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Literary Vending Machines

August 18th, 2017

First, thanks to Elise for last week’s blog. It just goes to show how different writing for film or TV can be from writing a novel. In the former, you have to be able to produce something visual for your audience whereas when writing a novel you are providing the structure and the ideas which will allow your readers to use their own imagination to understand and visualise your story.

I read an interesting piece this week in Writing Magazine about vending machines having been installed on 35 French railway stations. But these aren’t your standard machines offering drinks, sweets and crisps – instead they provide short stories. If you get to the station and have forgotten your book, or don’t want to fiddle with your mobile phone, you can press a button and print out a story. And you’ve even got a choice of length – do you want a one minute read, a three minute read of a five minute read? (Don’t worry, if you’re train is delayed you can always go back for another as they’re free!) Read the rest of this entry »




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Achieving Cinematic Vision

August 11th, 2017

I am coming to the end of my course with the ‘Writers Bureau’ and I am writing a screen play for BBC TV entitled ‘Punjabi Girl’. My screen play is about a young Asian girl named Sunita who is trafficked and sold to a talented but quite disturbed musician. The biographies of the two characters provide a dichotomy of love, hate and passion. Finally after travelling the continents of Europe with an entourage of musicians and in a shocking revelation Sunita gains her freedom. Read the rest of this entry »




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What Kind Of Writing Course Is Best For You?

August 4th, 2017

First, thanks to Maria for last week’s blog. It must be great to attend one of her courses in such a wonderful setting. I can feel myself turning green just thinking about it!

Like her, I’ve no interest in criticizing taking a master’s degree in writing, but there’s no getting away from the fact that this option is now horribly expensive and I have talked to a number of people who really have been quite disappointed by the experience. Whereas they wanted (and expected) something practical, instead they have been faced with theory and found themselves no nearer publication at the end than at the beginning. In addition, they’ve felt there has been a lack of interaction with their tutor.

So, my advice would be to always do your research thoroughly before making any decision – or paying any money! Look at all the options, whether it’s a university course, a week-long course (like the one Maria runs, or those organised by Arvon at their various sites) or a distance learning course where you have one-to-one contact with and feedback from your tutor. Then decide what’s best for you. Read the rest of this entry »




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How You Can Improve Your Writing In Just A Week

July 28th, 2017

Several years ago, a teacher friend put one of her ex-students in touch with me for some advice about writing. This lovely young woman had just completed a master’s degree in creative writing and wasn’t sure what to do next – how to progress what she had learned. We had coffee, which somehow slipped into drinks and over a few glasses of wine we discussed the virtues of her course, what she thought she would achieve on it and what she did actually accomplish.  There was, needless to say, quite a short fall between expectation and reality.

Now, I’m not dissing a master’s degree, most definitely not, and the master’s degree that my lovely protégée completed was a good one, an excellent one, from a Russell Group University. In fact I’m not dissing any help a writer can get, it’s a lonely and difficult profession, but what I’d like to discuss here is exactly what we do when we come together on a writing course, what we should hope to achieve and why a week’s course is such a great thing to do; inspiring, motivational and instructive – in ways that an intensive, expensive degree may not be. Read the rest of this entry »




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Never Give Up – Part II

July 20th, 2017

First, thanks to Storm for last week’s blog and I’ve taken the liberty of calling this post Never Give Up – Part II because I have really carried on the theme.

I’ve done this because I thought she brought up a number of interesting points. First, if you really feel you are a writer, then you should never give up – no matter whether you are forced to take time away from your writing because of family/work commitments or ill health; whether you get writer’s block or whether you’re just discouraged because you’ve been receiving rejections. You can survive all of these and come back to your writing stronger and more enthusiastic. Trust me! Read the rest of this entry »




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About The Author: Diana Nadin

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