The anxious writer – how tension makes a story (but writer anxiety breaks it.)

Every writer knows that stories need tension in order to grip readers. Many self-help books teach writers how to add tension, with easy-to-understand points set out in a helpful framework to explain how a story might work. They direct a reader in much the same way that your dad taught you how to dance. JustContinue reading “The anxious writer – how tension makes a story (but writer anxiety breaks it.)”

The Realm of Possibilities and the spark that leads us there.

Today I want to find out what drives people to start a new writing project. What is it that sparks a story? Some start with a question, a what if?, as Stephen King reportedly does with many of his. Some start with an image, like C.S. Lewis’ picture of the lamp-post in the snow, whileContinue reading “The Realm of Possibilities and the spark that leads us there.”

The girl who went her own way.

She was not good at listening to advice. Not good at being told what to do, so contrary. She laughed when they told her to stay away from the woods, from the bears who made their home there. The bears that would blunder out from the undergrowth, their claws so sharp, their jaws so strong.Continue reading “The girl who went her own way.”

Furbag

Today I’d like to update you on one of the short stories I’ve had published recently in My Weekly, a magazine published here in the UK. My main work in progress has been all-consuming, although I did manage to find time to write some short stories. Back copies of My Weekly are available on PressreaderContinue reading “Furbag”

Short Kid Stories

I have great news to post up today and a chance for you guys to check out some of my work. I was told this morning that Short Kid Stories are to publish my story, Max and the Moonmaid, about a boy who catches a clever shape-shifting mermaid but who soon regrets it when sheContinue reading “Short Kid Stories”

Advice for the writer – Thomas More

Advice for the indie writer can be found in the most surprising places sometimes. This extract, from More’s Utopia, is amazingly fresh and relevant considering it was written around 500 years ago. “But to tell the truth, I’m still of two minds as to whether I should publish the book or not. For men’s tastesContinue reading “Advice for the writer – Thomas More”

Undiscovered Voices – advice for children’s writers

Undiscovered Voices is a competition for unpublished and un-agented writers and illustrators living in the EU, in partnership with SCBWI British Isles. Find out more here: http://www.undiscoveredvoices.com/ (Entries open: 1st July to 15th August 2013) I’ve got hold of 5 videos featuring some of the top names in children’s publishing giving advice to SCBWI membersContinue reading “Undiscovered Voices – advice for children’s writers”

10 links for writers

      Top links to help you discover more about the wonderful world of writing.   Writing sites, Magazines Market listings, Agency listings and more:  http://www.flash500.com/index_files/resources.htm Thoughts on writing, publishing and book marketing:  http://www.thecreativepenn.com/blog/ Write for fun. Write to inspire. Write to change the world:  http://www.writewithwarnimont.com/ Advice on every possible question you might ask:Continue reading “10 links for writers”

How to murder your darlings – in just 5 steps

Let me start by making it clear that today’s post relates to the EDITING stage of your work only. The editing stage is notoriously difficult to define, and there’s a lot of good information out there on what constitutes a thorough edit, but I would like to suggest a few ideas based on one ofContinue reading “How to murder your darlings – in just 5 steps”

Writers’ corner: How long will it take?

How do you make a genius? In his book Outliers: The Story of Success Malcolm Gladwell suggested that talent isn’t the decider but how many hours of practice you’re prepared to put into your chosen subject. In the above visualisation of Gladwell’s 10,000 hour principle the work of Bill Gates and The Beatles are used asContinue reading “Writers’ corner: How long will it take?”

Letters to a Young Poet – Rainer Maria Rilke

“You ask whether your verses are good. You ask me. You have asked others before. You send them to magazines. You compare them with other poems, and you are disturbed when certain editors reject your efforts. Now (since you have allowed me to advise you ) I beg you to give up all that. YouContinue reading “Letters to a Young Poet – Rainer Maria Rilke”

Writing prompts to set you fizzling and end that writer’s block

While the debate over whether writer’s block actually exists or not continues, the subject of where ideas come from remains of interest to many writers (as a glance through the inspirational writers’ section of any book-store will show). I always think that, when you’re writing stories you are essentially accessing the body of experience that is outContinue reading “Writing prompts to set you fizzling and end that writer’s block”

Dear Wit: Letters from the World’s Wits

Dear Sir: I like words. I like fat buttery words, such as ooze, turpitude, glutinous, toady. I like solemn, angular, creaky words, such as straitlaced, cantankerous, pecunious, valedictory. I like spurious, black-is-white words, such as mortician, liquidate, tonsorial, demi-monde. I like suave “V” words, such as Svengali, svelte, bravura, verve. I like crunchy, brittle, cracklyContinue reading “Dear Wit: Letters from the World’s Wits”

Writers’ corner: Ernest Hemingway

6 writing tips from the big man that can really help you get started and keep going. 1)    To get started, write one true sentence. “Sometimes when I was starting a new story and I could not get it going, I would sit in front of the fire and squeeze the peel of the littleContinue reading “Writers’ corner: Ernest Hemingway”

Maeve Binchy on what makes a page turner

Page-turn·er  n. Informal – A very interesting, exciting, or suspenseful book, usually a novel. Today, in our writers corner is a short video clip of Maeve Binchy speaking about characterization and what makes a page turning story. I think Maeve picks up on some important points here in a nicely succinct and encouraging way. Pace is, of course,Continue reading “Maeve Binchy on what makes a page turner”

Want to get a novel published? Write short stories.

Today I’d like to focus of helping you with your writing goal of getting published, and how you can increase your chances. If you are looking to become a novelist, short stories could be a good way to begin. I can’t find the statistics, but I read once that the number of authors who hadContinue reading “Want to get a novel published? Write short stories.”

Fear and the Writer

Writing can be scary. It can terrify the writer into complete inaction. It is scary because we are investing so much into it; our time and energy, our hopes, our ego. There is so much that can go wrong, not just with the writing itself, but the countless other things that we sometimes feel areContinue reading “Fear and the Writer”