I drew a line in the sand the other day. Or chipped it in granite. Or something. It was the same line Will Wheaton drew with the HuffPo last year – saying ‘no’ to commercial enterprise offering ‘exposure’ in lieu of actual payment to authors. I’m approached reasonably often to contribute to publications or give… More Why I said ‘no’ to the old ‘get paid by exposure’ trick
Literary historians have often had a niggling worry that the plays of William Shakespeare were actually written by somebody else – the Earl of Bedford is one favourite. And there are others. My take is that they weren’t written by William Shakespeare, but by somebody else with the same name who was married to a… More The inner secrets of writing style
I have to admit I get irritated every so often with the current war on adverbs. One of the outcomes is that well-meaning but inexperienced editors go through an author’s work slashing out anything that has even the slightest hint of an adverb, as if the author doesn’t know what they are doing (and sometimes… More Why you actually need adverbs – really!
Does anybody remember ‘Swing Out Sister’? Eighties jazz-infused synth-pop trio who by their second album had become a Bacharach-jazz style duo. They got quite big in Japan, for some reason, in the 1990s and they’re still around exploring the full meaning of the word ‘mellow’ in music. Lately, they’re ‘making a thing’ on Pledge Music,… More Getting in ahead of the kick-starter rush
I sometimes get the impression that the e-publishing revolution has led to people with a bit of knowledge (enough to be dangerous) offering guidance to people with none. The thing is that writing, like any profession, is a practised skill that is also as difficult and time-consuming to obtain as becoming a concert pianist. There… More A few thoughts from a grumpy old writer…
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
One of the things that happens these days with ‘book reviews’ of the Amazon variety is the intrusion of personal opinion as a way of judging the book. You know ‘I liked it, so I’ll give it five stars’. Or ‘it didn’t appeal to me, so I’ll give it one star’. The point being that… More All about book reviews and personal opinion