Synopsis writing is essential but dreaded. How can you explain your whole story in a short summary? Recently, I had to drop everything and write a one page outline for my new novel. This is for reasons that will either turn out to be bloody brilliant or will be forgotten, consigned to history and never […]
Have you been asked to critique someone’s story? Been given a short story, screenplay or novel to discuss and have no idea where to start? Fear not. This is a guide to giving good feedback on creative writing. It explains how to deliver your critique and the key questions you should answer. As a reader, […]
I just finished the second full draft of a novel. I’m going to take a couple of weeks of for Christmas, then get started on the third. But the titles “second” and “third” don’t refer to a number of revisions (I have worked through each chapter many, any times). Rather they refer to specific stages […]
Planning writing can feel pointless. A lot of us depend on deadlines, caffeine fuelled all-nighters and forgetting how last time we promised we would never do that again. But for a book or PhD sized project – really anything where the finish line is years away and the work too large to write in a […]
Last month I finished the first draft of my first novel. I had a beer and took a holiday. I’m back and the manuscript keeps looking at me. I try to ignore it. It laughs, says “I thought so,” and then stops looking at me in a way that makes it really clear it is […]
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.