Becoming a Writer by Dorothea Brande is a classic in the field of self-help for writers. It was originally published in 1934 and has been much imitated since. It’s similar in intent to Writing Down the Bones and aims to get you writing by tapping into your inner genius. Sounds great, but is it worth… Continue reading Review: Becoming a Writer – Dorothea Brande
Last time we looked at the art of morphing the reality of real locations to suit your story. Sometimes reality gets in the way and it’s easier to make stuff up. Creating fictional locations means you can ignore the facts and get on with the business of telling the story – which is the whole… Continue reading Tweaking Reality: Should you rename locations in your novel?
Describing reality in words is a tricky business at the best of times, and in fiction especially so. Part of The Shining Ones is set in and around Newcastle where I live so I should have no excuse for getting the locations wrong. But it’s not that simple. Some of the locations weren’t quite right… Continue reading Tweaking Reality: How accurate should locations be in your novel?
A blurb can sometimes mean a short review quoted on a book cover, but in this post we’re going to look at the other kind of blurb: the book description. The blurb is your sales pitch, printed on the back of your book or quoted on its sales page online. It’s the second most important… Continue reading How to Blurb: Writing a book description that sells
A big thank you to Claudia Durr for the first review of Free Your Pen – so glad to hear you’re enjoying the book! Here’s the review:
★★★★★ Eloquent, Simply profound! July 26, 2017
All I can say is WOW! This is exactly what I needed! The simple yet profound advice the author has to offer resonates with the essence of my being. I haven’t finished the book yet and don’t think I ever will. If this were in paper back vs. Kindle I could picture the softly worn and creased pages 20 yrs from now.
Thankfully, the book is available in paperback! Get your copy here and remember to leave your own review…
I’ve struggled with Morning Pages for years. I would do them for a bit and then quit. Start again. Quit again. Repeat. Then last week I finally worked out why: I understand the problem with Morning Pages and I know how to fix it. If you don’t already know, Morning Pages is a writing practice… Continue reading Getting the most out of Morning Pages
“Every single time you sit down to write – a story, a poem, an essay, a novel – it will be a brand-new experience. No formula works. The mystery that solved your previous story doesn’t speak the same language as your current story. The key that unlocked the sonnet of yesterday won’t work today. Accept… Continue reading Writing Isn’t Like Making a Peanut Butter & Jelly Sandwich
We end my Newcastle Writing Conference notes with the afternoon sessions. After lunch there were more workshop choices: meet another agent with Jo Unwin, developing your online presence, postgraduate writing courses, and non-traditional publishing routes. I went for the latter because I thought it might be interesting and I wasn’t disappointed. Who needs a publisher… Continue reading Writing Conference Notes: Part 3 – Non-Traditional Publishing
The Newcastle Writing Conference included various break-out sessions, such as websites and blogging, how to edit your work, vlogging, and meet the agent with Mark Stanton. But I chose the pitching session, because I already have a blog, I didn’t have a piece of work I was willing to share in the editing session, I… Continue reading Writing Conference Notes: Part 2 – Pitching
Last weekend I attended the Newcastle Writing Conference at Northumbria University. I went armed with a fresh notebook, which was a good thing because I made more notes than I thought I would, such was the amount of useful advice on offer. I arrived with streaming eyes and a rosy complexion after battling through a… Continue reading Newcastle Writing Conference Notes: Part 1 – the Digital Age
This weekend I’ll be going to the Newcastle Writing Conference which is about DIY. No, I won’t be learning how to grout! The conference covers all aspects of digital publishing, such as self-publishing, crowdfunding, social media, blogging, and more. There are various industry-types who’ll be sharing their wisdom, and lots of others writers. I’m particularly… Continue reading Writing Advice from Meg Rosoff
Less is more. Be more Zen. >Writer’s Manifesto (pdf)