Developing your voice. Part 1
The idea of developing ‘your voice’ is not just an idea limited to X Factor. Or, for that matter, Britain’s Got Talent. It is a term publishers and agents often use when critiquing new writers. How strong is their ‘voice’? But what is meant by this term, and how can we develop our voice, as a writer, to make it stronger?Read More
What is unique about your character?
In real life, we share the premise that ‘everyone is unique’. A basic premise, I know – but an important one. When helping students to write creatively it has struck me how in many instances our characters are just the same.Read More
Writing erotic fiction. Part 2
In my last post I explained how finding a subject that has nothing to do with sex can turn what has become a necessary scene for your book into something original and engaging. The same applies to your characters – not everyone is youthful and nubile and devastatingly attractive.Read More
Point of view- is it okay to ‘head hop’?
I’m not quite sure why this is an issue that has only been coming up recently with students of mine. Perhaps it is because some are now later on in their assignments, and are challenging themselves with new, technical ways to tell a story. But more and more of my students who now write in the third person have been wondering about Point of View.Read More
From idea to completion: Part 2
In part one of this blog I discussed how planning for the story, including the environment it would be written in, set me on my way to write my first novel in six weeks. But once I had dealt with these problems the other big issue in my way was that there were many scenes […]Read More
What is the point of a Reflective Commentary
A good many students look upon the Reflective Commentary as a nasty trap set by module writers and tutors to catch writing students unawares. And unless students understand the purpose of a reflective commentary it can indeed become a trap, or something that trips the student writer up. But its purpose has always been to […]Read More
From idea to completion- overcoming writers block to move your story forward
One of the main questions students ask is how to overcome writers block. It strikes me that even writing for pleasure soon becomes, in many ways, writing on demand once the interest turns serious.Read More
The art of parody
Parody is enormous fun. It’s a very good way of finding out about other writers’ styles, although you have to choose someone with a distinctive voice. I think the greatest gains are to be had writing poetic parodies. You discover new verse forms, new ways of looking at things, new ways to use images, alliteration, metaphorsRead More
I’m an avid reader and am also fascinated by other people’s reading habits. For the last fifteen years I’ve recorded the title and author of every book I’ve finished (unfinished ones don’t count, it’s one of the odd little rules I have) in a dedicated notebook, and enjoy geekily looking through it sometimes to see what books I’ve read and when.Read More
What Is Prose Poetry?
The name itself is surely a contradiction in terms – how can a poem be ‘prose’, when ‘prose’ is the very word used to describe writing that’s not poetry?Read More