November 27th, 2015
I’ve just got back from a holiday in Japan – somewhere I’ve always wanted to go. It was a terrific experience: wonderful autumn colours in the mountains and forests; imposing Shogun castles and enough temples and shrines to keep you going for a lifetime (and who can argue with people who are so relaxed about their religion that when you find a Buddhist temple it often has a Shinto shrine in the same complex). Read the rest of this entry »
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June 23rd, 2015
Since we did the limerick competition back in May (click here to read the winning limericks) I’ve been looking into constrained writing – any kind of writing that has to fit a pattern or obey particular rules. We all know some of these: haiku; sonnet; iambic pentameter. Even if you don’t know the specific structures involved, most of us have an idea what they are. But what about univocalic poetry, where verses use only one of the eight available vowels, or chaterism, where the length of words in a phrase increase or decrease in a uniform way, like: “I am the best Greek bowler playing?” Read the rest of this entry »
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May 26th, 2015
Have 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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April 20th, 2015
Looking 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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April 9th, 2015
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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