Starting to Write 6 – Creating suspense in your stories (Lockdown version)

Welcome back. (A small aside – I can see the figures for each page of this blog. Most people don’t make it this far. Well done for keeping going. You’ve already proved something. Keeping going is the main virtue.) In this Lesson we’re going to look at suspense and how to create it. This isn’t […]

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 […]

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)

Welcome back. A story needs four things, and I’m going to tell you what they are. But Let’s be clear – I’m going to be making some strong statements about how stories work and what they they need. Yes, there are exceptions. There are always exceptions. I know this. And you can spend your time […]

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 […]