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Discovering Literature

August 10th, 2018

First, thanks to Sally for last week’s post and her tips for writing a psychological thriller. This week I realised just how good her advice is about not making your protagonists either all bad or all good. I was watching Debbie Horsfield’s new comedy drama on TV – Age Before Beauty. I found myself shouting at the TV in irritation because nobody could possibly be such an out-and-out bad ‘un as the Leanne character. I know we’re not talking noirish thriller here, but characterisation still needs to be realistic enough for you to be prepared to suspend your disbelief for the duration. Just one redeeming feature might help. Perhaps we’ll see it in future episodes; perhaps not. Read the rest of this entry »




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Writers Bureau Poetry and Short Story Competition 2010 – entries now being accepted!

April 30th, 2010

It’s now approaching the time of year that I enjoy most.  Entries for the Writers Bureau Poetry and Short Story Competition have started coming in and I love looking through them and reading a selection before they are sent off to our adjudicators, Alison Chisholm and Iain Pattison.  I’m always amazed at the inventiveness and style that some of the writers demonstrate.  The majority of them  are a joy to read – why not have a look at last year’s winners.

But some people just can’t help shooting themselves in the foot (and I’m not on about Gordon Brown here)!  Why waste the £5.00 entry fee if you’re going to ignore the rules, send more than the word limit or simply not check and polish your work.

And talking about polishing your work, everyone from time to time gets a word stuck in their mind and it keeps popping up in their writing. (I know I tend to repeat ‘however’ and have to go back and cut it out.).  The new editor of our student magazine, Anne Lyken-Garner, has a good tip for finding an alternative if you don’t have a thesaurus handy:  place your cursor in the middle of the word you want to change and right click your mouse. The drop down menu offers, among other tools, a synonym option. While this isn’t as in-depth as a physical thesaurus, it’s an effective solution to make your writing more interesting.

If you’re more computer literate than me, you probably already know about this.  If not, I hope you find it useful.

Finally, I’ve just been having a look at the ideas4writers website.  They’ve introduced the “Date-A-Base Book 2011”.  It includes over 1900 newsworthy anniversaries that will occur between January and December 2011.  So it gives you lots of ideas and plenty of time to plan your writing schedule.  The anniversaries cover significant historic events, inventors, discoveries, births and deaths.  They have put January’s entries on the website for free to whet your appetite, but if you want the other 11 months you’ll have to pay.  It’s available as either an e-book or a printed copy.




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