Health and Safety for Writers?

Health and Safety for Writers?

I took this photograph in a disused pottery in North East France. It’s a lovely old health and safety notice positively steeped in period atmosphere. Roughly translated, the exhortation reads, All injuries must be declared – good guidance for writers of fiction,...

A Sea Dog’s Tale….

A lazy post for a lazy summer’s afternoon – the Daily Mail has published my online account of a trip to New York my mum and I made on the Queen Mary 2 back in the spring, so I thought I’d share a link with y’all… Have a great...

Scouting for Locations

Think of all the novels you’ve enjoyed, and I’ll bet that a number of them are defined by a sense of place – not just defined, but enhanced. Off the top of my head, I’m thinking any one of the Brontë novels, anything by Thomas Hardy, The French...
Protective Clothing for Writers

Protective Clothing for Writers

In Scotland recently we visited Ballindalloch Castle, ancestral home of the MacPherson Grant family whose ancient coat of arms is carved above the entrance. I was intrigued by the family motto: Touch Not the Cat Bot a Glove, which I take to mean don’t do...

Starting as Story TS Eliot Style

In my beginning is my end… I love TS Eliot’s eloquent line from East Coker (The Four Quartets) – the melancholy in it is balanced and weighed and there is an inevitability about it which I find appealing. Eliot’s elegant summary of the trajectory of...

How to Create Tension – Am I Keeping You in Suspense?

Suspense is the tension that is created when you are waiting for something to happen. You might be waiting for news of a loved one; you might be waiting to see if the creak on the stair which sounded suspiciously like a footfall sounds again; you might be waiting,...

Franz Kafka: a Dead Man Writing

I’m sitting in my shed at the bottom of our garden with the doors and windows open, revelling in what passes for peace and quiet in an inner-city. Next door’s runner beans are dying, but the ash trees which thresh and rustle overhead have survived the...