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 […]
Last month my wife began her maternity leave. Normally she works long hours in a posh consultancy firm being highly impressive and executive and stuff. I can do eight hours in the library and still be home in time to get some FIFA played before she gets back. It’s a good pattern and I’ve found […]
It happened to me again. A couple of weeks ago I was with my Mum in a pub near Wales. I was boring her talking about story I was writing where the underground rivers of London come to life once a year and go hunting in the East End. “Oh, like Rivers of London by Ben […]
How long should your story be? The usual answers (‘how long is a piece of string?’ or ‘however long it needs to be’) are not always helpful. Sure, a story should be the size it needs to be, but by what magical instinct are we to tell what size that 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.