Month: October 2013

Avoiding Repetition

In one of my previous posts I talked, in passing, about repetition being the Devil. This piece of advice bears repeating (Pun-high-five!). And capitalisation. Repetition Is The Devil It does not wear Prada, but it does like flame bombing thesauruses. Writers should have it on T-shirts, badges, paintings, and written in icing on top of cupcakes. In the heat of… Read more →

Want To Be A Writer? Give Up The Housework – Dear Writer Letter Five

Over the next month I’ll be working my way through ‘Dear Writer Revisited’, a book on writing by award-winning short story author Carmel Bird which follows fictional letters (and lessons) between a manuscript assessor, Virginia O’Day and ‘Dear Writer’. I’ll be blogging about my thoughts on this book, its lessons and using it to improve my knowledge of the writing craft and hopefully yours through brain… Read more →

How To Write Flashbacks – Should Your Character Remember or Relive?

How vivid is your imagination? When you think back to that time when you told your sister it was tradition to faceplant into the birthday cake, are you just remembering the event, repeating the words of a pre-prepared story, or are you reliving the screams and the neon blue bubblegum rivers tracking down her happy face? Just as past events… Read more →

Good Writing is Not About You Being God – Dear Writer Letter Four

Over the next month I’ll be working my way through ‘Dear Writer Revisited’, a book on writing by award-winning short story author Carmel Bird which follows fictional letters (and lessons) between a manuscript assessor, Virginia O’Day and ‘Dear Writer’. I’ll be blogging about my thoughts on this book, its lessons and using it to improve my knowledge of the writing craft and hopefully yours through… Read more →

Pare Back The Emoting – Overwriting Round 2

I’m not alone in thinking 80’s action movies are the bomb. Terminator, Speed, Alien – if it has a man with an accent, some guns (mechanical or biological)and an Arnie Abs close up – I know I’ll be in for fun-times. Action keeps up the pace, it’s what we forgive bad special effects for and balances all the necessary tension… Read more →

Begin At The Beginning & End At The End, Then Cut Them Both – Dear Writer Letter Three

Over the next month I’ll be working my way through ‘Dear Writer Revisited’, a book on writing by award-winning short story author Carmel Bird which follows fictional letters (and lessons) between a manuscript assessor, Virginia O’Day and ‘Dear Writer’. I’ll be blogging about my thoughts on this book, its lessons and using it to improve my knowledge of the writing… Read more →

The Naming of Things

I’ve quoted the start of a favourite book of mine several times in this blog: “But names are important!” the nursemaid protested. “Yes,” said Quillam Mye. “So is accuracy.” – Fly By Night, Frances Hardinge. This quote really hits it on the head – names are important. The number of fantasy books that cite the ‘power of a true name’ are too… Read more →

To Add A Word Or Take A Word That Is The Question – Dear Writer Letter Two

Over the next month I’ll be working my way through ‘Dear Writer Revisited’, a book on writing by award-winning short story author Carmel Bird which follows fictional letters (and lessons) between a manuscript assessor, Virginia O’Day and ‘Dear Writer’. I’ll be blogging about my thoughts on this book, its lessons and using it to improve my knowledge of the writing… Read more →

Merging Characters – Cull Your Robot Clone Army

My first drafts tend to be like a Sparta movie, a cast of thousands that during the course of the writing process must eventually die at the pointy end of a sword. Like terracotta warriors, many of my initial warriors (characters) perform exactly the same function, they’re just painted a slightly different colour of blue. While writers like to prove… Read more →

Stop Trying To Be [Insert Famous Writer’s Name Here] – Dear Writer Letter One

Over the next month I’ll be working my way through ‘Dear Writer Revisited’, a book on writing by award-winning short story author Carmel Bird which follows fictional letters (and lessons) between a manuscript assessor, Virginia O’Day and ‘Dear Writer’. I’ll be blogging about my thoughts on this book, its lessons and using it to improve my knowledge of the writing… Read more →