my blog
    All the best Diana.

    • #13 by Sally Jenkins on November 4, 2013 - 8:30 pm

      Diana, I’m really touched – thank you very much. And well done to you for getting the award in the first place!

  6. #14 by Linda on November 5, 2013 - 1:48 pm

    So is your NaNo novel going to be a mystery? Hope it’s not a mystery to you!

    • #15 by Sally Jenkins on November 5, 2013 - 5:32 pm

      It is a sort of mystery/romance, Linda. Or at least that’s the plan!

  7. #16 by Tracy Fells on November 7, 2013 - 5:42 pm

    Good to hear the update from the mystery writing weekend, Sally. And good luck with NaNoWriMo – hope to hear how this is going, but in short bursts only as it’s a lot of words to write daily.

    • #17 by Sally Jenkins on November 7, 2013 - 6:55 pm

      You’re right, Tracy. I’m finding an hour first thing in the morning (before breakfast!) and an hour in the evening is working best.

  1. Thank you for my ‘You have been blessed’ award! | A Selection of Recollections

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