Don’t complain about J K Rowling. Follow her lead instead.

The other day a novelist complained that J K Rowling was making it harder for other authors, and why didn’t she just stop? By her own admission, this critic had never read a word of ‘Harry Potter’. To me it came across as a ‘she’s had her turn, now it’s mine’ kind of argument. It’s … More Don’t complain about J K Rowling. Follow her lead instead.

J K Rowling and the writer’s dilemna – discovery

News that J K Rowling penned the detective novel, The Cuckoo’s Calling, under the pseudonym Robert Galbraith, sent that book straight to the top of the charts this week. Until then it had been well received by critics but sold only modestly – I saw figures like 1500 copies in hard-cover. Now it’s getting a … More J K Rowling and the writer’s dilemna – discovery

Write it now, part 22: don’t let the words get between you and the reader

One of the biggest shifts in writing styles over the past 150 years has been the demise of purple prose. Check out newspapers from the mid-nineteenth century, particularly, and you’ll see how modern written English has been slimmed down. Made less pompous. More efficient. More active. In part this is to do with the way … More Write it now, part 22: don’t let the words get between you and the reader

Sixty second writing tips: coining the right name

Some time after The Lord of The Rings was published, J. R. R. Tolkien fielded a letter from Sam Gamgee. A real Sam Gamgee. It wasn’t surprising. Tolkien – a philologist –  mined English convention for his Shire and Hobbit names. Another was Peregrin Took – the first name is known, though Steve Peregrin Took wasn’t … More Sixty second writing tips: coining the right name