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Learning To Show, Not Tell

August 30th, 2019

First, thanks to Amber for last week’s blog – I think it’s brilliant advice. If you shut yourself away at home all the time, you can be in danger of forgetting how to interact with people – and understanding how people tick is a vital part of being a writer. And this doesn’t just apply to fiction writers. You also need to know what people are talking about at the moment and what interests them if you hope to write non-fiction that sells. You can’t rely on the TV or internet as what you see there is often a rather skewed version of how ‘normal’ (?) people behave and react.

Moving on, one of the things that writers hear repeatedly from their critics is ‘show don’t tell’ – but what exactly does this mean? I know many people find it difficult to put into practice; so this week I’m going to give you an example from the Writers Bureau course that sums it up perfectly. Read the two extracts and you’ll know exactly what I mean: Read the rest of this entry »




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How Your Day Job is Helping Your Writing Career

August 23rd, 2019

When people ask you what you do for a living, how do you respond? I think of myself predominantly as a writer, although I also have a day job to pay the bills. As such, I will often state my day job as my main occupation in order to avoid sounding pompous (even the notion!) I would imagine that many of you reading this are in a similar position, fitting your Writers Bureau courses around other commitments such as work.

As writers, it is incredibly easy to fall into a pit of frustration, longing for the day when you can quit your nine-to-five in order to pursue your passion as a full-time career. But aside from greater financial security, there are several reasons why having a day job can be a helpful tool to improve your writing. Read the rest of this entry »




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How To Find New Ideas

August 16th, 2019

First, thanks to Peter for last week’s post. I hope he is enjoying his Art Of Writing Poetry Course and finding it inspirational.

Many people struggle finding new ideas to write about. Well, first and foremost, it’s good to realise that nothing is really new. No matter what idea you come up with, someone else will have already thought of it, or something very much like it. That’s just life. So, it’s not always about finding new ideas, it’s about making an old idea fresh – finding a new angle. Read the rest of this entry »




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Poetic Payoff

August 9th, 2019

Trying to write poetry can be satisfying even for a beginner. Unlike many sports and other hobbies, the exercise costs not a bean, and – whilst the pen may be mightier than the sword – it poses no threat to life or limb.

Poetry is easier to describe than to define, but it tends to be more expressive than the language we use every day, often following patterns of rhyme and metre, adding musicality and even sometimes a dimension beyond the ordinary.

I personally like poems that make a pertinent or amusing observation or tell a story or that somehow seem to strike a chord. I also like them to have sounds that appeal to the ear, perhaps with some kind of pattern or rhythm as well as rhymes or half rhymes. These preferences may be somewhat reactionary, since much modern poetry does not rhyme or seem to have any clear rhythm. Read the rest of this entry »




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Getting To Know You…

August 2nd, 2019

First, thanks to Marisa for last week’s thoughtful post. We all know that when we’re writing for children we need to be particularly sensitive to their needs – and (let’s be honest) sensitive to the perceptions of the adults and teachers who are often the ones who buy the books for them!

On the other hand we can be dismissive of teenagers – they often come across as inscrutable, worldly wise beyond their years and Teflon coated. But, their attitude is often just that – a thin veneer. And you’ve got to take that into account if you want to write for them successfully.

So, if you do decide that this is the market for you, how should you approach it? Read the rest of this entry »




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About The Author: Diana Nadin

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