#IWSG: When a Book becomes a Film – who’s the Writer?

The first Wednesday of every month is officially Insecure Writer’s Support Group day. It’s an opportunity to talk about doubts and fears you have conquered. To discuss your struggles and triumphs and to offer a word of encouragement for others who are struggling.


This month, I’m skipping the optional question because I finally caught up with Greta Gerwig’s film Little Women over the Easter break, and it caused me to ask the question: when a book becomes a film – who’s the writer?

In the opening sequence of the film, I saw the words written by Greta Gerwig flash up on my screen – and I was startled. Having previously worked in the film industry, I’d always understood that when adapting a book for screen, one would be credited for either the screenplay, the script, an adaptation, even a treatment, while including a nod to the writer of the original book upon which you’d based your screenplay/script/adaptation/treatment.

I got a further surprise when seeing that IMDB also gives Gerwig not only Directorial accreditation, but lists her as Writer – ahead of Louisa May Alcott.

Now, Little Women is a book I’ve long loved and, while I won’t claim to know it word-for-word, I have recently listened to sections of the audio book, so can state that entire sections of the film’s dialogue were identical to Alcott’s novel. As what Gerwig did was to tell the story with a feminist twist, surely this is but a treatment of the original novel – clever, but still just a treatment? I would not hesitate to credit her for writing the screenplay, but it doesn’t sit well with me for her to cast herself, or be cast. as The Writer.

What say you my fellow writers? Have the rules about adaptations to novels changed? Is there something I’m missing?

The awesome co-hosts this month are Kim Elliott, Melissa Maygrove, Chemist Ken, Lee Lowery, and Nancy Gideon!– do take a moment to visit them.


While you’re here, can I tempt you with a #FlashFiction prompt?

Every month, we run a different #FF prompt and this month it’s Paranoia.

If you’re inspired to give this a go, you can get full details here.


© Debra Carey, 2022

#IWSG: The making of an audio book

The first Wednesday of every month is officially Insecure Writer’s Support Group day. It’s an opportunity to talk about doubts and fears you have conquered. To discuss your struggles and triumphs and to offer a word of encouragement for others who are struggling.


April 6 question – Have any of your books been made into audio books? If so, what is the main challenge in producing an audiobook?

I have nothing published, so I can answer the first part of that question with a simple “no” 🙂

But I’d like to go on and answer the second part of that question by looking at the challenge of producing an audiobook of my co-authored WIP, The November Deadline.

We have four primary characters, with a couple of secondary ones (we’re still deciding how many of them will survive the next round of drafting). There’s a range of accents from upper class English, via cockney English, to west country English, to Welsh, with a mix of male and female characters. Chapters are all in first person point-of-view, with each character featuring, so mastering the accents enough to be authentic, but not so much that it becomes undecipherable, is the primary challenge. Of course, some of that would be down to our dialogue decisions, but an actor/narrator who can manage this tricky task well would certainly be worth every bit of their voice-over fee.

The awesome co-hosts for the April 6 posting of the IWSG are Joylene Nowell Butler, Jemima Pett, Patricia Josephine, Louise – Fundy Blue, and Kim Lajevardi – do take a moment to visit them.


While you’re here, can I tempt you with a #FlashFiction prompt?

Every month, we run a different #FF prompt and this month it’s a PhotoPrompt with a poster entitled Kitchen Witchery.

If you’re inspired to give this a go, you can get full details here.


© Debra Carey, 2022

#IWSG: Who’s missing from my picture?

The first Wednesday of every month is officially Insecure Writer’s Support Group day. It’s an opportunity to talk about doubts and fears you have conquered. To discuss your struggles and triumphs and to offer a word of encouragement for others who are struggling.


February 2 question – Is there someone who supported or influenced you that perhaps isn’t around anymore? Anyone you miss?

When you reach your sixties, there are inevitably too many people missing, but there’s been only one person who fits this description for me.

He believed I had the ability to do anything I put my mind to. One day I laughingly said “what, you believe I could become a writer even though I’ve never written a non-business word?” and his immediate answer was “yes, absolutely!”

I really hadn’t written a word at the time- not of fiction, not even of blogging – it was simply a pipe dream, and one I’d not articulated to another person before. He’d no particular knowledge of this industry; he wasn’t a writer, nor much of a reader, what he believed in was people- and I was one of those people. I didn’t know him for very long – less than 3 years from when we first spoke to when he died. A complex person with his own demons, but when he believed in you, it became terrifically easy to believe in yourself. Everyone should have someone like him in their corner.

The awesome co-hosts this month are Joylene Nowell Butler, Jacqui Murray, Sandra Cox, and Lee Lowery – do take a moment to visit them.


While you’re here, can I tempt you with a #FlashFiction prompt?

Every month, we run a different #FF prompt and this month it’s A Children’s Tale – whether that tale be for a child who’s tiny or teenage is your choice.

If you’re inspired to give this a go, you can get full details here on Sunday at 8am.


© Debra Carey, 2022

#IWSG: Writing regrets

The first Wednesday of every month is officially Insecure Writer’s Support Group day. It’s an opportunity to talk about doubts and fears you have conquered. To discuss your struggles and triumphs and to offer a word of encouragement for others who are struggling.


January 5 question – What’s the one thing about your writing career you regret the most? Were you able to overcome it?

With a writing career still very much in its infancy, my greatest regret is not having made it more of a priority. It’s not something I have been able to overcome, nor can I even call it properly a work-in-progress…. yet.

The reasons for not having made it more of a priority are three-fold: the first is financial – in that I still need to earn a living to secure not only my current well-being but also my future retirement. The second is my tendency to people please. This results in my never-ending struggle with putting myself and my wants ahead of others, especially when there is no obvious financial benefit to doing so. The final one is my scattered focus. I have so many things I love to do and, having found them in my later years, am loathe to give any of them up. This, unsurprisingly, results in my trying to shoehorn things in, meaning much gets started and less gets finished, or finished to any acceptable standard.

It seems crazy that I’m in this position when I’m a life coach – a real example of physicians being unable to heal themselves 🙂 So I’m putting my money where my mouth is and have hired a life coach for myself for the next 6 months. I expect I’ll have to accept some tough truths, but am confident it will be worth it.

The awesome co-hosts for the January 5 posting of the IWSG are Erika Beebe, Olga Godim, Sandra Cox, Sarah Foster, and Chemist Ken – do take a moment to visit them.


While you’re here, can I tempt you with a #FlashFiction prompt?

Every month, we run a different #FF prompt and this month it’s You’re going on holiday.

If you’re inspired to give this a go, you can get full details here.


© Debra Carey, 2022

#IWSG: Does writing stress or delight you?

The first Wednesday of every month is officially Insecure Writer’s Support Group day. It’s an opportunity to talk about doubts and fears you have conquered. To discuss your struggles and triumphs and to offer a word of encouragement for others who are struggling.


December 1 question – In your writing, what stresses you the most? What delights you?

The only thing about writing which causes me stress is when I have a deadline and am not feeling the inspiration. Fortunately it happens rarely. Editing can be stressful, especially as I’m rarely able to do it in multiple continuous sessions, so cannot avoid worrying about consistency while I struggle to keep my head in the story.

The aspects of writing which delight me are many – building a new character, getting an idea to move the story along, doing background research which can provide a spark of inspiration for my story or by gaining satisfaction that I’ve found some piece of information or fact which will add to the believability of what I’m writing, feeling the words simply flow through my fingers onto the keyboard, reading it back afterwards while thinking “I can’t believe I did that!” That last part has never been less than a buzz, even if someone else doesn’t like it as much as I do, I’m just constantly staggered that an old lady who came to writing late in life can actually string stuff together, so – like I said – it’s a delight 🙂

The awesome co-hosts areare PJ Colando, Diane Burton, Louise – Fundy Blue, Natalie Aguirre, and Jacqui Murray – do take a moment to visit them.


While you’re here, can I tempt you with a #FlashFiction prompt?

Every month, we run a different #FF prompt. This month it’s time for one of our regular features when we celebrate the anniversary of Project Gutenberg being unleashed on the world today, 1st December. The aim of Project Gutenberg is to help people access books that they might not otherwise be able to get hold of.  This can get a bit tricky because of copyright issues, but in some ways it becomes easier, because there are some fantastic books that are now out of copyright which would get lost forever if it weren’t for PG.

The prompt goes live on 5th December, for this month’s #FlashFiction prompt, head on over to Project Gutenberg, trying not to get distracted by the 50,000 or so books on the site!  Take a look at the Recent Books section and pick one that you like the look of – the title of the book is the title/prompt of your story.

Tell us your tale – any style any genre, just nothing NSFW.

Word limit: 500-750 words
Deadline : Sunday 12th December @ 8am GMT

If you miss the deadline, you can always post your story to our #TortoiseFlashFiction page


© Debra Carey, 2021

#IWSG: What makes you sweat – Titles or Blurbs?

The first Wednesday of every month is officially Insecure Writer’s Support Group day. It’s an opportunity to talk about doubts and fears you have conquered. To discuss your struggles and triumphs and to offer a word of encouragement for others who are struggling.


November 3 question – What’s harder to do, coming up with your book title or writing the blurb?

Doesn’t it makes you wonder why we put ourselves through all this torture? As if writing the book itself isn’t hard enough, we then get to beat ourselves up with everything else – and book titles and blurbs are just two of those sticks.

I’ve written previously on both these subjects (titles and blurbs – if you’re inclined to read further) but, far from having either subject sorted, I barely scraped the surface in the first- talking about some of the advice I’d collated thus far, and then had a good old complain at how hard it is to do in the second. Of course, our books will get names and blurbs will get written, but because our stories are so precious to us, we want them to have exactly the right title and the perfect blurb, which is what makes it all so terribly hard.

If we’re fortunate, inspiration will strike with the former, and we won’t have to go through the painful process of digging out that title which ticks all the boxes – although whose boxes we’re ticking, isn’t entirely clear to me. As for the blurb, my suspicion is you’re on a hiding to nothing with that, for there will always be those who want more while others will want less.

For me, the pressure for one is internally applied, while the other is external. You can only be frustrated with yourself if you’ve been unable to find exactly the right title, but dealing with the knowledge that readers could be picking apart your blurb, either complaining it told them not enough, or upset as it said too much, will always be out there.

Like I said – torture.

The awesome co-hosts are Kim Lajevardi, Victoria Marie Lees, Joylene Nowell Butler, Erika Beebe, and Lee Lowery – do take a moment to visit them.


While you’re here, can I tempt you with a #FlashFiction prompt?

Every month, we run a different #FF prompt and this month it’s Mary Sue.

If you’re inspired to give this a go, come back on Sunday morning, when full details will be published.


© Debra Carey, 2021

#IWSG: Drawing the Line

The first Wednesday of every month is officially Insecure Writer’s Support Group day. It’s an opportunity to talk about doubts and fears you have conquered. To discuss your struggles and triumphs and to offer a word of encouragement for others who are struggling.


October 6 question – In your writing, where do you draw the line, with either topics or language?

In real life, I swear a fair bit – yet I don’t when I write. I could suggest that’s because writing is a more thoughtful process and so there’s time to come up with a wider vocabulary to express myself – but, in truth, I’ve made a conscious choice not to. There are many things which can take a reader out of the story, so why not exclude something which is known to cause offence and is easy to avoid. I’ve read books – mostly set in the future – where words are clearly used in the same way as I swear. The difference is those words have no meaning to us in the here and now, and so are unlikely to cause offence. I have to say, I particularly admire this technique 😉

In terms of subject matter, we made a decision on this website to exclude anything which would be regarded as NSFW (not safe for work). In my off-site writing, I’d not made a similar decision but, when working on a series of short stories about love based upon one-liners sent in to a competition, I’ve found myself skipping over the one which would be overtly sexual in nature – even though my intended take on the prompt is light-hearted and humorous. The Bad Sex in Fiction award is enough to make me extremely cautious and so likely to avoid that particular genre… unless using a nom de plume 😉 I’m also not drawn to anything containing depictions of extreme violence or abuse – either as a writer or a reader. That said, one of the best books I’ve read contained both, but as they’re not topics I seek out, I feel I’m unlikely to write anything where they feature.

Finally, can I put in a plea to the large number of you using the Blogger platform. Please consider setting your comments to include Name/URL, otherwise the demise of Google+ means those not on Blogger are unable to fully participate in this blog hop with you.

The awesome co-hosts this month are are Jemima Pitt, J Lenni Dorner, Cathrina Constantine, Ronel Janse van Vuuren, and Mary Aalgaard – do take a moment to visit them.


While you’re here, can I tempt you with a #FlashFiction prompt?

Every month, we run a different #FF prompt and this month it’s about a hitman for hire, but with one twist – your clients are all supernatural. Your business motto is “… because ghosts need revenge too.” Tell us your story, or tell us their story.

If you’re inspired to give this a go, you can get full details here.


© Debra Carey, 2021

#IWSG: Writerly Success

The first Wednesday of every month is officially Insecure Writer’s Support Group day. It’s an opportunity to talk about doubts and fears you have conquered. To discuss your struggles and triumphs and to offer a word of encouragement for others who are struggling.


September 1 question – How do you define success as a writer? Is it holding your book in your hand? Having a short story published? Making a certain amount of income from your writing?

Interesting question, as I know I’ll celebrate each and every step along the road, however small. Finishing the book was great and gave me a huge sense of achievement. Carrying out the edits has been hard, and I’ll celebrate once more when we get to a point of being ready to pitch and query. Getting an agent, let alone a deal would have me dancing, but I’d be proud to self-publish if that’s the route we end up taking.

All that said, if I’m being wholly honest, success to me is being paid an advance on the next book. I’d be pleased as punch to hold my book in my hand, really happy to receive good feedback/reviews, tickled pink to have a regular readership, and absolutely delighted to make an income from writing – however modest. But success, genuine success, for me is to be a real player on the field of publishing.

I don’t make this statement with any arrogance or expectation as I know the chances of achieving it are tiny, infinitesimal even – but I see no point in setting my goal low… what kind of Life Coach would I be if I did otherwise! 😀

The awesome co-hosts for this month are Rebecca Douglass, T. Powell Coltrin @Journaling Woman, Natalie Aguirre, Karen Lynn, and C. Lee McKenzie – do join me in taking a moment to visit them.


While you’re here, can I tempt you with a #FlashFiction prompt?

Every month, we run a different #FF prompt and this month it’s Journal on a Train. Journals have become ubiquitous – so many of us keep one, whether that be as a device for managing our time better, for downloading our thoughts, for keeping notes for an on-going project, for development of our ideas …

But what happens if you leave it behind? What caused you to forget something so important? What might it mean to a stranger who finds it? Tell us the story from whichever point of view you choose – the loser or the finder, in the genre of your choice.

If you’re inspired to give this a go, check back here on Sunday for full details.


© Debra Carey, 2021

#IWSG: What would make you quit writing?

The first Wednesday of every month is officially Insecure Writer’s Support Group day. It’s an opportunity to talk about doubts and fears you have conquered. To discuss your struggles and triumphs and to offer a word of encouragement for others who are struggling.


July 7 question – What would make you quit writing?

Honestly? Nothing short of physical impairment.

While I’m no different to any other writer in my hopes and dreams, I’m not sure I could stop writing, even if I knew those hopes and dreams were never to be fulfilled. It’s now such a huge part of my life, of who I am, I’d almost say of my DNA… all this despite having only started to write in my 6th decade.

I write not only because it gives me pleasure – I write to express myself, to work out feelings, to expel negative emotions, to engage with other lovers of the written word, to keep my brain sharp, to tell stories, to pull together an idea from spark to fruition.

Writing forms a massively important part of the process by which I support my mental health. If I didn’t write, I’m confident I’d cope with the tribulations of life less well. As well as giving me an outlet, it engages the creative side of my brain, providing a great form of relaxation and balance to my life, as my day job mostly involves almost entirely left-brain activity – not my favourite sort.

In short, I believe I will always write – even if only for myself.

Does writing play more than one role in your life?

The awesome co-hosts this month are Pat Garcia, Victoria Marie Lees, and Louise – Fundy Blue! – do take a moment to visit them.


While you’re here, can I tempt you with a #FlashFiction prompt?

Every month, we run a different #FF prompt and this month it’s based on a brilliant idea from fellow IWSG member James Pailly. A couple of years ago, James wrote a wonderful piece for us, which spawned both a new series for us, as well as a writing prompt.

We had great fun with this prompt last year and decided to reprise it. The basic premise is to take a story and simply #AddMoreSciFi. Whether it’s a new story you write in a SciFi environment, a twist in a seemingly non-SciFi tale, or a re-working of an old story in a new environment – work the prompt any way you like. If you fancy giving this a go, you’ll find the details here.


© Debra Carey, 2021

#IWSG: Re-drafting – how long is long enough?

The first Wednesday of every month is officially Insecure Writer’s Support Group day. It’s an opportunity to talk about doubts and fears you have conquered. To discuss your struggles and triumphs and to offer a word of encouragement for others who are struggling.


June 2 question – For how long do you shelve your first draft, before reading it and re-drafting? Is this dependent on your writing experience and the number of stories/books under your belt?

I’ve very little experience in having any form of pattern or process to my writing or editing. Generally there’s little spare between my finding the time to write and the need to publish, but I do like to have some time between the first draft and what finally goes out. In practice, that can be anything from just overnight to days/weeks.

On those occasions when I’ve left a draft for months, the time I spend getting back into the story can either be terribly useful at picking up issues I’d not seen at the time, or just downright depressing as I can’t remember where I was going. I know this relates to my being a natural pantser rather than a plotter, and is something I’m working to address. Still… it does mean I’ve a tendency not to leave anything for too long.

The only complete piece of full length fiction I’ve written has been in progress since April 2018, when the first 40,000 words were written. Getting fully back into the voice(s) of the story after any longer break does take me a while and a fair bit of reading. But getting away from the story – even when unplanned – has been helpful in getting a fresh perspective, and has been when duplications and inconsistencies suddenly became glaring and obvious.

What isn’t clear yet is how long is long enough. But the more I write – and re-write – the clearer that will become (I hope).

The awesome co-hosts for the  J Lenni Dorner, Sarah Foster, Natalie Aguirre, Lee Lowery, and Rachna Chhabria– do take a moment to visit them.


While you’re here, can I tempt you with a #FlashFiction prompt?

Every month, we run a different #FF prompt and this month it’s a Fiction Can Be Fun’s USP – Project Gutenberg. This is a deceptively simple #FlashFiction prompt but it does require some active choice on your part…

To select your prompt, go to the Recent Books section of the Project Gutenberg website. Pick a book whose title makes you go ‘ooooh I know what I want to write about …’ and there you have it – your #FlashFiction prompt for this month.

If you’re inspired to give this a go, full details will be on our post going live Sunday morning.


© Debra Carey, 2021