Last week I finished my novel. I know, right? Cue the champagne, let's start calling agents and– No. Not even close. You see, finishing a first draft isn't the same as finishing a novel. Finishing a first draft means you've taken all the bumf in your head about said book and you've put it down…Read more The Anti-Climax of Finishing Your First Draft
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're in a relationship. You've been together three months. You're starting to get to know each other, you've had quite a few dates - and things are starting to go really well. And then, BAM. You meet someone else. They're just as attractive as your current partner, but they're exciting and new. You tell yourself not…Read more The 10,000 Word Itch (or What To Do When You Come Up With A New Book Idea Whilst Writing A Different Book)
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
I usually approach writing exercises in the same way I approach actual exercise: with a sense of dread. There's something about being forced to be creative that sends me into a cold sweat. But I'm doing a Masters in Creative Writing, so obviously, I have very little choice in the matter. When the tutor tells…Read more Writing Warm-Up Exercise: The List Of Words
So here's Scene 1. I've made a list of the mistakes and edits I corrected at the end: Cassie peered out of the murky car window, humming quietly under her breath. The radio in her father’s beaten up old Rover had broken years ago, and all she could hear was the soft whisper of the…Read more The Edit Project: Part 1