Explore #WeAreOCA
Skip Navigation
Browsing Category:

creative writing


Reading habits

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

Complexity in Creative Politics

How far should our writing be political, social, polemical? That’s a tough question for all creative writers whatever their genre. If we’re writing about people, places, events we can’t really avoid any of these even if they are not among our prime intentions.

Read More

Facing up to what you really don’t want to try

For decades I was terrified of poetry. It all seemed so incredibly technical and difficult. I didn’t see the point; I wanted to tell a story. So when I did my MA I made myself face up to this and do the poetry module, even though the scriptwriting one beckoned as I’d already had five radio plays broadcast. What’s the point of doing a course if you don’t learn something new? I struggled. It hurt. I came to realise that this was something I had to actively learn.

Read More

Reading Proust By Kindle

Last week I bumped into myself near Oxford Circus. Well, not me exactly but a slightly older and much cooler version of my teenage self: strap-hanging in the rush hour with one finger tucked into the first few pages of Proust and with his thumb in the Appendix.

Read More

How reliable should your narrator be?

The unreliable narrator can be a very useful concept for the creative writer. Not only for dramatic purposes, but for comedic purposes too. After all, is there a quicker way to engage someone than to make them laugh?

Read More

John Berger (1926 -2017) – a lasting influence.

Whatever our specialisms, as writers, visual artists and musicians, we should all be indebted to John Berger for his strong and thought-provoking ideas. I particularly like the way he called himself a listener and a storyteller.

Read More

Sandals with socks?

Writing practise is the only way to become assured about your voice, I think. The more you write – and, as important – the more you think about writing – the clearer your voice will shine through, from your thoughts, from your heart, from your soul.

Read More

Where should the author place themselves in the text, part 2.

With these blog pieces I hope I have offered some clues as to how the writer can benefit from the choice of person and the position they take in the text. Although ultimately, of course, it is the reader that we hope will benefit…

Read More

Making the most of your narrative

The program correctly predicted the top two bestselling titles of all time, suggesting they had features that it would benefit writers to know about. If the analysis of the program is at times difficult to – ahem – decode it doesn’t mean there aren’t a few tips that us writers can learn from the bestsellers. In this blog I’ll focus upon how we can make the most of our narrative, and The Bestseller Code has some interesting tips on the subject.

Read More