Voice is as crucial a part of writing as anything else – the characteristic style and flow of words that an author develops which inextricably associates their work with them. It often takes a while to develop. You’ll know when you have, because your revisions will stop being filled with ‘rule application’ edits – you’ll… More What is your writing voice? And how to find it.
I’ve got a question to which I don’t – yet – know the answer. One of the biggest problems with the new publishing paradigm is the fact that the tools publishers have to make themselves known by are common to all social media and internet users. Any individual voice consequently gets lost in the noise.… More Going viral – the problem with authors being discovered on the web
It seems to me that one of the main differences between a short story and a novel isn’t just scale; it’s perspective, which is why novels made up of lashed-together short stories with the same setting don’t always work very well. Let me explain. A novel typically has the length to engage in a fairly… More Why short stories lashed together as novels don’t work
Every so often I see labels attached to YouTube videos to the effect of ‘no infringement intended, copyrights remain with the original owner’, or similar, as if this gets around the fact that the poster has obviously put something up they haven’t licensed. Infringement has nothing to do with trying to take possession of another person’s copyright… More What copyright actually means and how it works
Writing is as much a performance art as anything else. Let me explain. Writing is a constant learning curve, but there are stages along the way – and these include the Pit of Illusory Skill. This happens when newly acquired knowledge isn’t accompanied by experience – because ‘the rules’, strictly speaking, don’t define quality. They’re… More Why writing is a performance art, like concert piano playing
I’m always intrigued by the way writing appears, on the face of it – to be easy. It’s taught in school, so it must be easy – right? And then the reality of it is that it’s actually incredibly difficult, unless you put in the 10,000 hours of practise needed to master a skill. For… More The most important writing skill is…
I read the other day that one of the reasons why kids often don’t ‘click’ with Shakespeare – or find his comedies funny – is that his jokes were terrible. They were also topical, and the one thing that dates faster than last week’s old fish is a topical joke. I can’t help thinking – at… More So Shakespeare wrote terrible jokes, apparently