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’ve had the toolkit out. The bonnet is up. I’m up to my elbows in my novel draft, but this time I’m going to find out what’s making that funny squeaking noise and I’m going to fix it. The solution: repairing the balance between plot and character. This article is about the process I’ve gone […]
Our first child was born one month ago today. At least that is what the calendar tells me. The demarcation between days seems to have blurred into an endless stream of bleary eyed triage and trying to remember what it was like to sleep. But it’s brilliant. My wife is brilliant and my little son […]
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.