How can we tell stories using the spaces around our characters? For a little while now I’ve been trying out exercises from Scott McCloud’s brilliant book Making Comics[i]. It’s a deeply thoughtful text on the art of storytelling and, with a little imagination, its lessons are just as applicable to the traditional novel as they […]
Early on in the drawing class this morning the teacher brought out some pictures the group had been working with the day before. They were medical diagrams of intestines. I didn’t want to look at them. I didn’t feel good. I had a bad taste in my mouth. In the break, when everyone else grabbed […]
A couple of weeks ago I was accepted onto a part-time fine art course at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts – Glacières. Getting to study at an art school in Paris is something of a dream come true (I always wanted to do art but was too scared in case my Dad found out[i]), but it […]
“All true language is incomprehensible, like the chatter of Beggars’ Teeth.”* Is the mark of a great artist that they walk a fine line between genius and insanity? While the rest of us mere mortals toil in our mediocrity, does the visionary merely summon their muse in bursts of creativity that produce great works in […]
I recently studied Peter Stockwell’s two-week course on cognitive poetics via Future Learn, a free online study resource. Cognitive poetics is a tool of literary criticism that applies some elements of cognitive psychology to understanding of literature, and particularly how readers engage with and understand a text. In this article I’m going to talk a […]
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.