What To Leave Out?

What To Leave Out?

I think I’ve mentioned elsewhere in my blog (several times — avoid repetition, Ed) that I’m interested in the gaps and spaces in a creative work; in what is alluded to, rather than what is spelt out.  This is particularly true when it comes to...

Writing and Therapy – A Quick PS

Here’s an afterthought from my previous post. I’ve just been reading interviews with Edward St Aubyn as I am so enjoying his novel, Mother’s Milk.  No writer could have drawn more comprehensively on their own experience than he has, so I was...

What Would Shakespeare Give Away for World Book Night?

It’s Shakespeare’s birthday, which gives me license to remember the dysfunctional number of times I stood at the back of the stalls of the Royal Shakespeare Theatre, when standing cost 70p a ticket, dizzy with excitement at seeing Eileen Atkins play...

Why Losing Your Balance Can Be Good for You

Ooh, Google have changed all the templates for my blog, so that I feel as if I’m all thumbs today.  I’m in a state of cyber bewilderment and don’t quite know if I’m on my head or my heels. As a writer, I know that I should hold onto this...

What Crap TV Can Teach Creative Writers

Following on from my last post about the seamless and subtle Twenty Twelve currently showing on BBC 2, it occurred to me that you don’t have to watch excellent television if you’re curious to learn how good writing is created.  You can learn just as...

A Master Class from Twenty Twelve

For a consummate example of how to hit a number of creative writing buttons all in a one-er, I suggest you – read Dorothea Brand’s excellent book Becoming a Writer?  No, (but you should). Join an evening class? No, (but it may not be a bad idea). Work...

Keeping It in the Family?

I heard an excellent edition of Start the Week on Radio Four a while ago, in which Andrew Marr interviewed a number of writers – AS Byatt, Colm Toibin and Will Eaves – about authors and their families.  I guess as a writer your family of origin is the...

Reading – When Once Just Isn’t Enough

There was an interesting article in The Observer last weekend, where a number of writers talked about books they had taken the trouble to read not once, but twice.  The piece was worth reading if only for a perfect image from one of my favourite authors, Geoff...

Anything but Silence – How to Use Sound in Your Writing

It’s raining and I can hear the uncertain syncopation of the raindrops hitting the roof of my house-shaped shed.  It’s evocative to listen to: small, staccato needle points of sound.  If I close my eyes, it takes me back to camping trips as a...
Necessarye Coniunction

Necessarye Coniunction

We’re putting the finishing touches to our house, now that the builders have fled.  Downstairs, we have an interior window looking in to a little snug which doesn’t get much natural light.  To remedy this we commissioned glass artist Simon Howard to make a...

Characterisation — Reproducing or Creating?

When I first started writing, *drilling in the background, more shelves going up* many of the characters I wrote about were based on people that I knew.  Even if I didn’t know them personally, I knew about them, in particular how they looked. To begin with,...

A Curtsey to Coetzee

OMG I’ve finally, at last, got round to reading Disgrace, JM Coetzee’s epic account of the dirty, jagged inevitable march of justice. Respect. The gaunt narrative follows the downfall of college lecturer David Lurie, from the seduction of one of his...