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Guy Mankowski, Author at The Open College of the Arts - Page 2 of 6
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Guy Mankowski


Art within art: part 1 thumb

Art within art: part 1

I often use the analogy of the ‘scale’ of a character in teaching. In this metaphor, a good storyteller penetrates the layers of a character right from the very top of their scale (that is in terms of their surface features, or what we would see about this character if we first meet them) right down to the bottom of their scale (which is their ‘core’).

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Author on tour: part 2 thumb

Author on tour: part 2

The author event. That mercurial entity where the audience expects magic from the author and the author somehow expects…well if not magic then what? Some kind of sense of connection with an audience? An audience they would otherwise experience only through Amazon reviews?

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Author on tour thumb

Author on tour

Usually when a novel comes out I have found you have about six weeks. Then (unless there is some unexpected surprise further down the line) a subtle but pronounced fade in the attention your book gets. For my last novel, An Honest Deceit, it has happily been a different experience.

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A sense of an ending thumb

A sense of an ending

How do you end your story?
Unfortunately for me, this is a subject which has been a painful one to address this month! I have long preached to my students on how to end a story, and the two key components that I think need to be in place in order for an ending to feel final. But having this week – after seven years – finished a novel that was supposed to be my first I realise I had been overlooking a third component for how to end a story.

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How much descriptive writing does a story need? thumb

How much descriptive writing does a story need?

Personally, I think it’s not a question of how much description, but what description is offered by the author, to help the reader imagine a living and breathing world they can really immerse themselves in.

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Ten tips to help beginners come across as advanced writers. Part 2 thumb

Ten tips to help beginners come across as advanced writers. Part 2

In the first part of this blog I offered five tips to help the beginner writer come across as more advanced than they actually are. From establishing the gender of your protagonist, where they are in the setting, their Point of View and then keeping the story moving I reflected on a few key components. So now I’ll resume…

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Ten tips to help beginners come across as advanced writers. Part 1 thumb

Ten tips to help beginners come across as advanced writers. Part 1

Part of my job as a tutor is to look at some of the first creative writing people have shared with another person. It is a part of the job I relish, and I think it important to meet people’s first shared work with positivity and enthusiasm – where possible. I think it takes real guts to express yourself on the page and then offer it up to other people for feedback.

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Making the most of your setting: Part 1. thumb

Making the most of your setting: Part 1.

The science fiction author JG Ballard (most famous for his novel Crash) was adept at making the most of the settings of his novels. They even managed to offer psychological insights into his characters. I therefore think that the settings of his stories are useful to look at as a case study – they were certainly influential on my writing.

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Quiet and loud narrative voices thumb

Quiet and loud narrative voices

One of the choices a writer has when telling a story is with their narrative voice. Although the voice can manifest itself in different ways during the course of a story, the premise remains central. The narrative voice has to grip onto the attention of the reader and maintain it throughout the story. But this is not an easy task to achieve.

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The importance of being….Precise in your opening sentences thumb

The importance of being….Precise in your opening sentences

We all know how important it is to grab the reader right away. When I mark students work, I often find myself making very similar comments about their opening lines. If the character, and their specific orientation in a scene is made clear in the first few lines I tend to praise that. If not, […]

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