If the larger dinosaurs hadn’t been extinguished some 65 million years ago, what would today look like? To me the answer is largely in my own backyard, here in New Zealand. Up until humans first landed here around 800 years ago, New Zealand was very much a ‘lost world’, a place where Jurassic forests survived, and where the classic… More New Zealand – the lost world of the dinosaurs – part 1
One of the curious things about writing is the way ‘the rules’ fade away with experience. After a while, writers ‘just know’ how to do things. And good editors know they know. That also means that an experienced editor doesn’t tick off an experienced author for what, on the face of it, seems to be a… More When the writing rules fade away
I am deeply cynical about automatic writing analysis – you know, those annoying online systems that ‘mark’ your writing for various arbitrary flaws. Take the Hemingway Writing app. It’s an online tool that ‘makes your writing bold and clear’, according to its own blurb. So I thought I’d write a short test passage which – curiously – got top… More In which I discover the Hemingway Writing App
A week or so ago I posted on the way 1970s Brit prog rockers adapted to changing tastes in music – underscoring the fact that writers, too, should adapt inside their own field and genres. I made a couple of statements that were deliberately hyperbolic, to underscore the point. I thought they were obviously so OTT… More Hyperbole has its place. So does the Mellotron.
This week’s writing challenge revolves around a photo I took of a stand at a farmers’ market near Hastings, New Zealand. Use the photo to inspire a 150-200 word super-short story – a proper one, with beginning, middle, end and punchline (all super-short stories gotta have a punchline) – and post it on your blog, with the… More This week’s mega short-story challenge
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
The revelation this week that a new species of extinct human – H. naledi – has been found in South Africa begs a whole lot of questions. For me, it also reinforces the responsibilities we have today as humans. It’s like this. Some 737 bones totalling 15 near-complete skeletons were found in what seems to be a paleolithic graveyard.… More We are the last humans. What are we going to do with that responsibility?