If books were real, Jamie Fraser…

Jamie Fraser …would be First Minster of an independent Scotland and still be happily married to Claire into their 80s [and he might look like Gerard Butler].     ‘Outlander’ by Diana Gabaldon, #1 Outlander [UK: Arrow] How would other fictional characters behave, if they were real? Torak in ‘Wolf Brother’ Bilbo Baggins in ‘The Hobbit’ Sarah Burton in ‘South Riding’ And if you’d like to tweet a link to THIS post, here’s my suggested tweet: If #books were real, Jamie Fraser be Scottish First Minister: CROSS STITCH by @Writer_DG via @SandraDanby  http://wp.me/p5gEM4-hX    
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Reading for research… The Yellow House

I love doing background research for my novels, I guess that’s the journalist in me. With hindsight, I researched my first novel Ignoring Gravity too much, I didn’t recognise the point at which I knew enough and when to let my imagination take over. I was reading about adoption, something I haven’t experienced myself and know no-one who has. So I turned to books [a typical reaction for me]. As a reader, I hate writers who put all their research onto the page. Needless to say, a lot of the stuff I put in the first draft, was stripped out
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Reading for research… Young Voices

As research for the next novel, I’m reading a lot about the Second World War. For a while I’ve been working my way through a fascinating book called Young Voices by Lyn Smith, produced with the Imperial War Museum. I picked it up in my local library. It is an account of children’s experiences during the war. I’m particularly interested in children who lived through Occupation and there are children quoted throughout who grew up Guernsey. One woman tells how it became compulsory at school to learn the German language. One day the German kommandant arrived to present a prize,
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Great opening paragraph 18… ‘The Ghost Road’ #amwriting #FirstPara

“In deck-chairs all along the front the bald pink knees of Bradford businessmen nuzzled the sun.” ‘The Ghost Road’ by Pat Barker, #1 Regeneration Trilogy  Amazon Try one of these 1st paras & discover a new author:- ‘Rebecca’ by Daphne du Maurier ‘The Murder Room’ by PD James ‘That They May Face the Rising Sun’ by John McGahern And if you’d like to tweet a link to THIS post, here’s my suggested tweet: A #FirstPara which makes me want to read more: THE GHOST ROAD by Pat Barker  #amwriting http://wp.me/p5gEM4-ev via @SandraDanby
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If books were real, Hermione Granger…

Hermione Granger… would secretly eat wasabi peas while reading Diana Gabaldon’s ‘Outlander’ series, book after book.     ‘Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows’ by JK Rowling [UK: Bloomsbury] How would other fictional characters behave, if they were real? Mikael Blomkvist in ‘The Girl with the Dragon Tatoo’ Elizabeth Bennet in ‘Pride and Prejudice’ Katniss Everdeen in ‘The Hunger Games’ And if you’d like to tweet a link to THIS post, here’s my suggested tweet: If #books were real, Hermione Granger: HP AND THE DEATHLY HALLOWS by @jk_rowling via @SandraDanby http://wp.me/p5gEM4-bC
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I agree with Antony Gormley…

Antony Gormley “Everybody says ‘what does it mean?’ …but what does life mean? Life is there to be lived, not to mean things, it’s to be experienced. They think… ‘oh we want a label, we want to know what it is, what it’s called, what it’s made of, and what it means.’ Well why not just be it, do it feel it.” [in an interview from ‘Lily Cole: Art Matters’ – Sky Arts] We have a tendency these days to over-analyse, to label, which is constrictive. Gormley [see his ‘Another Place’, left] is talking principally about art, and art as
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Great opening paragraph 17… ‘The Hobbit’ #amwriting #FirstPara

“In a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit. Not a nasty, dirty, wet hole, filled with the ends of worms and an oozy smell, nor yet a dry, bare, sandy hole with nothing in it to sit down on or to eat: it was a hobbit hole, and that means comfort.” ‘The Hobbit’ by JRR Tolkien  Amazon Try one of these 1st paras & discover a new author:- ‘A Bouquet of Barbed Wire’ by Andrea Newman ‘The Guest Cat’ by Takashi Hiraide ‘Before I Go to Sleep’ by SJ Watson And if you’d like to tweet a link to
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Writing Exercise – using photographs

Using memory as a trigger for a story idea can work on a small or large scale. This story was written in 2002 and started as a writing exercise. I used an old photo-booth photograph of me one summer in the 1960s, aged about seven, wearing a heavy-knit Aran sweater. FRECKLES “Congratulations,” said the judge, the doctor’s wife, as she pinned the red rosette on the bridle. Red was for first. The horse hadn’t won the prize, its rider had. A skinny black-haired girl with very red lips wore a thin smile and an Annie Oakley costume complete with Stetson
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If books were real, Jack Ryan…

Jack Ryan… would watch the car advertisements on TV and buy his daughter Sally a brand new VW Polo to go away to university.   ‘Patriot Games’ by Robert Ludlum [UK: Harper Collins] How would other fictional characters behave, if they were real? Hercule Poirot in ‘Death on the Nile Mr Wickham in ‘Pride and Prejudice’ Jackson Brodie in ‘Case Histories’ And if you’d like to tweet a link to THIS post, here’s my suggested tweet: If #books were real, Jack Ryan would buy a #VW Polo: PATRIOT GAMES by Tom Clancy via @SandraDanby http://wp.me/p5gEM4-bu
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Great opening paragraph 16… ‘The Other Boleyn Girl’ #amwriting #FirstPara

“Spring 1521. I could hear a roll of muffled drums. But I could see nothing but the lacing on the bodice of the lady standing in front of me, blocking my view of the scaffold. I had been at this court for more than a year and attended hundreds of festivities; but never before one like this.” ‘The Other Boleyn Girl’ by Philippa Gregory  Amazon Try one of these 1st paras & discover a new author:- ‘The Cement Garden’ by Ian McEwan ‘Midnight’s Children’ by Salman Rushdie ‘Herzog’ by Saul Bellow And if you’d like to tweet a link to THIS
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