Category: Fiction

Miscellaneous works of fiction by Tessa Barrie

 

The Two Minute Grab Zone

After three and a half years of my life and 92,000 words, I’m not going to allow my novel to wallow in the slushy stigma of rejection and, whatever it takes, I’m going to make it grabbable.  

I’ve known about the Two Minute Grab Zone for quite some time and it’s time I got to grips with it.

REJECTION IS NOT FATAL

With all the upbeat bravado that goes into celebrating a New Year, it has been a sobering experience for me to start 2019 with a rejection. I am viewing the first rejection of 2019 as a part of my character building process.  I haven’t died, I will live to write another day.  My determination, as well as desire to master the craft is stronger than it ever was and I’m on the way to developing a skin with the rigidity of an armadillo.  So, that’s all good.

The Good Teacher by Rachel Sargeant Published 14th December 2018 #BlogTour #Extract

Even the good have to die.

A beloved teacher is murdered and left in a ditch beside a country lane. His wife is found beaten and gagged in their suburban home.

SHORT STORY: My Christmas Carol (898 WORDS)

Christmas has always made me think of the beach and palm trees.  Even as a child I used to fantasise about escaping to a deserted beach.

STAND UP TO CANCER: Short Story – Saving Grace

I was gutted yesterday to hear that one of my oldest friends had lost her battle with Cancer. This afternoon, I wrote this short story in her memory.

I would stress that this is a work of fiction and the only similarity to our relationship, is the humour we always shared together.

We should all do our bit to Stand Up To Cancer so, if this story touches your heart, please donate to https://www.standuptocancer.org.uk/ways-to-donate. Thank you.

There are around 164,000 cancer deaths in the UK every year, that’s around 450 every day (2014-2016).

‘Join our kick-ass rebellion against Cancer.’ cancerresearch.org

How to Hook an Agent: Jargon Busting

I haven’t submitted to a publisher since 1998. This week was a first for me because I have never approached a scary agent before and some of them weren’t even born in 1998.  Now, barely out of University, with dynamic wish lists, eager to discover the next J. K. Rowling and an enduring character, such as Harry Potter… who they’ve grown up with.   

As a much-older-than-I-would-like debut novelist, my bittersweet story is about the life of a forty-year-old woman born in 1959, who grew up with the non-PC tales of Noddy and Big Ears.  So, many baby-faced agents might consider that my first foray into Women’s Fiction would be better suited under the heading Historical Fiction.

Richard Skinner – Enlightened and Liberating Teacher

Jersey is no longer a literary wasteland, the Festival of Words is in its fourth year and is inspiring the lives of many. Richard Skinner, was part of the packed programme this year and he is exactly as the author, Renée Knight, so succinctly describes him… ‘An enlightened and liberating teacher.’ 

Close Encounter

Then he flashed his teeth as he grinned at her triumphantly having extracted himself from between the wall and her desk.  She snapped her top lip shut. Oh my God, the same bloody teeth.  It’s all got to be a horrible coincidence, I can’t possibly be related to him.

The things I do to try and get myself into print…

“You can’t really go wrong if you aim for 500-800 words and, for sure, keep the thing to less than 1,000 words. Agents asking for a 1-page synopsis are being unrealistic. Anyone who wants more than 1,000 words doesn’t know what a synopsis is.” Jerichowriters.com Thank you Jericho […]

Writing Blindfolded

Three years ago, I started with an idea that had been in my head for twenty-five years.  No plan, no plot, just an idea and I gave myself free rein to let the story unfold in any direction.  As I was seeing life from a more mature perspective, the idea took another turn when I became all consumed with my main character’s backstory.

Rejection is not The End (although it may feel like it!)

Whatever genre you wrap up your story up in, however many weeks, months and years it has taken you to reach The End, the next step is to get people to read it. 

SHORT STORY: Finally Free (982 WORDS)

It was inevitable really… two nineteen-year-olds and a baby living under the same roof as my mother was never going to work.

Creating Characters

Over the years, I have barely scratched the surface of my characters’ persona in short stories, but that is about to change.   You can write a story, but you need a strong protagonist to make it fly and the good news is that the inspiration is all around you.

Less is More

God forbid that I would want to bludgeon the reader with anything but I have taken these words of wisdom on board as I sift through the manuscript again.

And… breathe…

I never normally turn to acts of violence to vent my feelings.

First Draft Feeling

I have just run off the first, complete, draft of my first work of fiction.

Character Building

There is nothing more complex and fascinating than a Homo Sapien.

The Learning Curve(s) of a Virgin Novelist​

Very recently, I had to step away from it, again, for a number of weeks.   I had more than just a wobble, it was a total confidence meltdown.

Millennium Mind (RE)set

Bumping into her soul mate for life, to find out that her ovaries were not shivvelled prunes after all.  

The Editing Process and the Fear of Falling at the Final Hurdle

To be an editor you need to be disciplined, a skill I am having to knuckle down and cultivate.

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