Let’s talk about sex. Who we are and how we feel about things drives what we write. Narrative perspective isn’t just about character point of view and verb construction, it’s about the author sees the world. This is particularly important when we write about gender and sex. Our sexuality can empower our stories, creating vibrancy, passion […]
This is part 3 of my beginner’s guide to musical writing. How can we use sound and rhythm to create beautiful writing? Parts 1 and 2 looked at the building blocks; stress, alliteration, assonance and repetition to create satisfying patterns. Part 3 starts pulling these things together with the concept of cadence. How do we […]
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 […]
“Ten days after the war ended, my sister Laura drove a car off a bridge.” With the first fifteen words of her novel The Blind Assassin, Margaret Atwood takes a vice-like grip on the reader. She doesn’t let you go until the last page. It is a powerful book, deeply emotive, and, for my money, […]
Some stories touch us. A great story can make us laugh out loud, grieve for the death of someone who never existed, or even burst in to tears in the window seat of a train. But why does it happen? And, as a writer, how can you make it happen? In this post, I will […]
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.