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If you are what you eat then minds are certainly what they read. No matter in what direction your tastes lean, all the novels you’ve consumed impact, not only on what, but how, you experience our world. Obviously, most writers … Continue reading
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Novelists of science-fiction or fantasy know worldbuilding is a huge part of the fun of writing, from magical medieval worlds to apocalyptic dystopias. There’s something wonderful about writing brave new worlds. As George R.R. Martin has written: We read fantasy … Continue reading
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I’ve written a lot of books. I’ve been on bestseller lists, sold all over the world, had my work shortlisted for major awards and been adapted for TV. But you know what? Writing a book still feels like a daunting … Continue reading
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You want to write a novel? Keen to get going? OK. Fine. Just make sure you do not write your first sentence. Not now, and not any time soon. I mean, you’ll get there soon enough, but first up, you … Continue reading
In my last post, I presented a list of books on writing and publishing which would, I think help absolutely any writer improve their approach to their craft and their industry. As part of that same conversation, I was also … Continue reading
I was recently asked to recommend some books on how to write and on any related topics. I started to trot out the obvious suggestions, then realised there was actually a real trove of material out there. So here, with … Continue reading
Here at the Writers’ Workshop we see a lot of novels, many hundreds of them every year. And, on the whole, our writers are a pretty admirable and successful bunch. At a rough guess, the average writer has about a … Continue reading
Had we but world enough and time I’m 100,000 words into Fiona Griffiths #4 – a novel which will probably run to some 120,000 words all told. And it’s going well. Not just in word count, but in feel. A … Continue reading
In August 2012 (having spotted the competition on the Writers Workshop website) Pip Jones won the inaugural Greenhouse Funny Prize, with her series of children’s stories about an imaginary kitten called Squishy McFluff. Two months later, she was offered a … Continue reading
Many assume that having a novel published is a guarantee of immortality, that your work will live on long after you have departed, being perpetually reborn in the minds of successive future generations of readers. Unfortunately, this isn’t the case … Continue reading
Leigh Ferrani is a ghostwriter, one of whose projects grew out of a commission that came to her via the Writers’ Workshop. Here’s her story of how that commission grew into co-scripting a possible Hollywood film. Oh, and the book … Continue reading
We all know that English is a magpie language, right? There’s not much of Celtic left in it, to be sure, give or take the odd dolmen or loch. There’s not even as much Viking as you might expect, give … Continue reading
One of the challenges in writing a half-decent novel is that the damn thing is so complicated. For most of us, I guess, it’s the plot which produces the most brain-ache. Just think of the number of little parts that … Continue reading
Starting novels is easy. Finishing them is hard. Consequently, perhaps a lot of writers advise setting yourself daily word count target. You see that Word Count Is All advice all over the place, including here, here and (gosh) even here. … Continue reading
It is sinful, I know, but I think this blog has been running for years without discussing – properly and in full – the essential question of the author’s voice. Countless agents will talk about voice, or something similar, above … Continue reading