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A Trip Down Memory Lane

June 12th, 2015

free_895142-blogThanks to Margaret for last Friday’s post – the point that she makes about letting your work ‘rest’ before sending it out to publishers is a really important one.

It’s amazing how many flaws you’ll spot when you come back to it after a break. You’re seeing it with a fresh pair of eyes (and probably more objectively). It’s not just about the plot and structure of your novel/short story but also whether your characters look and behave in a consistent way. It’s about the style – picking up on problems in grammar, spelling and punctuation – and making sure that what is clear to you is clear to your reader without over-explaining anything or patronising them. Read the rest of this entry »




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That’s The Way To Do It!

June 8th, 2015

R.Belligerence-BlogOur kids dragged us to the Manchester Film and Comic Con last weekend. Well, I say dragged … I was more excited than them. It was a huge event, packed with dealers, big screen TVs, an auditorium for talks, and rows of desks where celeb’s were signing graphic novels, DVDs, original artwork, baseball caps, etc.

My ten year old son was after ‘retro’ games, and we soon found some. So while he hummed and hahed over Pokemon and Donkey Kong I had a look round. I noticed one particular table which was quite simple (by comic con standards.) On a plain black cloth, it held just a few piles of books, all copies of four paperbacks that were neatly laid out on display – all clearly part of a series. Behind the table was a woman in a striking outfit – part Tolkien’s Rivendell, part Mos Eisley spaceport.

“Are you the author?” I said.

“Yes,” she said

And that’s how I came to meet the inspirational C. G. Hatton. Read the rest of this entry »




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You Pays Your Money And You Takes Your Choice

May 26th, 2015

WattBlog-BlogHave you come across Wattpad? I just discovered it a couple of days ago and … I’m in two minds. Where I can see there’s definitely something interesting going on, I’m not really sure it’s for me.

Wattpad is a Canadian based story-sharing website, like a Facebook or Youtube for writers. Stories and poems are shared in over fifty languages, and the stat’s for membership and reading are quite impressive: 40 million users per month with an average user session of thirty minutes. Readers are encouraged to post comments about work they’ve read, writers have profile pages where you can message them privately, and there are a number of Forums where both writers and readers join in extended conversations. Generally, from what I can see, people are serialising novels and putting them up one chapter at a time. Some attract thousands of readers, and one I noticed – Flawed by someone calling themselves bnflan has been read an enormous 2, 410, 414 times. Read the rest of this entry »




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Questions Of Perspective

April 20th, 2015

perspective-BlogLooking through some old issues of E-Zee Writer last week, I came across an article by Heather Cooke called Points Of View. It’s about the different voices we use telling stories – a fine little piece. In it, Heather very succinctly describes universal, multiple and single viewpoints, as well as exploring the differing qualities of single and third person narration. Now, that stuff may all seem fairly obvious to you, but reading her article took me back to the early days of my (still unfinished) fantasy trilogy, and a particular problem … Read the rest of this entry »




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Is Your Dialogue Letting You Down?

April 9th, 2015

comic-book-graphic-elements-vector_23-2147493621-blog First, thanks to Esther for stepping into the breach last Friday. As you can see, she’s another Writers Bureau tutor that started as a student and now thoroughly enjoys helping to develop new writing talent.

Last month Esther wrote an article on the ‘Dos and Don’ts of Dialogue’ for Freelance Market News. We got a great response to this, so I thought that you might also be interested in some tips. Many novels and short stories get rejected because they don’t include enough dialogue – or the speech their characters use sounds stilted and unrealistic. So here are some suggestions to help you make the most of what your characters say: Read the rest of this entry »




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