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How I Craft Very Short Fiction

December 13th, 2019

What an honour to win a Writers Bureau prize for my very short story, “That Old Familiar Smile”. The Bureau has asked me to write about crafting very short fiction. Suddenly I am an expert?

I like the idea of achieving a complete narrative arc in less than 500 words. Just like a novel, it has to have a beginning, middle and an end but not one word can be wasted.  Here’s how I do it.

It started with a local writing group. When we met, we had three themes, five minutes to think and choose one, then just 20 minutes to write the story. Afterwards we read them out. Sometimes I wrote rubbish and sometimes, something quite good, if a bit rough.  The theme could be a proverb, a song title or a random phrase. Quick thinking produces a first line or, more challengingly, a last line. Read the rest of this entry »




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Make Your Ideas Welcome – They’re Your Friends

November 15th, 2019

Forty-odd years ago, our dynamics lecturer wrote an equation on the blackboard. One symbol caught my imagination. That idea, for a novel, complete with cover design, remained with me for about thirty five years.

Years later, I reached the novel writing section of the Writers Bureau Comprehensive Writing Course. The same idea eventually grew into my début novel, Theta Double Dot.

I’m always fascinated by how others garner ideas, so I’d like to share some of my own methods. I should emphasise that these have evolved, as my circumstances and opportunities have altered. Read the rest of this entry »




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Winner of the Student Competition

October 30th, 2019

For our latest student competition we asked people to write the title and opening for a crime novel. Our congratulations go to David Goodday for the winning entry. Enjoy!

THE ITALIAN CAT SITTER

I was at home when I received the call from Mario. He told me that he wasn’t going to make it home that night and asked me for a favour. Mario was my next door neighbour and quite often I would use his spare key to go round and feed his cat for him. So, I went round, let 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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Mental Health in YA books

July 26th, 2019

As authors, we owe it to our readers to present a realistic, inclusive world. Whether we have an own voices story to tell, or our experience comes from research, it is important that readers can see themselves in a book. Recently, this has meant ensuring diversity is included as well as LGBTQ+, disability, chronic illness and mental health, to name a few.

The diagnosis and treatment of mental health conditions is still in its infancy and we have a long way to go before the stigma is erased. One of the key changes should be, in my opinion, the very title “mental health,” which can promote negative responses. In turn, people hide away their concerns and doubts and don’t get the help they need.

Our teenage years can be some of the most emotional and impressionable, as not only our bodies go through significant changes, but so does the development of our brains. Therefore, it is especially important that we shine a light on the problems teenagers face and show them how to fight their way through. Read the rest of this entry »




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About The Author: Diana Nadin

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