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Discovering Literature

August 10th, 2018

First, thanks to Sally for last week’s post and her tips for writing a psychological thriller. This week I realised just how good her advice is about not making your protagonists either all bad or all good. I was watching Debbie Horsfield’s new comedy drama on TV – Age Before Beauty. I found myself shouting at the TV in irritation because nobody could possibly be such an out-and-out bad ‘un as the Leanne character. I know we’re not talking noirish thriller here, but characterisation still needs to be realistic enough for you to be prepared to suspend your disbelief for the duration. Just one redeeming feature might help. Perhaps we’ll see it in future episodes; perhaps not. Read the rest of this entry »




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Five Tips for Writing a Psychological Thriller

August 3rd, 2018

Psychological thrillers are riding high at the moment and vying with romance to be the most popular fiction genre with readers. Think of all those books with ‘Girl’ in the title and the never-ending stream of ‘noir’ novels and TV series, especially from Scandinavia. This fashion of readers liking to be scared shows no signs of letting up. If you fancy creating a dark read of your own, here are five top tips for writing a psychological thriller: Read the rest of this entry »




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Final Call For Limericks

July 27th, 2018

Thanks to Colin for last week’s blog. I’ve always loved the film ‘True Grit’ – particularly the old one with John Wayne. I think the post might even tempt me to go ahead and read the book now!

So that it doesn’t get overlooked, I’ll mention right at the start that our Limerick Competition will be closing on 31st July, so you’ve only a few days left to enter. The winner will receive £100 and a Writers Bureau course of their choice. Two runners up will each receive £50 and a year’s subscription to The Association of Freelance Writers. Read the rest of this entry »




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Opening Shots

July 20th, 2018

What is one of the commonest faults in stories written by writing students?

Before I answer this, peruse the opening of a novel by the prolific Irish novelist Amanda McKittrick Ros:

“Have you ever visited that portion of Erin’s plot that offers its sympathetic soil for the minute survey and scrutinous examination of those in political power, whose decision has wisely been the means before now of converting the stern and prejudiced, and reaching the hand of slight aid to share its strength in augmenting its agricultural richness?”

Pause, and take a moment to recover, if you need to!

You will not be surprised to hear that Amanda self-published most of her  work and she is regarded as one of the worst stylists in literature – and this may well be the worst opening to a novel ever. Read the rest of this entry »




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Something For The School Holidays

July 13th, 2018

First, thanks to Andrew for last week’s blog – it made me smile. I’m not an avid fan of The Big Painting Challenge but I remember sitting watching the episode where they were asked to  paint boats and actually willing them to stop adding ‘improvements’ to their work.  So, I agree with his comments in the post wholeheartedly. It’s essential to give yourself enough time to edit your writing thoroughly before sending it out but it’s also essential to know when enough’s enough!

With the long school holidays about to start I thought that this week I’d provide some suggestions that might be interesting for those of you who have kids that enjoy writing . The first of these, if you live in the Midlands, is the Spark Young Writers Summer School running from July 30th to August 3rd at Wolverhampton University. Read the rest of this entry »




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About The Author: Diana Nadin

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