Starting to Write 3 – How to make sure your stories keep going (Lockdown Version)

Very often, people start writing stories but stop after a page or two. There’s nothing wrong with that if what’s been told is a complete story. There are types of short story that are very short. You can find them online as ‘flash fiction’. The Amy Hempel story, ‘Housewife‘, is just one sentence long. But […]

Starting to Write 2 – What does a story need? (Lockdown Version)

Exceptions I’m going to be making some strong statements about how stories work and what they they need. There are exceptions. There are always exceptions. I know this. And you can spend your time trying to think of exceptions. ‘But what about…?’ Or, you can take my statements on trust. You can try them in your […]

Lilian’s Spell Book – free on Kindle for the next five days

  I wrote Lilian’s Spell Book to be a really gripping supernatural adventure story, a Chinese box of a haunted house mystery, and a study of a normal family in a very weird place. Here’s a plot summary: Lilian’s Spell Book is a paranormal adventure novel about an ordinary English family – mother, father, pre-teen […]

Writing and Shit – part 37 – Writing, fast and slow

Cast your mind back to the recent and the twenty year-old books I asked you to pick out and read – it’s very likely that within the first five or ten pages of the recent one more takes place, and what does happens is faster. Scenes in movies have become shorter, scenes in stories have […]

Republic of Consciousness Prize Readings

Instead of a reading event, the Republic of Consciousness Prize asked all the authors/translators to do a reading from their shortlisted books. Here we are:           The books are Jean-Baptiste del Amo’s Animalia, translated by Frank Wynne and published by Fitzcarraldo; Minoli Salgado’s Broken Jaw, published by The 87 Press; Hanne […]

9 Things You Need to Write a Novel (COVID-19 Version)

But right now a lot of people, and I’m guessing that includes you, are going to have a lot of spare time – or potentially spare time. You can use this positively. You can learn to do something you’ve always wanted to do. But I suspect that a lot of you are going to go back to the novel you’ve already dreamed about or half-started or abandoned midway.