An Alphabet of Better Writing # K

An Alphabet of Better Writing # K

K is for….Keen Keenness is a brilliant quality for a writer to have, keenness in all its manifestations and meanings.  My trusty Pocket Oxford  defines it as eager and ardent, and if you are not eager to write and ardent about your subject matter then you will...

An Alphabet of Better Writing # J

J is for…Jeopardy A writing friend of mine told me that whenever she submitted work, her editor always asked her, “Where’s the jeopardy, where’s the jeopardy?” and it is a legitimate — not to say crucial – question. My trusty...

An Alphabet of Better Writing # I

I is for….Interior Landscape There’s a whole world inside a person’s head — John Keats conjures it up as a mansion with many apartments, but I prefer to think of it more as a landscape, an interior landscape. I like the impression of limitless...
An Alphabet of Better Writing  # H

An Alphabet of Better Writing # H

H is for…Heartfelt William Wordsworth once said, “Fill your paper with the breathings of your heart,” and I think he was on to something.  The best writing comes fresh and unmediated from the core of you, from your heart, if you like.  Sometimes it...

An Alphabet of Better Writing – # G

G is for Genesis… I have found it incredibly helpful to have a little Book of Genesis running alongside the actual book I’m writing.  I don’t formulate a strict plotline in advance, but I do make regular, detailed notes in my writing journal, I stick...
An Alphabet of Better Writing – # F

An Alphabet of Better Writing – # F

F is for…First Person Should writing in the first person be your first port of call? All of us experience life in the first person — obviously — so in many ways the logical point from which to tell a story should be just that, the first person, or...

Betrayal – The Best Thing That Can Happen on a Saturday Afternoon

I know that in my Alphabet of Better Writing I should be tackling the letter F, but I keep getting sidetracked by literary lessons that can be learnt elsewhere. To whit – on Saturday afternoon I listened to Betrayal by Harold Pinter, dramatised on BBC Radio 4...

Real Life in Rural France – or in the Literary Margins

Found wifi – briefly – so here’s a quick update. A slight deviation from my Alphabet of Better Writing, but there might be a literary lesson here in any case. We’re moored up in Orconte – it’s not a back water, it’s the...

An Alphabet of Better Writing # E

E is for Exit… I’m back in the wilds of Burgundy, or the Haute Marne to be precise, where electricity is pretty hard to come by on the impenetrably green river banks (it’s available for one hour in the morning, one hour at noon and one in the...