Thank you for following the Diary. Your presence is transforming how I think about writing.
Last night I introduced Clare Farrell, one of the co-founders of Extinction Rebellion, at the second Writers Rebel event. The first event took place last October, on Trafalgar Square, where 40 writers – including Ali Smith, Robert Macfarlane and Susie Orbach – read and gave speeches. At the event, I read Blake’s ‘What is the […]
Here is a non-story. A waiter works in the café at the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris. Every smoking break, he goes and looks at the view. Afterwards, he goes back inside the café and continues serving customers. Here is a story. An old Korean woman who lives in North Korea has a […]
I wrote this for a panel event at Birkbeck College. The brief was to write about ‘A Book that Change my Life (Involving Critical Theory)’. It was intended for the MPhil and PhD students attending, but is about how early work relates to completed work, within individual projects but also within lives and oeuvres. If […]
King Death Life-Like Lilian’s Spell Book (My Mother’s Seven Spirits Demand Justice) Notes for a Young Gentleman (O: Short Stories) Patience Mutants Wrestliana Dead Boy Detectives Vol 1: Schoolboy Terrors Dead Boy Detectives Vol 2: Ghost Snow Free Country: A Tale of the Children’s Crusade Vastation (opera) with Samy Moussa Toby (album) […]
You are a Starter, a Middler or a Finisher. There are others you might be – the Dreamer, the Planner, the Diarist, the Angry Person, the Wanderer-Around-the-Soul, the Cynic, the Copyist, the Poet-Semi-Converted. All of you, this blog is for you. I have written it out of my experience as a creative writing tutor, out […]
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 […]
Normally, when people come along to a creative writing class, they are hoping to learn how to write better, not how to save the planet. A couple of years ago, I was teaching a Guardian Masterclass on ‘Storytelling Secrets’. Among those attending were three representatives of an international environmental activist network. They were young, casually stylish, energetic […]
Audio and video, good lord.
You may have heard that common piece of advice from Creative Writing workshops ‘Show, don’t tell’, and you have have wondered what it meant. Or you may know. Here is an example of telling – Sara was born in May 1996. Ten years later her mother published her first novel. It was called Jumping Jumping. There […]