Next Steps

The edited version of my novel Crucial Evidence arrived last week, together with a clean copy which includes the corrections the copy editor had made. I’m checking through carefully and have learnt a few things about presentation, like deleting the extra space we all tend to insert after a full stop. I’ve also, courtesy of my friend Elizabeth Ducie (check out her book of short stories ‘Parcels in the Rain) learnt how to insert one of those elongated dashes, called an em dash like so — .  Clever or what. I’ve got to chapter 10 so far so quite a way to go before this stage is completed.

Also some proposals for the front cover have arrived. I’m quite excited by them, but keeping it under wraps for now. It will appeal to the intelligent reader I’m hoping will like the novel.

Although I don’t need it for submissions to agents I have rewritten my synopsis. The first two paragraphs read:-

‘Cassie Hardman, an ambitious barrister, wants justice for her client, Lenny Barker who faces trial for the murder of call-girl Shelley Paulson at the Old Bailey. The evidence against Barker hangs on the reliability of an eye-witness and Barker’s admission he was at the scene of the murder in Holland Park, West London. There is little forensic evidence to link him with the murder. DNA from

English: forensic DNA evidence

English: forensic DNA evidence (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

fingernail scrapings taken from the deceased are not Barker’s, and the Prosecution case is that they are irrelevant. Fingerprints on a bracelet appear to Cassie to be a good match to Barker’s, although a fingerprint expert will not say the prints are his. Barker, she concludes, is just another defendant trying to escape responsibility for his crime

Then just before the trial begins Cassie uncovers an alibi witness Edwin Walker aka Hinds, who could provide the evidence to clear her client. She pursues Walker into the sordid underworld of illegal ticket touts and drug dealing, where she is threatened to stay away from Walker and then arrested during a drugs raid. Desperate to avoid being charged with possession of drugs, and being disbarred, she calls DC Alexis Seymour. Alex is investigating a drug dealer who she believes left a blood stained knife in the garden square where Shelley Paulson once lived.’

Does that leave you wanting to read more?

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About scribblingadvocate

Born in Lancashire, Law degree from Sheffield University and MA in Creative Writing from Exeter. A barrister for twenty five years, who appeared in the Crown Courts in and around London. When I retired we moved to live in Devon, first on Dartmoor, more recently overlooking the Exe Estuary. After twenty years I still feel an exile from London. Married, no children but own an affable Springer Spaniel. I love reading, walking and travel. I completed an MA in Creative Writing at Exeter University and have written three books, Crucial Evidence, Reluctant Consent and Legal Privilege, all set in London. You can email me

3 responses to “Next Steps”

  1. catherinelumb says :

    It does intrigue me – but in some places it also confused m

    Does Cassie think Barker is innocent or guitly? The fact that she wants justice for him sugests innocent, but the escaping responsibility for his crime suggests guiltly – so I’m not clear here.

    That last parargraph is also full of new characters and twists and although it seems packed full of action by the end I wasn’t sure exactly what the story was going to be about – does the novel follow Cassie, or will it pick with Alex’s investigation?

    Overall it does leave me wanting more – but more clarity rather than more story. I think for a good synopsis you have to have a clear idea of whose story it is and what the base question is – and I’m not sure I can identify this in your synopsis well enough.
    On the postive side, it seems like it will be an action packed story with plenty of twists and will keep me on my toes and some interesting characters.

    Hope you don’t take offense to my critique of your synopsis. I look forward to reading more about it.
    Take Care, Cat

  2. catherinelumb says :

    Came across this today and thought of you and your synopsis:

    Are you going to post the rest at all?

  3. scribblingadvocate says :

    I am not offended by your comments at all. One of the reason’s for posting it was to gauge reaction to it. I went to the Winchester Writers’ Conference at the end of June and in a ‘one to one’ with Alyson Owen, who is the editor of Artists and Writers Yearbook, we discussed the synopsis I had written which did follow my main character, barrister Cassie Hardman. She suggested I changed it to something more unconventional, a bit more like a ‘blurb’ so that the excitement in the novel and it’s uncertainties were more to the fore.
    Sometimes the advice given by different writers and/agents are conflicting-one just has to go with your own view and I did think this version was a better reflection of the story than the original, which followed most of the advice, but was not getting my novel taken up by agents.
    As I say it doesn’t matter as I have decided to go down the route of self-publishing, but I welcome any feedback.
    I may decide to post the rest depending on how far I get on the road to publication over the next few weeks.
    Incidentally if you haven’t been to Winchester it’s worth considering. Everyone, published and aspiring to be published, is so supportive.

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