Monthly Archives: February 2015

The Salesman’s Umbrella

“I’m just on my way,” I said. “On the bus. With you in no time.” No I wasn’t, I was striding the hotel lobby with my phone in one hand and a slice of toast in the other, hoping I

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Fitting writing around life

Unless we’re professional writers, we can’t always prioritise writing as much as we’d like to. Always have a current work in progress, even if you haven’t found time to work on it for a while. Critiquing and brainstorming ideas are

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Posted in Wednesday Pontification


It was that time when the weaver birds fly home in yellow clouds and the bats come out to breakfast on the evening insects. If I hadn’t happened to glance to my right at just that moment, I wouldn’t have

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Posted in Saturday Hooptedoodle

Talent and Craft

Talent comes naturally, craft needs to be learned. All writers have some talent but very few have enough to manage without craft. Critiquing helps to identify the gaps in our talent. Develop craft by writing stories that emphasise areas where

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Posted in Wednesday Pontification, Writing


Joel sat down with a sigh. Lisa muted the volume. “How was your day?” Joel shrugged. “Not terrible. What’s on?” “Not sure. I think I dozed off.” On the screen, ragged children ran in front of corrugated iron shanties. Lisa

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Posted in Saturday Hooptedoodle

Greater Minds: The Simple Art of Murder by Raymond Chandler

Chandler critiques the ‘English formula’ of mystery fiction, based on puzzle solving, and credits Dashiell Hammett with a more realistic tradition. Hammett and Chandler started a distinctively American tradition in which the police were corrupt and the detective owed a

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Posted in Greater minds, Wednesday Pontification

Setting 2: Invented places

You need to know more about the setting than you will use in the story. It’s harder to invent a setting than to research a historical setting. A map of the setting keeps it consistent. Using places I’ve been is

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Posted in Story development, Wednesday Pontification, Writing

Three Parent Panic

Parliament is debating whether to allow mitochondrial replacement. It will not help people with mitochondrial disease, but will allow women with defective mitochondria to have children who are related to them. The Church of England claims the issues have not

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Posted in Current affairs
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