August 2018

Celebrity, editing and regular writing

What a month we’ve had – The World Cup, Wimbledon tennis, Open golf, Tour de France cycling, record temperatures, thunder and lightning! We’ve also had road and rail chaos, more Brexit and … Cliff Richard.


            I will state straightaway that I am in total agreement with the judge in the Cliff Richard case – it was an outrageous invasion of privacy and, sadly, Cliff’s name will always be tarnished by association, even though he was never arrested or charged. And I say all this as a former BBC journalist.

            I recognise and understand the other side of this unfortunate incident: that if no-one is named, then others affected can’t come forward. But surely this was a case of a news organisation hounding a man because he was a celebrity when all they had was a tip-off that he was a possible suspect. A helicopter?!

            If it had been a non-celebrity, would they have employed the same, expensive, means of coverage? I think not. Celebrity, in this case, paid a high price.

            Yes, Cliff has won the court case and has been awarded costs and compensation. And who has to pay? The BBC or, rather, we license-payers. I shall be extremely disappointed if the BBC appeals the verdict. They should rather investigate their own standards of journalism, particularly in relation to celebrities.  

image002OK, rant over. Onto something much nicer. I thought I’d let you know how things are going with the Wilbur Smith prize. As one of five people shortlisted for the Unpublished Adventure Novel of the Year, I have been in touch over the past six weeks with the literary consultant who has been editing my novel. He has done an extremely thorough job and has introduced to me to some grammar and punctuation rules that I have never come across before! I’ll just say that I took out the word but 833 times and put in a few extra commas. It definitely reads better now.

            I’ve also received the official invitation to the awards presentation evening in September. It’s all becoming so much more real! And I really am getting on with the sequel, to date just over two-thirds of the way there.

            One thing I’ve learned about writing over the past few years is that Little and Often is, for me, the best way to go. I try to stick to a specific word count for at least five days in every week. This way, I keep the flow going and can usually find the time, amidst the hurly-burly of general life. But, as well we all know, various life dramas can take over at the most unexpected of times. But even if it’s as little as one or two hundred words a day, more when I’m away on holiday, it all mounts up.

            images-18One or two of the writers in my groups confess that they only start their writing homework on the day of our next class. They will have had the theme or topic or task for at least a month and, they assure me, they HAVE been THINKING about it. But pen-to-paper or sitting down at the computer only happens a matter of hours before we are meeting. The two people in particular (they know who they are) always produce really entertaining pieces. I’m sure they appreciate that their contributions are the first draft towards a final creation. They still have to take out the buts and add a few commas 🙂 

Also, this month: five of the competitions I posted last month are still valid and there are plenty of writing prompts to get you going, some as daily writing starters, others that could lead to short stories or longer.

Please do get in touch if you have any comments about my blog or any writing questions.

Happy writing.


One Comment on “August 2018

  1. The way the Beeb have hounded Sir Cliff on flimsy evidence is a disgrace. Some of the mud will stick, it always does.
    Decisions have to be made by the media on firm foundations. They rarely think about the consequences of their intrusive investigations. Great news that your literary award is taking shape, Linda. Commas instead of ‘buts’? Some tutor you’ve got there if he can introduce you to new aspects of grammar!

    Short but regular writing is the key for all of us. Now all we’ve got to do, is do it! Best wishes


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