Writing and Shit – part 35 – If you want to be published, you mustn’t write for the dead

If a reader doesn’t know a word, if they are forced to look it up in an online dictionary, it will stop them dead. It will break them out of the reading trance (I’ll write about this soon). And – almost certainly – it will them feel lacking in intelligence, stupid. It’s not a good […]

Writing and Shit – part 34 – Colons and semi-colons, and other things you should care about

As last week’s blog went down so well (over 800 reads), I’ve decided to divert into a little more about punctuation – hoping for a similar reaction. This is something I wrote a while ago about how I see the difference between colons and semi-colons.  In other news, Patience, my novel, has been shortlisted for […]

Writing and Shit – part 30 – The horror! The horror!

Let’s spend a moment examining what story-time means for one particular genre: horror. (Some generalisations follow. Not all horror novels may conform, I realise.) The story-time of a horror novel depends upon a specific form of suspense, namely dread. Horror novels are dread-ful. But we can subdivide them in terms of microgenres, in terms of […]

Writers Rebel – a speech for Extinction Rebellion

Last night I introduced Clare Farrell, one of the co-founders of Extinction Rebellion, at the second Writers Rebel event. The first event took place last October, on Trafalgar Square, where 40 writers – including Ali Smith, Robert Macfarlane and Susie Orbach – read and gave speeches. At the event, I read Blake’s ‘What is the […]