How to Tell a Story to Save the World

Normally, when people come along to a creative writing class, they are hoping to learn how to write better, not how to save the planet. A couple of years ago, I was teaching a Guardian Masterclass on ‘Storytelling Secrets’. Among those attending were three representatives of an international environmental activist network. They were young, casually stylish, energetic […]

JG Ballard’s What I Don’t Believe

JG Ballard didn’t write this. I wrote it. But I wrote it as JG Ballard. (I wrote it for a Birkbeck Arts Week event on Ballard’s non-fiction. My Birkbeck colleague Mark Blacklock is hoping to edit a Selected Non-Fiction, to expand on A User’s Guide to the Millennium.) In 1984, Ballard published a credo, What […]

STARTING TO WRITE – Lesson 8: Exposition and how to avoid it

You may have heard that common piece of advice from Creative Writing workshops ‘Show, don’t tell’, and you have have wondered what it meant. Or you may know. Here is an example of telling – Sara was born in May 1996. Ten years later her mother published her first novel. It was called Jumping Jumping. There […]