Big mistake

I just watched the Friends reunion. It was enjoyable but I was expecting it to be an episode. I’m not sure what I was basing that expectation on. I had built up a whole story in my mind and I was a little disappointed. Silly really. It was a thoroughly enjoyable trip down memory lane. I’ve always loved to peek behind the scenes of my favourite TV shows with blooper reels and interviews.

Celebrities don’t really interest me for their fame but I am interested in the behind-the-scenes side of movies. I really enjoy the Graeme Norton show. Norton really gets the stars to open up and tell revealing stories. Could be because he was an actor, or could be the booze he gives them.

In one segment of the Friends special, the main cast sat on a huge sofa with James Cordon as host. I would have loved to see Graeme Norton in that chair! To be fair, Cordon is arguably better known in the USA than Norton.

The creators Marta Kauffman and David Crane described the casting process. Both Jennifer Aniston and Matthew Perry were contracted to other shows but were released to be on Friends. Aniston was advised to stick with the other show. The producer told her Friends would never make her famous but I guess the rest is history.

You just never know what’s going to happen. You might run your flag up the wrong flagpole, get on the wrong train, hitch your wagon to the wrong horse… Stuff goes wrong, sure, but if you want to live a creative life, or any life for that matter, you can’t sit there and do nothing.

When you keep your options open you just end up with a whole lot of options.

My novels are in the local library. In my first, Hotel Deja Vu, there are two words missing from the dedication. It’s mortifying. It feels like a huge mistake, like the haircut I had in year 11. Like the boy I dated in year 9.

The rest of the novel is pretty tight and Alia Henry is fine. I’d like to think my writing is fairly decent now. I’ve been working on my craft for three years, reading books, and doing classes to improve my writing. This blog has helped. I have nearly 600 (597 to be exact!) blog posts now! But the truth is I’m a terrible publisher.

Sometimes I worry my early attempts at self-publishing have been something of a miss-step. I think of those two little words missing from the dedication and it drives me bonkers!

cringe-worthy…. I’m going to swap the books over in the library when I get the updated ones…

However…I really don’t know if I’d have kept at it if I didn’t start this blog, if I didn’t self-publish my novels. I think I may have lost interest or become frustrated with sending off queries…or maybe I would have had representation by now?

Anyway… nothing ventured, nothing gained.

This is why I’m working towards signing with an agent. I’ve been driving friends and family crazy with requests for feedback on the synopsis I’ve written. I no longer have an alpha reader – life got in the way – so I am hasseling my loved ones for help. Writing a synopsis for an agent is very different to writing a blurb for the back matter. You must lay the story bare, so it’s not something I really want to post on the web just yet.

I love writing and editing and I’ve learnt to love marketing but I do not like formatting or book design. If all else fails, if I can’t sign with an agent or get a publishing house to take my stories, I know I can hire someone to do those jobs and stick with indie publishing. Just give me a run at an agent first.

I’m reading Gail Carriger’s ‘The Heroine’s Journey’. My work-in-progress Circle of Ashes is a heroine’s journey. When I was writing the first draft for Nanowrimo (Nov 2018) I thought I was writing a hero’s journey but it turned out to be most definitely of the heroine variety. I highly recommend this non-fiction book for writers but as Carriger says, reders and fans of pop culture would get a lot out of it. Critics, editors, and reviewers would really benefit too, as the concept of the Heroine’s journey isn’t very well known. I heard Carriger interviewed by Joanna Penn on her podcast The Creative Penn and had bought the book before they had finished talking.

Find Gail Carriger here

“The feminine journey is about going down deep into soul, healing and reclaiming, while the masculine journey is up and out, to spirit.”

In my work in progress I’ve named the chapters using the stages in Carriger’s Heroine’s Journey. They won’t stay like that…

feature photo – Wollumbin from Tyalgum (Mt Warning) New South Wales by Christine Betts


  1. Beverley Streater

    I love your tip about using the aim of each chapter (in this case, the heroine’s journey) as its title in the first instance. Such a good way to stay on theme! Have you looked at KM Weiland’s site? She writes a lot about characters’ arcs.

Comments are closed.