We’re going to put together three basic things without which a story can’t exist (without, that is, great and sometimes gloriously perverse efforts by the writer). These things will, when I first describe them, almost certainly seem to you very oversimplified. (And perhaps familiar, if you have looked at the Starting to Write course. […]
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 […]
Lots of writing manuals (yes, this is a writing manual) begin by addressing a virgin subject – a person who has always wanted to write and now has found the time to commit.This is not you – you are not this.
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 […]
We’re moving straight on. A story – any story – needs a thing, something. But things don’t exist in the void. And if you want an event to happen, then the thing needs to move around from one location to another. So a story also also needs a place for its thing. Mr But: Again, it’s […]
EUSTON STATION A year or so ago, inside Euston Station, I bumped into a former student from the Birkbeck Creative Writing MA – Nicole Burstein. Since I first met Nicole she had gone, I hope she won’t mind me saying, from submitting some very angsty, introspective, scrappy prose for her first Writing and Reading workshop to […]
I THINK THIS STUFF REALLY MATTERS How you lay out your work is how you first appear, as a writer, to everyone reading you for the first time. They open the document or turn the page, and they see you. They have a first impression – Is this good? Do I want to read more? […]