December 31st, 2015
It seems to me that the downward slide towards illiteracy started amongst the texting classes in the mid-90s. That probably sounds a little harsh and maybe part of it is down to jealousy, I never did get the hang of predictive texting. I’d take 10 minutes asking my daughter(s) a simple question and would get a novel back in 30 seconds. Must be an age thing?
Let’s roll forward a few years and the little book of faces. To everyone’s kids’ horror, when it ‘went viral’, parents joined in. The accusation was that we were checking up on them but speaking on our behalf, it was a realisation that it was set to be the only means of cross-generational communication left open to us. Interestingly, I used the term ‘went viral’, a term associated with social networks but one that almost describes how they came to be so popular. Life imitating art, you could say. Read the rest of this entry »
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December 7th, 2015
This week’s clip is an interview with Stephen King (who needs no introduction) and Audrey Niffenegger (author of The Time Traveller’s Wife, Her Fearful Symmetry and other novels). In it, they discuss their writing habits, their preferred environment and whether they listen to music while they write.
I never listen to music when I’m writing, because if my writing is taking priority in my brain then I don’t even hear the music in the background. And if I’m struggling to concentrate, the music only acts as a distraction. 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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February 16th, 2015
Imagine you’re working on story which opens with the view of a white farmhouse beside the sea. In the foreground there’s a beach, and mountains in the distance. How would you present that scene? Before getting in to any kind of narrative, how do you go about painting the picture? Clearly, there’s lots of decisions to make, and lots you need to know. What season are we in? What time of day is it? What’s the weather like? etc. Read the rest of this entry »
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November 5th, 2014
Back in the 1970s something strange happened in British schools – they stopped the formal teaching of grammar. Why? Well, not being a linguist … I’m not absolutely sure. All I know is that, having left school in 1979 with a very sketchy knowledge of the subject, it’s caused me a number of problems over the years. Read the rest of this entry »
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