Writing and Shit – part 47 – What has happened in between then and now?

This is important. This is one thing that you can often forget. (I do.) You will have a clear idea of then (the time of the action) and a clearish idea of now (the time of the storytelling), but you won’t think enough about what the events that have taken place in between then and […]

Writing and Shit – part 44 – Who is reading? Who is listening?

You’re writing something – anything. Who is doing the reading or listening? I’m asking you. Your answer to this may be offhand – Well, whoever happens to pick up or download my story. But even this seemingly simple answer has consequences. In addressing an extremely generalised audience, you will still make guesses about what they […]

Writing and Shit – part 43 – Who is writing? Who is speaking?

Last time I suggested that, in order to write with a convincing, consistent, compelling voice, you needed to be able to answer to these five questions – Who is doing the telling? Who is doing the reading or listening? When is now? When is then? What has happened in between then and now? We’re going […]

Writing and Shit – part 42 – Getting voice, tone and point of view right, the easy way

I realise there may have been a little confusion, at your end, about why I’m going into point of view and time in such detail. Can’t he get onto something else? Like, how to make my sentences better. (I will. Soon.) But sentences aren’t just abstractly ‘better’. They are either appropriate or inappropriate. They either […]

Writing and Shit – part 41 – The difference between ‘You remember those…’ and ‘There used to be these…’

Thanks for coming back. I hope you are well. We’re going to continue our exploration of Point of View and Time. This is because I believe, if you’re a writer and you’re in the shit, this is likely to be the main reason. I’d like you do start off today by doing an exercise. I […]

Writing and Shit – part 40 – Is your narrator looking through a microscope when they should be looking through a telescope?

We ended last time with rather abrupt this statement – The most basic problem with the novels that most writers write (and fail to get published) will be something to do with – POINT OF VIEW AND TIME AND HOW THEY DO OR DON’T FIT TOGETHER We’ve already seen some examples of this with our […]

Writing and Shit – part 39 – Is your narrator reclining on a chaise lounge or (more likely) not?

What are some of the differences between first and third person narrators? One main one needs to be highlighted now. A third person narrator is far more likely to be leisured. In fact, a third person narrator (‘Paris looked beautiful that day, spread out glittering greyly toward a horizon of haze…’) can be pretty near […]

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 […]