A Behind the Scenes Look at The Reading Group

Writing my new series, The Reading Group, is one of the most exciting and challenging things I’ve ever done.   This is partly because I am a panster, not a plotter. When I start writing a story I have no idea how it will develop. I begin with a character who has a problem, and away we go.

The Reading Group, all covers

The Reading Group, all covers

When I began writing these novellas I knew from the outset what kind of stuff was likely to happen. This is because the Reading Group is based on a very simple idea.

Five women in the seaside village of Little Sanderton come together to share their love of reading. Each month they take it in turns to pick a classic novel and each month one of the Reading Group discovers that her life suddenly seems to be running parallel to that month’s novel.

In December the Reading Group choose A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens. Grace, who’s about to be made homeless is dreading Christmas.

In January they choose Emma by Jane Austen. Anne Marie fancies herself to be a matchmaker, but she’s – erm – not exactly an expert Cupid!

In February they choose Lady Chatterley’s Lover by DH Laurence. Uh oh, Kate’s marriage is on the rocks and she has a hunky builder refurbishing her kitchen. Hold on to your hats, ladies!

Are you beginning to get the picture? Writing to this structure gave me a major advantage:

  1. I knew roughly what the plot of each novella would be. (This was a completely new way of writing for me.)

And two major disadvantages:

  1. I had to fit the plot of a full length novel into 30,000 words.
  2. I had to fit it into the time span of a month!

Phew! Yet ironically it was these very restraints that made the writing such fun. I didn’t want to copy the plot of the novels verbatim – where’s the fun in that! So I took what were, for me, the main elements of these beautiful classic stories and then I played around with them. I wanted to write my own contemporary versions with my own contemporary twists. I hope you like the results.

You can download December for FREE. In fact it would help me enormously if you would download December if you have a spare second. Because it will give my series more visibility. Thank you so much.

January, February, March and April are all currently available for 99p. I hope you enjoy reading them as much as I enjoyed writing them.

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2 Responses to A Behind the Scenes Look at The Reading Group

  1. Patsy says:

    This does sound like a fun idea to write. I’m sure they’ll be just as entertaining to read.

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