Let’s talk about sex. Who we are and how we feel about things drives what we write. Narrative perspective isn’t just about character point of view and verb construction, it’s about the author sees the world. This is particularly important when we write about gender and sex. Our sexuality can empower our stories, creating vibrancy, passion […]
This article contains my submission for a screenwriting exercise from the Aaron Sorkin Screenplay Masterclass. The objective is to take a famous (public domain) short story and adapt it to the first ten pages of a screenplay. The story I chose from the list provided on the course was “The Black Cat” by Edgar Allen Poe. […]
“Ten days after the war ended, my sister Laura drove a car off a bridge.” With the first fifteen words of her novel The Blind Assassin, Margaret Atwood takes a vice-like grip on the reader. She doesn’t let you go until the last page. It is a powerful book, deeply emotive, and, for my money, […]
Some stories touch us. A great story can make us laugh out loud, grieve for the death of someone who never existed, or even burst in to tears in the window seat of a train. But why does it happen? And, as a writer, how can you make it happen? In this post, I will […]
It’s a good question. It’s usually the first thing people ask. So why did it fill me with dread? Why, if someone smiled encouragingly and say “Oh, you’re writing a book? What’s it about?” would I struggle to find a decent response? Was my book doomed? I’ve spent a lot of time worrying about this […]
I'm a doctor of law and economics, a qualified barrister, and a retired British naval officer. I have written for journals, collections of academic writing, and newspapers including The Economist. I also write scripts, short stories, and am finishing a novel just so I can throw it on a bloody bonfire. This blog charts my efforts to avoid fiction-related fire hazards.