The most important thing a writer can do is marketing

I often see discussions on blogs or around the social media sphere about writing. Usually it’s on the basis that everybody writes fiction, and ‘writing’ is the part that produces the first draft. Everything after that is ‘editing’. I think writing needs a wider definition than that. It includes all forms of writing, including non-fiction.… More The most important thing a writer can do is marketing

What if Germany had won the First World War in autumn 1914?

I pointed out in an earlier post that a German victory in 1918 would have always been marginal because by then all combatants had been run down by the strains of war. Revolution simmered in Germany and the chances of Ludendorff’s military junta continuing to rule without compromise or change afterwards seem slim. What of… More What if Germany had won the First World War in autumn 1914?

How not to write scene-setters in your novel

I started reading a novel the other day and choked on the first three paragraphs, which were a kind of double-flashback sequence filled with ‘had beens’. I paraphrase: “…it was now…there had been…had been…had abruptly…had been…had they…had… had been…had they…he would…he had not…had grown…had happened…had summoned…” It didn’t get going with the immediate action for… More How not to write scene-setters in your novel

Digital print on demand – what it is and how to avoid stepping in it

Reports of the death of the print book seem to have been considerably exaggerated of late. It’s been the usual thing: we suppose the ‘new’ – in this case, digital distribution – will totally replace the ‘old’. Actually, and as usual, they simply complement each other and print books have been rebounding. One difference, though,… More Digital print on demand – what it is and how to avoid stepping in it

When people pontificate about typos as if they weren’t

I am always vaguely amused and disappointed by the way some people feel obligated to respond to a minor and obvious typo they’ve found in published work by treating it as literally correct, then going on at length about what the author might possibly have meant by it. The fact that it’s actually a typo… More When people pontificate about typos as if they weren’t