Stamping on the Monsters

Looking for monsters? My worst enemy is myself. But I rummaged around in my memory and pulled out my old art teacher

Early Morning Writing

A Birkbeck writing tutor recommended Dorothea Brande’s excellent book, Becoming a Writer. I found Dorothea’s exercise of early morning writing incredibly useful. It really freed up my writing ‘muscles’ and allowed me to work more productively.

More recently, the writing guru, Julia Cameron, advocated a similar practice, which she calls morning pages. When I found a copy of Julia’s book The Artist’s Way in my local Oxfam shop, I couldn’t resist buying it. Continue reading “Stamping on the Monsters”

Writers Conference 2014: Working as a writer in the digital age.

It’s not easy for a writer to make money from the web, partly because of the expectation that everything on the Internet is free. And partly because the web is full of great content and it is very hard to stand out among all the digital noise. But the panelists had some suggestions we might consider…

digital-connections, Ruth LivingstoneI am a hopeless gadget-junkie. In 1985, I bought one of the first home computers (a BBC Micro) and taught myself how to program in BASIC. Then along came PCs and, in 1995, access to the Internet via a fragile telephone link into the MSN network. Soon I became tangled in the limitless possibilities of the World Wide Web and taught myself HTML so that I could put together web pages.

I always believed that the web and its hyperlinks would open up a whole new way to create and read fiction, I was just not quite sure how to do it.

And I’m still unsure.

So, I was looking forward to the “Working as a Writer in the Digital Age” panel session. Continue reading “Writers Conference 2014: Working as a writer in the digital age.”

Writers Conference 2014: fiction writing for YA and Children

What I learnt about writing for teenagers: almost anything goes but you have to consider the impact of your story on adolescents and offer some kernel of hope. And more…

Thinking kid, The Reluctant ScribeI had never thought of myself as a children’s writer. When I was told my current work-in-progress read like a young adult or even a children’s book, I was dismayed and upset. And then I began to embrace the idea. Didn’t I first develop a love for reading when I was a teenager? And some of the best books ever written were supposedly written for children.

But, the trouble is, I know nothing about modern children’s literature. Were the themes in my novel suitable for young teenagers? Or for young adults? And what is the difference between the two groups? Continue reading “Writers Conference 2014: fiction writing for YA and Children”

Writers Conference 2014, Writing East Midlands, Opening Session

Not only did I enjoy myself immensely at the Conference, but I met loads of interesting people and learnt a tremendous amount. So I decided to do a mini-series of blog posts this week, picking out tidbits and sharing memorable quotes.

Portland Building, University of NottinghamI didn’t realise how lucky I was when I managed to get a place on the Writing Conference 2014. The conference was fully booked within a few weeks of being advertised.

Hosted by Writing East Midlands, this was a fantastic event, held in the gleaming Portland Building set in the University of Nottingham’s beautiful campus on a gloriously sunny day. Continue reading “Writers Conference 2014, Writing East Midlands, Opening Session”

Day 3 NaNoWriMo: tip

Writing tip number one: avoid the terror of staring at a blank page.

I have learnt a tremendous amount about writing since I started doing NaNo, back in 2010. Here is a tip – not my tip – but a tip mentioned by many others:

NaNo writing tip number one

Avoid the terror of staring at a blank page.
Before you finish for the day, write a few words to help kick-start your work tomorrow.

  1. Leave an unfinished sentence…
  2. or jot down a few bullet points, outlining the next scene,
  3. or write the final words of the next section and leave a gap so you can start the next day knowing where you are heading.

My 2013 NaNo novel is called Chasing Credit. Now I have to get back to chasing my word count.