Today we're going to talk about stakes, which in short is the bad stuff that's going to happen to your character if they don't achieve their goal (or if they do - depending on your character arc). Stakes are consequences, but more than that, stakes help us as writers create and maintain tension through scenes…Read more The Importance of Stakes
I've written a lot about getting rejected as a writer. And that's because we do get rejected. A LOT. But also, sometimes, something just falls into place. And you get an email popping into your inbox saying "we'd like to publish your piece." And, if you're anything like me, you lose your shit and start…Read more How Many Rejections Does it Take to Get Your Writing Published?
I wouldn’t walk into a bar and start jumping on the tables. Perhaps in 3,000 years that might be considered normal (if so I’m glad I live now, I’m clumsy at the best of times) but equally, if I was born in the 18th or early 19th century, I wouldn’t have walked into a bar…Read more How to Start Writing Historical Fiction: Etiquette (Part 2)
Good morrow, dear friends. How fare thee this fine day? Alright mate? 'Ows it goin'? Why hello, how do you do? ... Now if those greetings sound weird, it's because they're supposed to. It's weird because I don't speak like that. (Except maybe the second one, after a week back in south east London and…Read more How to Start Writing Historical Fiction: Language (Part 1)
So I did a post the other week on whether or not you should study a Creative Writing MA (or slightly longer ago now, I've moved house and started working at an awesome new job so sadly the blog was left sulking in a corner for a while) and I rather rashly suggested you can…Read more Build Your Own Free Creative Writing Course Part 1: Description
So a few weeks ago I submitted a piece of writing to The New Yorker. I had been working on it for a while and this means that the editing process took nearly as long as the writing process (which it should.) I had a few issues with my characters, that you might also have, so…Read more Problems with Writing: Characterisation
I did something truly insane today. I submitted a piece of work to The New Yorker. It was a piece I've been working on for about two months now, a short story that follows a young girl in the run-up to a natural disaster. I went through about six edits to get to the final…Read more The Terror of Submitting Your First Piece of Fiction
I had a poetry lecture today, which I was dreading. Poetry for me brings back memories of exams in a dusty sports hall with the lingering smell of old socks; looking at pieces of writing that had been butchered with highlights and notes in the margin about form and theme and prose. Imagine my surprise, then,…Read more What’s the Difference Between a Writer and a Pretender?
You wouldn't think a Masters in Creative Writing would lead you to the conclusion that you're schizophrenic. Or at least, not immediately. You'd want to work up to that after two years of batting the idea back and forth, at the very least. In fact, it's widely accepted that all writers have a dual personality…Read more Why All Writers Have Two Personalities