Thursday 30 April 2015

We're not supposed to include coincidences, are we?

Years ago when I first started writing, I remember telling a writer, who was far more experienced than me the plot of my Book 1. We were at an end of term writing course night out, in a cocktail bar in Richmond, and we’d all overindulged. Anyway, the poor woman was subjected to the plot of my Book 1 for probably quite a long time, and when I’d finished, she said, ‘Sounds great, but aren’t there quite a few coincidences?’ Well, that observation made me think about my writing a great deal. During the next draft of my Book 1, I removed all of the coincidences and made everything happen because the main character was driving it to happen in some way. And this made me feel more like a proper writer.

But coincidences do happen in real life don’t they? (and in Hollywood films)

When I moved to London in 1996, I bumped into so many people I knew from university, all of the time-at tube stations, in bars, walking down the street. Once when I was in New York with my husband, someone called his name when we were walking down Fifth Avenue, and it was a work colleague, sitting on some steps, there to run the marathon. When these chance meetings happen, you do ask yourself why, don’t you? Was it supposed to happen for some kind of reason? Sometimes coincidences aren't just chance meetings.

Recently I read a post by Antoine Vanner about Player’s Navy Cut cigarettes, an interesting piece. The following day, whilst away in the Cotswolds with my family, we visited Dyrham Park, which was used as a filming location for the 1993 Merchant Ivory film The Remains of the Day, an adaption of the novel by Kazuo Ishiguro, with Anthony Hopkins and Emma Thompson. Usually the wonderful 17th Century mansion looks like this:

But currently, they’re having the roof done:

And in the glass case shown in the top photo, there are objects which have been found under the floorboards. The picture on the Player’s Navy Cut cigarettes had really stuck in my mind from Antoine’s post, and when I saw the packet in the case, I couldn’t believe it. I notified Antoine on Facebook of this amazing coincidence, and he gave me the link to this post on Synchronicity. It’s interesting, and do read it if you like coincidences! 

Whilst I'm here, an update on neetsmarketing:

On 25 April, I ran my first course on social media for writers in Surrey, which covered training and workshops on Twitter, Facebook and Blogging. There are some lovely quotes from attendees, which I’ve added to the courses page on my website here.  I was overwhelmed by the support from my Facebook Friends when I mentioned that I’d be running this course, and by the interest in future courses-thank you to all who liked and commented on my post!

On the neetsmarketing blog:

On 24 April, Talli Roland kindly wrote a guest post on Facebook for Writers: How to Interact with Readers

On 15 May, New Romantics Press will be answering my questions on marketing books. Some answers have come back already, and they will be very helpful to anyone looking to market their books and/or self-publish.

I recently revamped my neetsmarketing website too, to make it look (hopefully) more exciting. This took a good few hours…as playing around with websites does, but it was worth it, I think.

Thanks for reading, and see you in May!