After more than 30 years in the business – and after seeing a LOT of writers and writing – I’ve never considered the qualifier ‘aspiring’ necessary for those starting out. You either write, or you don’t. The end. And personally, I hope that people who want to write – well, they’ll write. That said, ‘aspiring’ to write… More Why all who write should think of themselves as writers. Period.
One of the secrets to writing 50,000 words part-time in 30 days is to make that writing process efficient. Sure, the figure averages out at just 1666 words a day, or thereabouts. But writing’s a stop-start process. It’s easy to sit there for hours and get just a few hundred words out. And the onus… More The secret to winning NaNoWriMo 2015
National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) begins in November – the challenge where authors from around the world race to finish 50,000 words in 30 days. That’s a daunting figure even for experienced writers. I know. I’ve had 30 years experience in the field, writing over 50 books so far – mostly published by Penguin Random House,… More Tips and hints for NaNoWriMo 2015 – here on this blog
It’s kind of funny, but after 50-plus books and three decades in the business I still do two really basic things when I write a book. The first is that – no matter how much planning I put into it beforehand, no matter how clear I am about what’s to be done – I always start… More The two things I do when I write a book
Has anybody read the Winnie The Pooh stories? Not the Disney abominations, but the wonderful originals published by A A Milne in the 1920s. I was brought up on them as a kid – we had the 1958 edition – and I still remember being taught how to play Poohsticks, a charming kids’ game where you drop… More Learning about writing from Pooh
What phrases do you find irritating? One of my favourites, scoring a 10 on the Annoyance Scale, is ‘was to be’ – a phrase some historians just luuurve to sprinkle through their work. You know: ‘Young Winston was to be one of the greatest statesmen Britain had ever seen.’ It’s irritating on three levels. One is… More Explaining those irritating written phrases
Years ago a friend of mine and I developed a fantasy role-playing game. It was pretty much of the classic Gygax AD&D variety, except we rejected everything that AD&D held dear. Why? Because the game was a clichéd, unimaginative, plodding and humourless mashup of Robert E. Howard and J. R. R. Tolkien. It wasn’t hard… More Behold the power of the Rule of Funny