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 am close to finishing the first draft of a novel on which I have been working for nearly two years. But close, as Rene Russo mysteriously observed in Lethal Weapon 3, is a lingerie shop without a front window[i]. What possessed me to write a novel? Why a fantasy novel? Will anyone take me seriously […]
Recently I was involved in an accident (I got hit by a car). I’m ok, I’m not badly hurt, but I’m taking a fair quantity of prescription pain-killers and they’re making me a little groggy. What does that have to do with anything? Well, I try to get at least one article a month up on […]
We learn to read by reading aloud, and we never lose this connection between the oral and the textual[i]. Things that are easier to say are easier to read. And the easier something is to read, the easier it is for the reader to be in the story rather than be stuck on the text. […]
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.