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 […]

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 […]

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 […]