#IWSG: It’s my party and I’ll cry if I want to!

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.


The awesome co-hosts for the August 3 posting of the IWSG are Tara Tyler, Lisa Buie Collard, Loni Townsend, and Lee Lowery – do take a moment to visit them.

August 3 question – When you set out to write a story, do you try to be more original or do you try to give readers what they want?

Neither. I can’t say I give either of these options much thought. For now, the stories I write are the ones which are in me, the ones which want to come out when I sit down at the keyboard to type, the ones where inspiration has struck, the ones I dream or daydream about.

That said, I’ve yet to make any attempts to query or get published, so… maybe best you don’t do as I do 😉

You’ll not be surprised to hear that I’m an out-and-out pantser and, while I’m learning how to incorporate planning in small ways into my process, the seed of my story has to do some growing first before I apply the rigours of planning to it.

Whether that story is an original one or what readers want will be pure chance, for I don’t think I could write to order. I imagine James Patterson won’t be recruiting me to his cadre of writers any time soon – and I’m as OK with that as he’d be 😀

I stress that I’m in no way suggesting my way is better or more pure of motive than any other – it’s just who I am, right now. The primary reason I write is pleasure – my pleasure. The way I feel at the moment is that, if it never goes any further than that, I’d be entirely content. As my writing party is my pleasure, if the outcome of my choice were to make me cry – so be it 🙂

I’m looking forward to finding out what balance you choose to strike in your writing, and whether it changed the further along the road you were with your writing?


© Debra Carey, 2022

#IWSG: Right Here, Right Now

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 6 question – If you could live in any book world, which one would you choose?

What an interesting question! I’ve sat at my desk ever since reading it, going on a mental journey through those books I love, and those whose worlds I’ve returned to over & over again.

I read a lot of works by Commonwealth authors – stories based in India and West Africa where I spent my childhood. The Harry Potter books get re-read (or re-listened to, as one of the few fiction audible adaptations I love is Stephen Fry reading these familiar tales). Jodi Taylor’s St Mary’s series are a fun romp where they all live together as if in some form of grown-up boarding school. Both are based in a boarding school type environment which is yet another experience I’ve lived. I read a small number of science fiction and fantasy and I enjoy the reading experience and find the world building quite amazing. But none of these are the book world I’d choose.

My choice would be London – current day London. I love our capital city and, although I spent a few years living in London in my early 20s, there was so much I missed out on – live music and theatre, more glorious parks than you can shake a stick at, a wide-range of neighbourhoods filled with cultural experiences a-plenty, the tourist sights, the places at the end of the tube lines, even the outlying districts where you have to catch a train and yet it’s not the suburbs. I can never have too much of the river and, now a photographer, I’d love to walk the streets with my camera and snap, snap, snap away. If I could afford to, I’d live in London again in a heartbeat.

As a result, I enjoy reading the Cormoran Strike books of Robert Galbraith (or J K Rowling as he’s better known) because Strike’s offices are right in the heart of Soho, and the majority of the action takes place in central London. I also love Ben Aaronovitch’s Rivers of London series because London – the city itself – is as central a character as the protagonist, Peter Grant. There are many other books based in London which I’ve enjoyed, but I choose these for their feel of current day London, which is primarily what draws me back whenever a new one is in the series is released.

Did you choose a fantasy, historical or contemporary world – I’m looking forward to finding out!

The awesome co-hosts are J Lenni Dorner, Janet Alcorn, PJ Colando, Jenni Enzor, and Diane Burton – do take a moment to visit them.


© Debra Carey, 2022

#IWSG: When the going gets tough, I want to smack Billy Ocean!

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 1 question – When the going gets tough writing the story, how do you keep yourself writing to the end? If have not started the writing yet, why do you think that is and what do you think could help you find your groove and start?

External deadlines. Plain and simple, that’s the only way I’ve ever managed to tough it out. And seriously, whenever anyone suggests that I tough anything out, what I hear is Billy Ocean singing that song, and I want to give him a smack.

My reaction may be because the only reasons why writing gets tough for me is that either I’m struggling with my mental health, or with lack of time. I have an (almost) full-time administration job which pays the bills, and a part-time life coaching job which feeds the soul and will – hopefully, one day – also pay the bills instead of the admin job. There’s the usual family stuff, a blogging and photography hobby, and you have me in a time crunch. When I try to cut out the extraneous hobbies, it impacts in a negative way on my mental health. So, I’m never going to tough it out without an external deadline.

With an external deadline, what I find helps to keep the story moving along is to go to bed at night with the intention of dreaming about it. Even if I hit a troublesome spot and don’t know how to resolve it, my dreams have (so far) provided the answer. It does mean I have to be living the story in a pretty high intensity manner and writing for long periods every day – but that’s what works for me.

I’d love to learn what methods you use to tough it out – hit me up my fellow writers!

The awesome co-hosts are SE White, Cathrina Constantine, Natalie Aguire, Joylene Nowell Butler, and Jacqui Murray! – do take a moment to visit them.


© Debra Carey, 2022

#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