These days the reality for writers seems to be that their time isn’t valued. That intrudes in all sorts of ways. Zero return on time is the reality for bloggers amid an expectation that everything on the internet is free. What’s more, attempts to monetise usually annoy – I unfollowed a blog myself, recently, whose… More What should writers be paid? And what is their time worth?
I saw a small storm on Facebook the other day over intellectual property. It involved people who’d invented a variety of techniques for a particular craft and were selling the method in seminars. And so they should. It’s their intellectual property and it’s fair to get a return on it; people gotta eat. The problem… More Paying people for use of their intellectual property is fair – isn’t it?
I’ve always been dubious about using slang in writing. Slang has to be one of the trickest things to write. Done well, it gives the material a sense of up-to-the-minute modernity – it adds colour and an authentic feel, if that’s what you’re after. It adds place. What would a story about Cockneys be if… More Slinging slang into your styling
I had a chance the other day to glance through Randall Munroe’s new book Thing Explainer (Houghton Mifflin 2015), explaining science and technology in ‘simple’ language. It’s something New Scientist has been trying for a while, too. And it’s great to see science presented in straight-forward ways. It’s important. The problem I’ve got is that… More How I got confused by Randall Munroe’s new book on science
Taylor Swift visited New Zealand last week, provoking a small media frenzy but not attracting particular attention. Nobody much cares about celebrity status here. I mean, they’re normal people doing a job, like everybody else. I’m sure they think so too. As for anybody locally who pokes their head up – well, on my own experience, that reduces them to what we call… More There’s nothing special about being a writer
Ever been caught by your writing taking on a life of its own? Words not coming out the way you want, adjectives slipping in and -ly endings abounding? You’re not alone. It’s a common problem, especially near the beginning of the learning curve. And yes, writing is a learned skill like any other. It takes… More Getting rid of those pesky adjectives in your writing
Worldbuilding is essential for any novel – not just fantasy stories. A writer has to understand the world in which their story and characters are set, be it an imaginary world or historical London or contemporary Sahara desert. That demands a lot of research, work and definition. Not all of it will make it into… More Worldbuilding for writers demands over-engineering