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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 […]

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book reviews Creative writing

Book vs film: The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold

The Book Corner season 5: Book vs film. Episode 6: The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold. Alice Sebold’s 2002 debut novel delivered a bold and uplifting take on a brutal child murder story. In 2009, The Lovely Bones became a film by Peter Jackson, but neither the critics nor the box office warmed to his […]

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Metaposts

2023: a year in posts

In January 2023 I set a goal of posting every week, which isn’t easy when you’re diverted as readily as I am. I managed about three posts a month and I’ll take that for a win. Nerd that I am, I thought I’d start the new year with my top five posts of 2023. Most […]

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book reviews Creative writing

Secrets of the Book Corner

Most book reviewers do it to share their opinions. As a writer, I want to discover what I think about the craft so that I can improve. That’s where the Book Corner comes in. Book reviewers usually cover new releases and classics (because the algorithms love a classic). My selections are governed by the whims […]

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Creative writing writing tools

Six ways to prep for Nanowrimo 2023

With only three weeks left until Nanowrimo 2023 kicks off, there’s still time to prepare your story so you can hit the keyboard hard on November 1st. More importantly, a little prep will give you something to fall back on when the words run dry on November 21st. I won’t be on board the Nano […]

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book reviews Creative writing Horror Science Fiction

Book vs film: The Dark Tower vol 1 — The Gunslinger by Stephen King

Season 5 episode 2: The Dark Tower vol 1 — The Gunslinger, by Stephen King The original concept for this season was “great book, shit film”. The Gunslinger certainly qualifies for the latter half and while The Dark Tower series has a passionate fanbase, “great” has to do a lot of heavy lifting for the […]

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book reviews Creative writing

The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy, Titus Groan and The Grapes of Wrath: Book Corner 4.3

The world ends at least five times in season four of my writing group’s monthly book corner. Either it was accidentally about apocalypses, or we’re a very dark group. The season concludes with: What is the book corner? Each month the group takes a break from critiquing our WIPs to examine a complete, published novel. […]

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Creative writing writing tools

Plottr: simple visual story planning, part 2

Plottr is my latest bid to find a story outlining tool that will tame my excesses as a discovery writer and help me to work faster. I’ve looked at how I hoped to use it with three different projects, now it’s time for a deep dive into the experience. Navigating the Plottr interface When you […]

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Creative writing writing tools

Plottr: simple visual story planning, part 1

I’ve been away for a while [DRUM ROLL] writing a new novel in my Nightmare Vacations series. It’s also been an opportunity to test drive Plottr, a visual tool for story planning. For a lazy pantser like me, outlining can be a chore that gets in the way of turning that great new idea into […]

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Creative writing The Good Reader

How much does it cost to write a novel? Part 2: Education, editors and readers

You’ve set up the perfect writing space, found a pen that channels Poe, a coffee shop fit for Camus and a chair good enough for Chandler. With a few chapters complete, you’d like some feedback, tips on how to improve or something more in-depth. You need education, editors and readers. Educating writer Writing a novel, […]