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What’s The Worst That Can Happen?

March 25th, 2020

Like most things in life, writing requires motivation and discipline. Regardless of how good the idea is, floating around in your head, if you don’t find the time to write it down, your chance of success is zero.

Starting out on a writing course can be a daunting experience, regardless of age or background. It doesn’t take much to lose confidence, which can have a detrimental effect on motivation. That can happen when you first start writing magazine articles and submitting them to editors. Some take weeks, or even months to reply, whilst others don’t reply at all. It’s easy to become discouraged, I know at times I was. The key is not to take it personally. To keep on writing. Sometimes you find success is just around the corner. Read the rest of this entry »




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Focus On Your Writing

January 23rd, 2020

I’m really happy to be able to announce the winners of our recent Flash Fiction Competition. We had some of the best short fiction that I’ve read for a long time; so the people who were placed should be very proud of themselves. I do hope you’ll read the three winners and I’m just sorry that we haven’t been able to include the best of the rest.

So, congratulations to winner, Susan Kittles, with Moving Day. Second place goes to Jim Goodman with Family Meal and in third place is Ruth Clarke-Irons with Where You Are Sleeping.

Don’t forget our 2020 Fiction Competition is now open for entries! Read the rest of this entry »




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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 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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Incite and Excite

March 30th, 2018

Plot, suspense and conflict are probably the terms which are most familiar to those who write fiction, and to some readers. Less familiar but in many ways just as important as these elements of story is what is termed the inciting incident.

It’s the inciting incident which gets the story going and is crucial to what happens in the whole tale. It is something which will be of interest and will hook the reader so that he or she wants to read on, find out what happens, and how things will end.

The idea of the inciting incident is most easily illustrated by reference to two of the most popular genres of fiction: crime and romance. In nine out of ten crime novels the inciting incident will be the committing of a crime or finding that a crime has been committed and then the engaging of someone (often a detective) to solve the crime. Read the rest of this entry »




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