Writing and Shit – part 40 – Is your narrator looking through a microscope when they should be looking through a telescope?

We ended last time with rather abrupt this statement – The most basic problem with the novels that most writers write (and fail to get published) will be something to do with – POINT OF VIEW AND TIME AND HOW THEY DO OR DON’T FIT TOGETHER We’ve already seen some examples of this with our […]

Writing and Shit – part 39 – Is your narrator reclining on a chaise lounge or (more likely) not?

What are some of the differences between first and third person narrators? One main one needs to be highlighted now. A third person narrator is far more likely to be leisured. In fact, a third person narrator (‘Paris looked beautiful that day, spread out glittering greyly toward a horizon of haze…’) can be pretty near […]

Writing and Shit – part 38 – Descriptions which are crap because they’re too good

  PLACES  Welcome back. I hope you’ve been keeping well. We have already looked at written-about places in several ways. We know that a story happens because a person or thing is in the wrong place. (A story takes place.) And we’ve built an entire haunted house up, out of a flat white space, as […]

Starting to Write 5 – Repairing your stories (Lockdown version)

Welcome back. I have already given you my definition of a story – A story is about someone dealing with something that isn’t where it should be. And you have begun writing the nothing draft of a story. You have two characters who have found something. You have another character (the one in disguise) who […]

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.