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Creative writing writing tools

How to create Word-friendly headings in Scrivener compile

Scrivener is my go-to writing tool for just about everything1 but it has a weakness: compiling Word documents with built-in headings that make them easy to navigate. Here’s how to solve that problem. I don’t often write about Scrivener because there’s a community of people who really know their way around it, not least the […]

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AI Creative writing writing tools

You do not own your AI-generated writing

If you want to publish or submit AI-generated writing, you need to know this: you don’t own that work. No one knows who owns that work. You had an idea and created the prompt that lead to the work, but in the world of intellectual property, ideas are worth nothing. Expression is everything. That’s why […]

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AI Creative writing writing tools

If you’re using AI for research, you need to know this

If you’re going to use AI for writing or research, you need to know two things. The first is that AI doesn’t know anything. There are other important things to know about AI. It’s trained on content taken without permission of the creators. It contributes to rising greenhouse emissions and power consumption from technology companies. […]

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Blood Point Creative writing Folklore Horror

Wanted: beta readers for Blood Point

Would you like to test drive the final drafts of Blood Point, my next Nightmare Vacations horror story? If so, register below to become a Beta Reader. Beta Readers are one of the last stops on the road from a story idea to a published novel. They’re a final chance to revise a book and […]

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Creative writing

Space war, huh? What is it good for?

What’s the biggest franchise and the biggest trope in SF? Star Wars. War is everywhere on Earth, so it makes sense that there will be war in space, off among the stars. Anywhere you you find life, there will be war. Right? Maybe. I started to think about this when I began writing a science […]

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AI Creative writing writing tools

Phew! Google’s Gemini AI still can’t write a synopsis of my novel

Most writers hate writing a synopsis, so it seems like the perfect challenge for an AI. What I discovered reveals a lot about the current state and limitations of generative AIs like ChatGPT and Google Gemini. The current wave of interest in AI is fascinating because it inspires so much hype on both sides. I […]

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AI Creative writing writing tools

Six reasons why writers should never say never to AI

It’s became a fashionable rallying cry for writers to say “I will never use AI”. While there are many good reasons to worry about artificial intelligence, I think writers should never say never to AI. As a science fiction writer who finds non-human intelligence fascinating, I’m intrigued by the hyperbole and achievements of AI research […]

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Creative writing Metaposts

Universal truth: a literary fiction

Among literature’s many grand claims is that great works embody universal truth about the human condition. It’s frequently used to emphasise the importance of literary fiction and establish the importance of canonical works and authors. The former canonical heretic and latter-day literary saint, James Joyce, himself declared Ulysses to be a novel of universal truth: […]

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Creative writing

SF and fantasy genre writers’ organisations: who to join?

I write across two genres — science fiction and horror — and I harbour no ambitions towards literary fiction. Mainstream authors’ organisations are often focused on the literary and mundane genres, so I don’t feel entirely welcome. Fortunately there are SF and fantasy genre writers’ organisations where I’m an easier fit. Genre fiction writers’ organisations […]

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Creative writing

British & Irish authors’ organisations: who should I join?

Joining an authors’ trade organisation has been on my to-do list since I decided to take this gig seriously. I’ve put it off because there are as surprising number of British and Irish authors’ organisations. Now that I’ve done the research, I thought I’d put it out there for other writers to use. Why do […]