Writery Adventures in the Land of Not-Planning

If you’re already a subscriber to the idea of writing without an actual plan (plot, backstory, synopsis etc), you won’t need me to tell you that it can be a little scary. However, embarking on an expedition to the Land of Not-Planning, doesn’t mean riding totally naked into the metaphorical wasteland, since there are several…

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How to Scare the Kids at Hallowe’en

These days Hallowe’en seems to be more about commercial gain than anything else: fancy costumes, masks, fireworks and pumpkins are all deemed essential in order for us to have a good time on that particular day in October. It’s a shame that many parents go along with the hype and buy into all the commercial…

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How to Write Like a Guitarist

While re-stringing my guitar the other day, I was reminded of something I read many years ago about the classical guitarist Francisco Tarrega. Coming from a musical family (his father was a talented flamenco guitarist), it was hardly surprising that the young Tarrega soon took an interest in learning an instrument. However, after some years…

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The Hardy Boys and Me

What makes us write the books we write? Back in the summer of 2013, after years of writing stage plays, I finally got around to finishing two novels I’d started several years before. At the time, I had no inclination to write books for adults, so those first novels (‘The Devil’s Porridge Gang‘ and ‘The…

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How to Avoid Being a Famous Novelist

Anyone who’s ever written anything intended for publication, has probably imagined how it’ll be when they become a famous writer – I know I certainly have. But as most of us know, it’s easier to dream it than to do it. Here’s a few of the methods I’ve used  to avoid being famous: Await the…

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How to Stay Clear of the Three C’s

Maybe it’s because I’m getting older, or perhaps it’s just that I don’t have as much patience these days, but when I decide to add a new book to my ‘Want-To-Read’ list, it’s because that book has passed my Three C’s test. And no, I’m not referring to the business model developed by organisational theorist…

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