Category Archives: How to write a book

Voice in the novel – finding yours

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

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Tips for writing good sex scenes

Tips for writing a good sex scene: This advice refers specifically to Erotic Romance, which is the genre my Unbreakable trilogy is written for. The first of the series, The Silver Chain, is available on ebook now. The paperback comes out in … Continue reading

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On Being a Writer: some reflections

I recently received an email from a writer, who said: I wanted to write to you directly because there’s something I’d be keen to learn from your own personal experience – Did you find, when you first started out writing, … Continue reading

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The Road to Obscurity: Jon Spira’s Publishing Adventure Part One.

I wrote a book. I hadn’t ever written a book before. I had written a lot of other things, though. I worked for several years as a screenwriter, I’ve been an active blogger for more than a decade and, as … Continue reading

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Finding ideas for a book: further thoughts

One of the strangest things about being an author is the way we write contracts for inspiration. Back in 2010, I sold a crime novel, Talking to the Dead, to those lovely people at Orion. We ended up signing a … Continue reading

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Daren King on DRAMA, CONFLICT and TENSION

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Daren King is a superbly versatile author: Guardian First Book shortlisted for his debut literary novel, Boxy n Star, and Nestle Prize winning with his Mouse Noses on Toast. His full ouevre can be seen here. An author on my … Continue reading

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DIFFERENCE BETWEEN PORN & EROTICA – JUSTIFYING WHAT AND WHY I DO IT. Anastasia Parkes

There was a debate by an organisation called Intelligence Squared at the Royal Institution last Tuesday 23rd April where the motion was ‘pornography is good for us: without it we would be a far more repressed society.’ I didn’t attend … Continue reading

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Sam in Limbo – Finishing writing a book. Sam Jordison

As I write this, I am in limbo. I’ve just sent back my notes on the first proofs of my next book Crap Towns Returns: Back By Unpopular demand, and although there’s another proofing stage to go, I’m starting to … Continue reading

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Words to use instead of “fuck”

The Writers’ Workshop has its shopfront on the web, so every now and then we go burrowing into the data that tells us where our clients come from, how they found us, and what keywords brought them here. Mostly, the … Continue reading

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An interview with George Mann

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George Mann is an author of fantasy-historical-detective stories, but he has also just edited Encounters of Sherlock Holmes, a collection of steampunk Sherlock Holmes tales. George talks to us about the collection and why he thinks it works. The book … Continue reading

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Dialogue writing with Anastasia Parkes

Dialogue is the hardest aspect of fiction to get right, realistic and relevant. Yet it’s the pivotal mechanism that gives life to characters and drives along the narrative and plot. It’s essential in a compelling, attention-grabbing novel to avoid producing … Continue reading

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“Bring out your inner critic” by Paul Roberts

A Guest blog from Paul Roberts. Paul is the Director of a successful management consultancy, but also has a passion for writing, with several management textbooks to his name. His first was issued through The Economist, another formed part of … Continue reading

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The surprising art of precision

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The photo on the left is a detail taken from the Guardian website. The photo is captioned, ‘A rebel from the Free Syrian Army fires down a street towards government snipers in the Bab al-Nasr district.’ Now I assume we … Continue reading

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Why genre fiction isn’t what you think it is (and why literary fiction isn’t either)

Go into a bookshop and you might be fooled into thinking the world was simple. There’s genre fiction (crime & thriller / women’s fiction / sci-fi, fantasy, horror). And then there’s classy fiction. That slice of the market doesn’t actually … Continue reading

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The Crabbit Old Bat gets her whip out

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For me, this summer has marked the end of one major journey and the start of another. The start involves Talking To The Dead (which, 36 hours after publication, has just had its first 5-star review on Amazon. And bless … Continue reading

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