The on/off thing of book worlds

If I had a euro/dollar/pound for every time a review for one of my books has begun with ‘I don’t normally read this type of book, but…’ or ‘I only read this because a friend said I must read it…‘ and ended with a 5-star super-enthusiastic review, I’d be able to drink champagne every day.

[…]

Characters in setting

Rounded, multi-layered characters are essential if you want people to be engaged in your story. Reading is an emotional trip and we want to gasp, shiver, feel rolls of warmth, resentment, sympathy, fear, loss, and triumph as we turn the pages.

Superwomen are fine in some contexts – we like a bit of pushing over […]

Conflicting emotion

Conflict and emotion are two pillars of fiction writing whether in high-end literary fiction or the most melodramatic genre fiction.

A story will often start by providing the main character with a conflict, be it professional or personal. Sometimes it’s the place where the initial event is set (weather, nighttime, urban, with unlit streets), a […]

Continuous change in writing

You’d think that once in print, on paper or digitally, a piece of written work was finished. Well, no. Revised editions, additional content and reworking show that change is continuous. In fact, change is all around us; time, seasons, weather, people moving in, moving out, governments, friends, cars, shops, children, relationships. One of the […]

Places and spaces

Former site of Judge Jeffreys assize

Last month I was in Dorchester for a few days’ writing retreat. The theory is that you concentrate on writing without distraction. But you also talk about writing and compare notes with other writers over meals, and even visit a few writing related places. The sitting muscles […]