Category Archives: Malta.

Sometimes you just have to admit when an idea isn’t working #amwriting #writingcommunity #writingtips

I generally like to think I have the hang of putting a plot together. I’ve published eighteen novels, a writing guide, writing courses, hundreds of short stories and more than a dozen serials.

Recently, though, for the first time in years, I gave up on an idea (though I termed it ‘putting it on the back burner’ because that sounds less defeatist than ‘gave up’). I wrestled with it in a large notebook and a small notebook. I printed out what I had and made notes on it. I cut bits out of a notebook and tried to force some kind of order and spark into the operation. I even wrote with different coloured pens.

Nope.

What had seemed like a great idea on Sunday was dead by Tuesday, even though I had what seemed like some promising elements:

  • A setting – Malta, one of my favourite places in the world
  • conflicts
  • a past issue between hero and heroine (not always necessary but often helpful)
  • sympathetic characters (designed for readers to like)
  • unsympathetic characters (who readers will probably curl their lips at)
  • secondary characters
  • a pivotal character (again not vital but I like to recognise when there’s a character without whom the plot wouldn’t work)
  • appropriate careers for hero and heroine
  • a contemporary issue to shine a light on

…but the idea didn’t ‘work’.

So, what went wrong? I think I had a list, not a plot. If a plot is a map through a story, mine had no roads – just the places, and nothing to link them. It feels like a pretty rookie error that I forgot my own first principle – make the conflicts of hero and heroine in some way impact upon one another. Make him want to develop a property and her have reason to try and stop the development; or have them both want to help an elderly character but have opposing views on how to do it. In other words, make sure they have a stake in each other’s story.

I didn’t start in the wrong place in my story, I started in the wrong place in my planning.

Not every writer plans, but I do. My planning is often haphazard, the method varies from book to book, but, as I’ve just found out, it’s important to get it right.

Luckily – I have another idea to work on, so I think I’ll just get on with that.

If you liked this post you may also like:

Should I write a prologue?

What happens in Chapter One?

Chapter Two and beyond

Final Chapter(s) and (possible) Epilogue 

Act, react and interact – breathing life into my characters

My plotty head, Fiction Land and my dad

Descriptive writing

Learn about publishing

Agent or no agent?

Sue Moorcroft’s recipe for a short story

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Filed under Authors, Malta., Plotting, readers, reading, Sue Moorcroft, Writers, writing, writing tip

Publication Day for #SummerOnASunnyIsland @AvonBooksUK @BFLAgency

Here it is at last! Publication day has arrived for Summer on a Sunny Island!

subtle pink

My thanks, as ever, to the fab team at Avon Books UK and Blake Friedmann Literary, Flim and TV Agency for their fantastic support.

The idea for Summer on a Sunny Island was sparked by a service kids’ reunion in Malta, where I was brought up for several years. My brothers, my sister-in-law and I managed to convert one lunch into a ten-day holiday so I didn’t see why such a reunion shouldn’t for part of a novel too. It’s about Rosa, who’s supporting her celeb-cook mum Dory in Malta and Zach, who’s looking after his Maltese grandmother’s property. They’ve both left tricky situations behind them in England but, of course, those situations don’t just go away.

I really hope that you enjoy the opportunity to travel to Malta by book, even if you can’t travel in real life during the pandemic. Malta’s a glorious, golden nugget in the blue Mediterranean sea and a part of my heart will always be there.

Thanks to every single blogger who’s signed up to read and review the book. Here’s details of the blog tour for you to follow:

Summer on a Sunny Island Blog Tour Banner

In addition, fab bloggers, including several from Team Sue Moorcroft, are kindly hosting extra posts from me.

Mark West, Strange Tales, 27th April.

Anne Williams, Being Anne, 29th April.

Samantha Smith, Written by S J Smith, 30th April.

Karen Cocking, My Reading Corner, 1st May.

Lucy Catten, Lucy Literati, 2nd May.

Sherry Gloag, Heart of Romance, 3rd May.

If you read Summer on a Sunny Island it would be fantastic if you could pop a review online. Every single one is appreciated.

On the evening of Friday 1st May I’ll be appearing on a screen near you as part of the Avon Book Fest. Bella Osborne, Phillipa Ashley and I will be live at 5.30pm BST and you can send us in your questions using the chat feature. It’s free and you can sign up here.

And no publication day blog post would be complete without buy links – so here they are!

Summer on a Sunny Island on UK Kindle

Summer on a Sunny Island on UK Kobo

Summer on a Sunny Island on UK Apple

Summer on a Sunny Island paperback

Summer on a Sunny Island audio

Summer on a Sunny Island in the US

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Filed under Apple Books, Audio, Authors, Avon Book Fest, Avon Books UK, Blake Friedmann Literary Agency, Book bloggers, ebook, HarperCollins, Juliet Pickering, Launch, Malta., Paperback, publication day, readers, reading, Sue Moorcroft, Summer on a Sunny Island, Summer read, Team Sue Moorcroft, Writers, writing