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Phoning in the dialogue

I’ve never claimed to be anything but an ill-informed Luddite when it comes to mobile phones. Or phones, as I believe the youngsters insist on calling them, refusing to believe there was ever a day when we tied them to a supporting wall with wires. Or that ‘the house phone’ once lived on a special […]

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Ban ‘real life’ dialogue – My first act as leader

It’s my mission to correct any idea you might have that dialogue on the page should reflect the conversations you have or hear every day!

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Who’s doing the laundry?

It’s been a while since I did one of those ‘writing tip’ posts, so I decided to pick on my pet hate ‘laundry list writing’. It ought to be a crime.

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The art of doing two things at once

In which I admit I’m not able to do two things at once. Something’s got to give. And I’m afraid that has to be the stand-up.

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Getting choppy with standup

Mr Fanning picked up my set and put on his ‘let me show you how it’s done‘ face. He started to read and within seconds I was shouting out. He was adding words here and there. Doing the thing my comedy teacher warned against.

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Have I created too many characters?

The struggle for me lies in showing the same economy of story I’ve learned to show with words. I could wrap this baby in 1000 words and move onto the final scenes that drag me across the finishing line. But that means culling the bit part actors.

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Why I don’t write every day

‘Experts’ tell anybody who calls themselves an author they must ‘write something every day’. It need not be their finest work. The words might be something to delete the next day. They might not relate to any work in progress. But we must write. Every day. I want to say I follow this rule. I don’t. Some […]

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Writing tips: Timeless time

Trends come and go. What’s in today is gone tomorrow. These are not so much writing tips as lessons I learned … the hard way. In the traditional publishing world, life moves slowly. Two years often pass between when you type ‘The End’ and when you get to see your book for sale. Even if […]

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That was the year that was

Around about this time last year, I decided to scratch a personal itch – and that does indeed sound like something best discussed with a doctor. 2018 was to be different. It would be my year of saying yes. I reckoned without my Valentine’s Day discovery. Chances are, I’m not the first to find something untoward […]

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My latest excuse for not writing

One of the first things I learned when I started to write remains the most effective. When done with a draft, put it away. Lay down your words to rest for at least a month. Two if you can. Three is better.

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