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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
I have to things to say to you: There are no short cuts. and There are no wasted hours. So, let’s begin. What do you need to start writing? Well, you’re looking at these words on a phone or computer – and you could use that. But for lots of reasons, I believe it’s better […]
Do you want to learn about writing? You’re in the right place. This is a free writing course for complete beginners, or those who have written a bit but want to go back to the start – because they know they need to get better. Now is exactly the right time for you to give […]
Two important things that can happen in any scene are 1. that a person has a realisation or makes a decision, and 2. that someone acts on a decision – or just acts spontaneously without thinking (if you believe that’s possible).
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.
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 […]
We’ve dealt with our spaces and places, as they relate to story-time, now we need to deal with our time. This should be a lot simpler. Imagine a big invisible clock, hovering in the sky of our flat empty space. It’s not an ordinary clock, showing the hours of the day. It’s a countdown, and […]
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 […]