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Is Splashing Out for a Writing Weekend Good Value For Aspiring Writers?

May 19th, 2017

It is coming to that time of the year when we, as writers, start reading about residential writing courses – Festivals, Schools and Weekends. Are they worth it? Some appear to be quite expensive. Will I gain anything for my writing? Who goes? And, aren’t they mainly recreational? What exactly do you get out of it?

If you are new to the game choosing represents a rather daunting prospect. They are varied in what they offer, but I can assure you that some are with experienced, professional tutors and they will work you very hard. So, how will you find the right one for you?

I went to my first Writing Festival in 2002 – the NAWG Festival of Writing at Durham University. And now, thirteen years later, I have two novels published and I am the Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the National Association of Writers Groups (NAWG) and heavily involved with the planning of their annual writing festivals, which has been re-branded NAWGFest 2017. Read the rest of this entry »




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Will Hybrid Books Take The Writing World By Storm?

May 10th, 2017

Some of you may have noticed the case of the missing blog. I’m afraid that we had to remove last week’s post because there was one link that we didn’t want to include and when the author found out that this was the case he asked us to remove it. Such is life…

This week’s blog really is something of a miscellany – but I hope you find it an interesting one. I was recently reading about the bestselling author Laura Barnett who is currently working on a ‘hybrid book’ which involves collaboration with folk singer-songwriter Kathryn Williams. Read the rest of this entry »




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Could You Be The Next Edgar Wallace?

April 28th, 2017

As usual, thanks to Colin for last week’s blog. I already knew quite a lot about Edgar Wallace – poet, crime reporter,  war correspondent, playwright, Hollywood screenwriter and director – but I had no idea that he was credited with being the author behind King Kong and co-creator of the first (and arguably the best) film. He was born into poverty in the UK – his first job, aged 11, was selling newspapers in Ludgate Circus. Despite being such a prolific and famous author who earned a fortune during his lifetime, he died owning millions! Read the rest of this entry »




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Motivation in Character Creation

April 21st, 2017

Many readers will not have heard of Edgar Wallace who lived from 1875-1932, and few will have read his fiction. He was, though, the most prolific and popular author throughout his adult life in Britain and America and one of his works will be known by most people. He authored the story behind the film, King Kong, a picture which has been made four times (the latest this year) and has led to dozens of related spin-offs. Ironically he never saw the film because he died in the year before the 1933 version was released.

Wallace wrote many crime novels and stories and he once said that there were five motivations for murder: jealousy, envy, greed, despair and revenge. If you write crime stories, needless to say, your criminal must have a good motive for their actions. Are there other motives than the five suggested by Wallace? Probably, and it is worth thinking of them. One motivation not stated by Wallace is a character which rarely appeared in early 20th century crime stories – the psychopathic serial killer – and this character has become common in more recent crime fiction. The psychopath’s motivation is more to do with intrinsic evil than the motives cited by Wallace. Read the rest of this entry »




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Using Your Research to Fuel Your Writing

April 14th, 2017

First, thanks to Douglas for last week’s blog. It really goes to show that you should never shy away from approaching experts if you need facts for your writing. There are innumerable museums, stately homes, art galleries, and state-of-the-art tourist attractions out there. A quick email to their PR department or to the address indicated on their website could put you in touch with someone who can help you with your research. Who knows, you may even get a personal guided tour!

And don’t dismiss factories, garden centres and retail outlets. If you want food facts, information on how things are made, or grow, don’t be afraid to ask. What’s the worst that can happen? They might say no and you’ll have to move on to the next source on your list. Have confidence in yourself  – think positively and act positively! Read the rest of this entry »




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About The Author: Diana Nadin

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