Six Lessons from Music…

… to think about when you feel that your work as a writer is not receiving the recognition it deserves… Shostakovich wrote during the siege of Leningrad whilst working as a fireman. Messiaen wrote his Quartet for the End of Time in Stalag VIII-A, a prisoner-of-war camp. Mahler was forced to work as a conductorContinue reading “Six Lessons from Music…”

Six Reasons why Maintaining a Blog will make You a Better Writer

It will make you write regularly It will make you finish something – you’re not a writer if you’re only producing half finished stories It will make you publish something – no more constantly rewriting, trying to get something perfect It will mean your stuff will be read by somebody else – no more storiesContinue reading “Six Reasons why Maintaining a Blog will make You a Better Writer”

Six Little Masterpieces of Economy

Armistead Maupin has been described as the master of coincidence.  He’s also a master of economy.  Look how captures the essence of his characters in a just a few words in the following chapter openers… ‘Well,’ boomed Arnold Littlefield, dousing his scrambled eggs with ketchup, ‘the hubby stood you up, huh?’ MANUEL THE GARDENER wasContinue reading “Six Little Masterpieces of Economy”

Six Useful Websites for Writers

1) Etomyonline – Etymological Dictionary See the origin of words and the way in which their meanings have changed throughout history. Keep your language of its time with this site and the next: 2) Google ngrams – frequencies of short sentences found in sources printed between 1800 and 2012 3) Behind the name – etymologyContinue reading “Six Useful Websites for Writers”

Six Ways to Stay Sane as a Writer

Don’t place too high a value on your reviews (there’ll always be good and bad ones). Don’t place too high a value on your Amazon Sales Position (no matter how high it is, it will go down eventually). When it comes to you writing, the only people whose opinions really matter are your editor andContinue reading “Six Ways to Stay Sane as a Writer”

Six Ways that Being Published Won’t Change Your Life

It won’t make you rich.* Your non-writing friends won’t think any differently of you. Nor will your writing friends The urge to write will not diminish Nor the urge to be published (again). It won’t provide any answers to the other problems in your life However, it will validate you as a writer. To yourself,Continue reading “Six Ways that Being Published Won’t Change Your Life”

Six Things to do When You’ve Finished a Story

Put it away for a few weeks. That way you can come back to it with a fresh mind Ask yourself Can I delete the first paragraph? The answer is usually yes Ask yourself Is the ending really as strong as is could be? The answer is usually no Read the story through out loud.Continue reading “Six Things to do When You’ve Finished a Story”

Six Tips on Writing First Drafts

A first draft is about getting it written, not about getting it right. Don’t spend too much time on it Think of an artist painting a picture – they get the basic outlines and then fill in the details later. That’s what a first draft should be – broad daubs of paint Stories have aContinue reading “Six Tips on Writing First Drafts”

Six Tips on Narrative Voice

Writing in the First Person is harder than it looks: the narrator defines the sort of story you write. Compare the way the intelligent Katiniss Everdeen tells her story in The Hunger Games with that of the much less aware Riddley Walker in the novel of the same name. There are very few stories writtenContinue reading “Six Tips on Narrative Voice”