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Writing As Therapy

April 1st, 2020

First, thanks to Mick for last week’s blog. I know everything seems so uncertain at the moment and I suspect that lots of us are feeling rather distracted and unable to concentrate on anything other than making sure we have a fully stocked freezer, and that those we  love are well and not in financial difficulty.

But if you can concentrate for a few hours every day, then this really is a perfect time to settle down and write. So, I’m not going to use this post as an excuse to witter on about Coronavirus or air my views about the government’s response to it. Instead, I’m going to suggest some outlets for your writing that you might want to consider. Read the rest of this entry »




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Are You Considering Self-publishing?

February 28th, 2020

First, thanks to Esther for last week’s blog. I enjoy reading both ‘proper’ books and e-books.  As I’m sure I’ve said before, for me it’s all about the most cost-effective way of getting my hands on what I want to read, whether it’s physically visiting my local library, using their library app, browsing in a good bookshop or downloading a book from Amazon. But I do tend to have a preference for my Kindle when I’m reading in bed. As Esther said – less strain on the arms!

I know that even young children are now savvy when it comes to tablets and phones and there are so many channels on the TV fighting for their attention. But I still get a buzz out of the fact that my 14-month-old grandson loves his books. He likes nothing better than making his choice and then staggering over with his favourite picture book so that we can sit down and enjoy it together. Let’s hope it lasts. Read the rest of this entry »




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For the Love of Flash

February 7th, 2020

When Diana kindly asked me if I would contribute to the WB blog I was a little stumped, considering my amateur status in the world of fiction, on what to write about. Recently, I have had success in placing in the WB Flash Fiction Competition, so with this in mind I thought I would share with you why I think writing flash fiction is invaluable to any aspiring writer.

With a word limit tending to range between 200 – 1000 words, flash allows you to lay down a complete first draft in one sitting, often in under twenty minutes, so you can create a fully formed piece of fiction in your lunch break. You gain a sense of accomplishment and are well on your way to having a piece ready for competition or publication. More importantly (for me at least) you are able to go through the complete writing process in miniature (re-drafting, proof reading etc.)  building on skills like editing, that you may rarely get to use when writing in longer forms. In going through the process, I’ve found that I enjoy the re-drafting more than writing the initial draft. This has given me more hope in completing the first draft of my novel, which (as I’m sure some of you have found) can be a painful process. At the end of the week you could have a fully realised piece of fiction ready to go. Read the rest of this entry »




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How To Read A Novel

January 14th, 2020

One of the things that I’m sure you hear repeatedly is that if you want to be a writer then you must read, read, read. But why?

You should read – especially contemporary fiction – because it shows you what trends are current, what readers are looking for NOW and so what publishers are searching for.

You should read all fiction – contemporary, classic, experimental – to see how other authors use words, how they put together their plots, twine in sub-plots and how they make their characters realistic. When you read something you enjoy then you can analyse it and use the knowledge you have gained in your own work. When you read a book that doesn’t work for you, then you can try to decide what’s wrong with it and avoid this in your own writing. Read the rest of this entry »




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Stocking Fillers For Writers

December 6th, 2019

First, thanks to Alex for last week’s post. As he pointed out, competitions aren’t for everyone, but thanks to those of you who sent your stories in to our Flash Fiction Competition. Entry is now closed but the enjoyable part (at least for me!) has now started. I’m having a great time going through them all and we should be in a position to prepare a shortlist and pick the winners shortly. So watch this space!

As our own competition has finished I’m going to suggest a couple of others that you might consider if you want to keep your writing muscles flexed over the festive season. So here we go… Read the rest of this entry »




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