Writing and Shit – Part 1 – What Type of Writer Are You?

Either/Or/Or I am guessing you are one of three sorts of writer. Does this sound like you? You have hundreds of ideas. You have dozens of opening sentences. You have lots and lots of half-stories. You have a few stories that have even reached what you once hoped was the end, but which turned out merely […]

Writing and Shit – Intro

I’ve written a writing manual, and I’m going to serialise it here. It’s called Writing and Shit by Toby Litt. It’ll be weekly. It’ll be free. It’ll include exercises. And you can help me a lot – if you think you can learn something from it – by commenting on what you found useful and […]

Impatience – A short story

Today, some good news – a short story of mine, ‘Impatience,’ has been longlisted for the Sunday Times Audible Short Story Award. It’s the impatient version of my novel, Patience, which will come out in August 2019. The story is very similar, in both, but also – I hope – radically different. Readers who are curious about […]

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 […]