Tag Archives: fiction

How many people have you killed?

At the last count I have murdered at least 19 people. By the end of the year I hope to have got rid of a few more.  In addition I have countenanced – even encouraged – imprisonment, torture, rape, and … Continue reading

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A rose by any other name: what to call your characters

Here’s an interesting thing: accordion to experts, it is easy to insert a musical instrument unnoticed into a sentence. What’s this got to do with names?  Especially choosing the names for your characters? The connection is about how people read.  … Continue reading

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Fountain pen, biro, typewriter or computer?

Quick survey:  Do you write with a fountain pen, a biro, a typewriter or directly into a computer?  Or do you use slate and slate pencil, stone and chisel, paint and papyrus, pencil and paper? Moleskine notebooks or 50p exercise … Continue reading

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Learning from great (and not so great) literature

I am stating the obvious here, but you can learn a lot about writing skills by careful reading of books. Here are some lessons from recent books that I’ve read. (Warning:  spoiler alerts…) ‘Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine’ by Gail … Continue reading

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The problem with asking experts and backing up your work

Do you consult experts about your stories?  Do you backup your work? Always ask experts:  they like to be asked for advice, they will know things that might spark off ideas, and it’s always good to chat to people. But … Continue reading

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Mispeling and Editting

Jasper Fforde invented the wonderful concept of a ‘mispeling vyrus’, which spreads through literature and can only be contained by bulwarks of Oxford English Dictionaries. If you haven’t read any of his novels, I recommend the ‘Eyre Affair’ and its … Continue reading

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Plotting with the Writers’ Group

Guy is working out how to goad a rival actor into committing murder. Melanie is scheming to save the stars. Ariadne is deciding what to do after a human leg plummets to the ground outside the living room window. And … Continue reading

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What if you don’t like your writing?

This blog is a follow-on from my blog last month about writing for pleasure or profit. At the moment I am struggling with a short story.  It had a lot of flak about it being ‘weak’ and there being a … Continue reading

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What kind of God are you?

Writers tend, in my experience, to take one of two possible approaches to fiction:- Plan the entire plot, chapter by chapter, scene by scene, right up to the ending. Throw some interesting characters into a challenging situation and see what … Continue reading

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Can you hum the theme from The Omen?

Google must struggle to know what to make of authors sometimes. Some of my recent Google searches have been:- 1. The theme from The Omen 2. 1960 cheesecloth dresses 3. Distance from Oxford to Shipston-on-Stour 4. Did Victorian mansions have … Continue reading

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