On the Seventh Day of Christmas My True Love Sent to Me…

On the Seventh Day of Christmas My True Love Sent to Me…

…Seven Swans A-Swimming, and there is no prettier sight than one of them gliding along the water towards you. Their passage is elegant and effortless – you never see their black feet beneath the surface, hammering against the current. It’s the same...
How to Be a Lean Mean Writing Machine

How to Be a Lean Mean Writing Machine

Padding is great for sheds – the more of it the better, as far as I’m concerned, because I’m hoping it’s going to keep me warm and toasty the whole winter through. It ain’t so good for novels, though.  There can sometimes be the...
Creative Writing – Thrift not Drift

Creative Writing – Thrift not Drift

As well as stamina, fiction writers need good organisational skills in order to be able to stay the course.  As you are pounding through what can sometimes seem like the interminable stretches of the middle part of your story,  you may find that you write yourself up...

Keeping it Brief

I’m still in Hillary Mantel mode, mulling over all the things she said in her recent BBC2 interview and discovering nuggets of excellent advice. Amongst them is her revelation that she reckoned on cutting one third of every page that she writes.  Think about...

It’s All in the Edit

When I worked as an actress, I once met a film editor who said rather mischievously that in the movies, all performances were made or broken in the editing suite and that he could sabotage an actor’s reputation with one flick of the razor blade (this was in...