Writer of children's stories, passionate about writing. Author of Black Water.

Cilnging On By My Fingernails

How do you write a book that will make an exciting read?

The answer isn’t obvious when you are at the beginning stage, sifting through the possible options.

I took a number of ideas to my writer’s group and asked them what they thought. Most said that the harder idea would be impossible: write the simpler one.

So I went home and thought about the opportunities for the plot and the different ways the characters could develop, within that simple scenario. And the answer to my question became clear: I had to take the harder option, because it offered not only my characters more room for development, but also me as a writer.

I deliberately bit off more than I could chew, and started chomping.

So far, it’s proved a surprisingly delicious meal, full of unexpected flavours and textures – with that special Zing! Can I make it work?

The answer is, I have to. Somehow.

On every page my characters find themselves in places I never imagined they could go; we are all clinging by our fingernails to a crumbling crag, hoping for a way out. Because though I have a sense of the direction, I don’t know the detail of the story, or what is going to happen next.

This is a dangerous way to write, and it may be the wrong one. It’s certainly time consuming, because it takes me up a lot of blind alleys and means large amounts of rewriting. But I’m living on the edge trying to create this new world, and make my characters live – and die – convincingly within it.

And it is thrilling!


  1. If you’re writing that book as well as you wrote this post, I know it will be a good book! You know just how to write things to make them very interesting. You have very good composition! Keep it up!

  2. I have a tendency to do that too. sometimes it works out well if the concept is strong enough for me to fill it in…. but it has also left me with a handful of stories half finished!!! gah!!! good luck to you !


  3. I love the thought of taking your ideas to your writing group to see what they thought! The fact that you then went for the harder option though is great – well done! This is a great way to write and I hope you continue to find it thrilling and it all comes together magnificently for you – good luck!

  4. Love your touches of whimsy Now see mine #
    Let me know if this is workable. Also would love for you to LIKE me on FB

  5. I’m really glad you wrote the harder one! I’ve been very motivated by a few quotes I’ve heard recently and continue to see the importance in pushing the limits. That’s where growth occurs. :) Way to go!

  6. Josh, thanks so much for your lovely comment. I really appreciate it. And yes, there is no doubt in my mind that the learning is where the challenge is. Cordelia

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.


You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>


Theme by Anders NorenUp ↑