Writing with Charlotte

Rewriting endings

Reading Time: 3 minutes Rewriting stories is always the hardest part for me. Editing your own work is always difficult. Not the proof-reading or checking the spelling – although there, too, it’s always difficult to read what you’ve written instead of what you intended to write – but the fundamental plotline or needing to know a character better (or less!). As a writer, you know a lot more than the reader needs to but communicating it, or holding it back, is a really difficult balance. There are other reasons for rewriting as well, one of which I’m working with at the moment.

Locked In

Reading Time: < 1 minute Just one of the research materials for the story I’m currently working on! It seems like a horrifying idea – that you can be completely conscious, even feeling whatever is going on, and yet not be able to communicate or move in any way. Everything you did would be at the whim of someone else, who might not even believe that you were able to hear or see them. Woman’s recovery from ‘locked-in’ syndrome

India Knight’s Comfort and Joy

Reading Time: 3 minutes I really wanted to like this book. I love India’s columns in The Times, and find her tweets often hilarious – especially when she and Caitlin Moran are watching Downton Abbey at the same time. I think she usually has a lot of interesting things to say and a sarcastic, yet honest, way of writing. It doesn’t feel, in her columns, as though she’s going for a cheap laugh or a moment’s entertainment at the expense of the point she’s trying to make. But I didn’t feel the same warmth from her novel. Set over three conscutive Christmas Days, 2009-11, …

Christmas Ghost Stories

Reading Time: 27 minutes Ghost stories always seem to have a particular resonance at Christmas. Perhaps it’s the atmospheric frost, fog and snow that almost inevitably occurs. Perhaps it’s the late-night images of telling them around the fire, or the thought that somehow there is something about Christmas, the way that people are so open with one another and more forgiving, which thins the boundaries of this world and another. The Victorian Christmas annuals became a tradition of ghost stories, with famour authors vying to have their contributions accepted – particularly in those published by the likes of Dickens. The Turn of the Screw …