The Seven Deadly Sins of Writing

Let’s be clear – I’m not casting the first stone. The first draft of this was called ‘Nine Ways I Have Written Badly’. I am certainly not without sin. And as they say in therapy groups, ‘If you spot it, you’ve got it.’ Mea culpa. Mea maxima culpa, etcetera.   Pride Pride (as any good […]

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 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 […]

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.

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 […]