Wrote a book review for Litro. Here it is! https://www.litromagazine.com/books/book-review-the-lamplighters-by-emma-stonex/
Reblog of this piece. How am I 52 years old and this is the first day I found out about The Heroine’s Journey? How? Excuse me whilst I disappear down a wormhole. I’m off to finish reading The Writer’s Journey by Vogler and then The Heroine’s Journey by Murdock. Here’s Murdock’s webpage and explanation of … Continue reading The Via Feminina: Revisioning the Heroine’s Journey by Mary Sharratt —
I've been reading a lot - A LOT - of short stories this year. Sometimes it seems as if I could one day be really very good at writing them, others not so much. Sometimes I get a bit bogged down by the lyric beauty of the vast majority of the short story winners because, … Continue reading What do you look for in a short story?
This is not my normal genre of book, but I loved the cover so I entered the Hawkeye Books competition for a free copy. Here’s my (ahem) winning entry: The title promises chaotic joy. The cover shows an alarmed emu and a strong capable woman alone on a motorcycle. I’m already smiling in anticipation. I … Continue reading Review: Hunt for the Virgin Rainbow
If you follow me on Twitter (you fool), you may have seen that I have been doing a thread over there of so-called GENTLE WRITING ADVICE. (That thread is here.) And I just wanted to talk about, for a moment, why I’m doing that. So, an indeterminate amount of time ago — my Pandemic Brain…Why “Gentle … Continue reading Why “Gentle Writing Advice,” Exactly? — Chuck Wendig: Terribleminds
By Hilary Mantel (2014) This is a patchy collection of stories. I only liked three of them. Lots of reviews don't like all of them, though amusingly they all differ in which ones they think are good. Here's the review that I agreed with most. James Lasdun in the Guardian. I read the collection to … Continue reading Review: The Assassination of Margaret Thatcher and other stories
I’m reblogging this extremely thorough explanation of what’s required for my MA synopsis – so I don’t lose it!
For our next TMA, we
have to write a synopsis for the major work we’ll be submitting at
the end of the year. I’ve been looking into what a synopsis involves.
These websites have been very helpful:
First question, what is a synopsis? It’s a summary of the plot of
your novel, including the ending and any major plot twists. It should
show the hook or premise. When pitching to an agent or publisher, you
would typically send a synopsis of your work along with a covering
letter and perhaps the opening chapters of the novel. The style of
your synopsis can be quite dry, written in neutral language; Marissa
Meyer describes it as stripped of ‘intrigue, humour…
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How To Proceed is a bi-monthly conversation about writing, creativity and the world we live in. Author Linn Ullmann talks to some of the world’s most exciting literary voices about their books, their writing process, and how they view the world and current events around them. In this episode, George Saunders talks about Trump, civility, […]George … Continue reading George Saunders: Everyone Wants to Be Loved. What Do We Do with That? — Literary Hub
I read Shuggie Bains when it was on the Booker shortlist. I read it very quickly, and then I put it away. Since then I have thought about it from time to time. It's taken a little while to be ready to write about it. Shuggie Bains is a big purple bruise of a novel. … Continue reading Review: Shuggie Bains
I had no idea such a thing existed. Want. Really badly want. More than the robot hoover, and I really wanted that.
Tracey from The People’s Friend has asked me to submit the pocket novel I pitched in December. So I’m polishing the remaining thirteen chapters, tweaking characters, ironing out a crinkly plot and cutting 4000 words. This is a huge job that I’m streamlining with help from style editor ProWritingAid.
ProWritingAid’s many tools highlight weaker areas of writing. To target my tendency to waffle, I like ‘overused words’ and ‘sticky words’.
‘Overused’ is pretty obvious. It highlights common words you rely on when scampering through your first draft: have, just, think, know, for example. I want to focus on stickiness.
It took ages to understand ‘sticky’, or glue, words. Sticky is ProWritingAid’s term for non-content words. This includes prepositions (in, on, over), articles (a, the) and some verbs. How can I leave these out? By being more creative, that’s how!
To understand non-content words…
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