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The promised land

This morning’s writing prompt is… You have left your homeland with your family and several others in a fleet of ships. You land on what appears to be an empty and fruitful land. How would you and your family adapt? Or would you try and live as you did in your old land? Would your…

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A Study in Scarlet

Today’s good read is Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s A Study in Scarlet. This was the first story featuring Sherlock Holmes, published in 1887 it was, like all great fiction, a pioneering concept and contributed to a new and developing genre, detective fiction. In Sherlock Holmes we have a character who is both perennially enigmatic and yet…

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A Stranger Calls

The best stories can come from the smallest seed. Sometimes all it takes is a situation to create that spark and get you excited. It may be something mundane, but when asked in the context of a story, a spider’s web of ideas and directions open up. Your writing prompt: A character comes home after…

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Know Your Market (Selling Ice Creams to Eskimos)

Retailers are all about getting the right product to the right people. That means product placement, advertising, enticement. It means making what you’re selling easily identifiable and appealing to those people who want to buy it. Books are no different.  We, as writers, are not retailers, but in many ways we still have to get…

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Fruits of the Season

When the Marigold no longer blooms, When summer sun has turned to gloom, See the forecast winter’s snow, See the evergreen that lonely grows… (Marigold, Steeleye Span) Seasons add atmosphere to writing, even more than weather, which is changeable by its nature.  A season can be used as a metaphor, as the backdrop for moods, settings and…

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Weekend Fiction – The Old Pot

The Old Pot by Martine Lillycrop The pot was getting old, Jessie decided.  If she were to hold it up to the firelight she’d see right through it, as clear as glass.  But she couldn’t do that because the pot was never empty.  Not for years.  Not since Jessie was a girl. It had once…

Homer Simpson confession

Confessions

It’s easy to get stuck in a writing rut, but difficult to see a way out. ‘Write what you know’ – that’s the old adage, but many people take this to mean, you can only write that which you have experienced directly. Obviously if we all did that, we wouldn’t have Gulliver’s Travels, Frankenstein or…

Winona Ryder

How to Use Pinterest to Write Your Novel

When it comes to writing, I’m very visual. As a huge movie buff, I like to see my novel in cinematic terms, unfolding before my eyes. If I can’t visualise a certain scene or character, I get stuck. Because I can touch type, quite often I don’t even look at my screen as I’m writing.…

Kurt Wenner perspective

Get Some Perspective

Sometimes a scene just doesn’t flow and you can’t figure out why. Or perhaps a character is being awkward. You head to your desk every day with a sense of dread because you know you’ve got to get through this tricky patch. You’re stuck, but you don’t know how to get unstuck. It could be…