I didn’t do National November Writing Month, though I was happy to cheer from the sidelines. I’ve been writing professionally for decades, it’s thirty years since I wrote my first book for publication, and every month is NaNoWriMo month for me. Fitting in writing obligations around everything else that has to be done in a … More Some of the hard realities of writing
I posted last week on the need for accurate research in both fiction and non-fiction writing. That’s particularly true for any historical novel where the research has to be not just accurate, but also the right sort of research. A detail that isn’t authentic blows the suspension of disbelief, and the details needed for fiction – … More Write it now, part 29: the fictions of history
I don’t often blog about the books I’m working on – but today my publishers sent me the cover of a book of mine they’re releasing in September. It’s been professionally designed and looks fantastic. Cover reveal? Sure. When the moment comes – this is a commercially published book and there’ll be a marketing campaign. … More Sixty second writing tip: covers do sell books
One of the big literary inventions of the nineteenth century was one that transformed the novel-writing scene. Genre. When novels first emerged in the early part of the century they were, as often as not, social commentaries. Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice was typical. So were Charles Dickens’ various stories. They were joined by others … More Write it now, part 15: the rise and rise of the genre monster
As we saw last time, the modern novel had its genesis in the late eighteenth century as a literary form designed to carry the reader on an emotional journey. During the nineteenth century writers refined that and took it in new directions. But perhaps the biggest change came with the way writers published. It was … More Write it now, part 14: what a Dickens about novels
Ever been overwhelmed by the enormity of your writing? By the sheer scale of the task? Its complexity – especially as you start getting out to book length? It’s something every writer slams into sooner or later. Especially if you’ve got a publishing deadline – one agreed with a publisher, or one you’ve created yourself … More Sixty second writing tips: a plan a day keeps the panic away
Earlier this week I emailed a book off to Penguin. It was contracted in 2004. It’s taken a while to actually finish, for various reasons. I supplied it with a working title – the final selection is the publisher’s prerogative, by contract. The marketing departments usually have the most input, when all’s said and done. It’s not … More Sixty second writing tips: getting the right title
I thought I’d start today’s post with a story about someone – not me – who attended a course on writing childrens’ books. The average age of the audience was about 60. Most, it seemed, had retired and decided to ‘become’ childrens’ writers, mostly by picking up a pen for the first time and writing. … More Write it now, part 3: passion and learning – the writers’ toolbox
Welcome to part 2 of this series on the A-Z of writing. In these initial posts I’m exploring the foundations of the art – what writing’s about (emotion), why we write, and what’s needed to learn about it. In a few weeks I’ll be moving on to some of the tips and tricks that writers … More Write it now, part 2: do you write because you have to?
So you want to be a writer, eh? Not a bad choice of career. There are worse ones. There are also better paid careers. But then, you’re not in it for the money, are you? Welcome to my new blog series ‘Write it now’ – an A-Z of writing. I thought this year I’d share some … More Write it now, part 1 – so you want to be a writer?
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