RSSCategory: How To and Tips

Chaos to Order When Writing A Novel

Chaos to Order When Writing A Novel

I am staring at the blank screen unable to write. I am simply paralyzed by the notion of writing my first novel. My desire to be perfect, much like my desire to be organized is a strive for unattainable perfection. I begin to think about my most challenging organizing jobs, the ones that I can’t […]

August 21, 2017 | By | Reply More
I Now Call Myself A BAME Writer

I Now Call Myself A BAME Writer

I never used to call myself a writer – let alone a black, Asian or minority ethnic one. I kept my writing private, confining it to a world that consisted only of my laptop, the occasional scrap of paper, and me. When I started my first novel I knew things would have to change, and […]

August 17, 2017 | By | Reply More
Writing in Disaster’s Wake

Writing in Disaster’s Wake

In January 2013, less than three months after Hurricane Sandy struck the East Coast, an audience of volunteers studied the diagram on the screen. Titled “Emotional Phases of a Disaster,” the figure resembled a tremulous, lopsided W, each point labeled with a stage in a community’s typical reaction to catastrophe: Pre-Disaster, Impact, Heroic, Honeymoon, Disillusionment […]

August 15, 2017 | By | Reply More
What Makes Readers Open Their Minds and Bodies to a Story?

What Makes Readers Open Their Minds and Bodies to a Story?

A reader who believes in a story opens to it, mind and body. Novels have to work harder than films or television dramas to induce this openness; they can’t dismantle defenses with mood music and explosions. But they must induce openness, in order to get readers to climb aboard their carnival rides and stay until […]

August 13, 2017 | By | 1 Reply More
The Importance Of Listening To Your Editor

The Importance Of Listening To Your Editor

I am currently co-editing an anthology of short fiction. I also supplement my paltry writers’ income with freelance editing projects. I’m not a proof reader; the edits I offer are structural, though I will pick up on any punctuation that has gone awry. Editing is something I enjoy. The idea of helping a writer to […]

August 9, 2017 | By | 1 Reply More
Can You Write a Biography With Limited Sources?

Can You Write a Biography With Limited Sources?

I think most people who come across anecdotes about the seventeenth-century English noblewoman Frances Coke Villiers, Viscountess Purbeck, would find them fascinating. Commonly told stories include the drama surrounding her marriage. Her parents disagreed on who their daughter should marry, kidnapped her back and forth, until the king and the law stepped in and enforced […]

August 1, 2017 | By | Reply More
Blowing Up Your Point Of View

Blowing Up Your Point Of View

POV. Point of view. I started paying closer attention to point of view when I read a few reviews criticizing master romance writer, Nora Roberts, for mixing her POVs. “Shameful,” said one reviewer. “Incredible,” wrote another. How could she? Didn’t she know any better? All because Nora had the audacity to write this: “He needed, […]

July 29, 2017 | By | 2 Replies More
Beware Of Positive Feedback

Beware Of Positive Feedback

A few months ago I sent a short story to an established literary magazine. Months past and they didn’t respond, so I sent an email. They contacted me later that evening to confirm they loved the story, very much wanted to publish it and would have an editor contact me. I never heard from them […]

July 24, 2017 | By | 2 Replies More
A Very Good Place to Start

A Very Good Place to Start

People always like me to start from the beginning – the good old ‘once upon a time’ approach. ‘Tell us,’ they say. ‘How did you first get into writing?’ The truth is, I was sixteen years old and I had to do a school project. So off I went to Grafton Street, bought a book […]

July 15, 2017 | By | Reply More
Moving from Fact to Fiction

Moving from Fact to Fiction

Working as a journalist is more than a job: if you do it long enough, it becomes a state of mind. True to the cliché, you suspect everyone does have a story to tell.  And with each story you hear, real life appears more outlandish than the most melodramatic plot.  Most of all, when you […]

July 5, 2017 | By | Reply More