Blogging was supposed to help my writing. That’s why I started this. I was also supposed to write every day. However, what I find is, every time I have an idea that I want to explore, it winds up in a novel. Novels consume ideas. Sometimes the idea is slightly disguised as something else: writing might become art, for instance, but the core philosophy or … Continue reading The Problem With Blogging
I’m going to be controversial here and suggest that those six-word stories that are all the rage are usually not really stories at all. They are a collection of six words. What makes a story a story? Back in a previous life, I used to teach English in a middle school. Every year there was a competition to write 50-word stories. These were incredibly hard … Continue reading How Short Is Your Story?
I now use notebooks for everything, because they are so deliciously portable. However, there are several downsides: 1) I don’t know how many words I’ve written (and I quite like novels to have chapters of similar lengths). 2) I lose things. It turns out that I don’t write linearly. I thought I did, so this is a surprising new development. This means whole sections go … Continue reading The Problem With Notebooks
If you’ve ever had a sneaking suspicion that reading fiction is good for you, now is the time to feel smug. I put it to you, my dear friends, without any hidden agenda*, that reading fiction is the best pursuit for you because it has the greatest number of benefits of any other activity you could engage in. In a month in which many people … Continue reading The Fiction Panacea
The problem with January is that it’s the most depressing month. It’s dark, it’s cold, it’s gloomy. Winter has gone on for too long already and all the Christmas pudding has been eaten. (Just kidding! What would life be without a secret stash of Christmas puddings and the ability to make brandy butter? Recipe available on request.) You go right ahead and enjoy your optimism … Continue reading The Problem With January
It will not have escaped your notice that we are now in 2020 (even if you are still writing 2019 erroneously on various documents). This is, traditionally, the time for New Year’s resolutions. It’s a bit gimmicky but, if it works for you, harness that power. New year; new writing. This is very likely the year for your writing to grow and flourish. In order … Continue reading Go Get ‘Em, Tiger!
Once, I lived at the bottom of a hill and, on a particularly snowy morning, as I left my house and walked up that hill, I slipped back half a pace for every step. I told myself it didn’t matter how long it took to reach my destination, what mattered was that I tried and succeeded. On I went step, slip, step, up and up, … Continue reading The Snowy Hill
I like art that is a frame. My preference is for paintings that go right up to the edge. I love reading novels that start in the middle of something. I like to imagine and hope beyond the end. The sense that there is more which extends from what we are being shown gives depth, interest, reality. Does this approach make for a satisfying ending … Continue reading Satisfying Reading: The Ending
I am going to surmise that all writers have been in that nadir we all dread: the deep, dark forest of lost faith. I am there now. I am in the beginning phases of a new project, but I am not convinced I have approached it in the right way for maximum impact. Logically, I know this doesn’t matter, because it will probably mutate into … Continue reading Keeping the Faith
I have been terrible about blogging this year. I do feel, however, that for those of you who do not follow me on Twitter, you deserve a little update. (Oh, what did you do to deserve this?!) I have conquered my fear of my WIP. I finished the first(ish – how does anyone keep track of which draft when it changes all the time?) draft. … Continue reading Just a little update