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Writing about other species
I’m currently writing a collection of short fiction exploring our relationship with animals. When I tell people this, they often ask me if it’s a book for children, and it’s true that many classics of children’s literature feature animals: Kenneth Grahame’s The Wind in the Willows (1908), E.B. White’s Charlotte’s Web (1952) and Richard Adams’ Watership Down (1972) all spring to mind, and if you search online for animal stories, many of the results are stories for children. But thinking about and appreciating the lives of animals shouldn’t be something we associate only with children.Read More
Burroughs and Bowie- Using The Cut Up Technique. Part 2
The Cut-Up technique- in which words, or fragments of ideas are combined in random combinations- has a long artistic tradition. It is popularly associated with William Burroughs (although it can be traced to the Dadaist artistic movement, who used surprise, shock and absurdity to confront the audience in new and often frightening ways). The cut-up […]Read More
Using the cut up technique. Part 1.
The idea is that you can ‘use the site to read and/or write stories that take advantage of the possibilities of the digital medium by building in a lot of randomisation, so that a given story is different each time you load it.’Read More
Women’s History Month: Aemilia Lanyer
Since March is Women’s History Month it seems like a good time to celebrate the work of women writers from an earlier age. Fortuitously, as joint editor of NAWE’s Higher Education Journal, Writing in Practice No 5, I read an article by Sally O’Reilly analysing her approach to writing a historical novel, Dark Aemelia, (Myriad Editions, 2015) about Shakespeare and his relationship with Aemilia Lanyer, a contemporary poet, and a possible identity for the Dark Lady of his sonnets.Read More
Writing Tales: Amos Oz (1939 – 2018) Israeli writer of novels, tales, poems and essays.
Amos Oz, who died in December 2018, has always been an important writer for me, not only because of his support for a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian deadlock, but also because of his multi-part solutions to writing, whether it be with reference to subject matter, context, genre or viewpoint.Read More
Creative writing- dealing with shifts in time. Part 2.
In a modular story, jumps across the time frame are presumably happening for a reason- to flesh out one character through a new perspective, or to offer contrasting accounts, perhaps in a cat and mouse style story. This demands that the reader conceptually organise what is going on. The way to use time in a modular story will be apparent depending on why you have chosen the modular form!Read More