Category: Writing

The Loneliness of the Long-Distance Writer

Asked for her 10 top tips on writing, British crime writer PD James talked about the ‘necessary loneliness’ that many writers endure. But how does that work in practice? “I’ve never felt lonely as a writer, not really, but I know people do.” PD James   In the Mode If you’re in it for the long…

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Hitting the Blyton Target

Continuing my ramblings about deadlines (and strange references to Enid Blyton), I decided to try something new today – setting a daily target. This radical idea was also prompted by a couple of points I saw in a list of writers’ tips on Book Baby’s Blog. Two of them got me thinking: Don’t edit as…

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Deadlines, Schmedlines…

“I love deadlines. I love the whooshing noise they make as they go by.” Douglas Adams There was a time when I considered deadlines to be a bit of a hindrance. Having to produce a piece of work by a certain time can be a great way of motivating yourself to actually get on with…

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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 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 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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