Tag Archives: writing advice

Heroes & Villains

In my work as a freelancer for one or two writers’ advice services I mostly receive children’s stories to critique, and one I read recently prompted me to pass on some pearls of wisdom about a very common trend among … Continue reading

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Where to Jump In

It’s been a while since I provided an update on what I’m up to as regards writing, so here it is. I’ve more or less completed a compilation of the letters between Sir John Franklin, the Arctic explorer whose biography … Continue reading

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Howdy, Pardner

A book in my local library about writing for the Western/Cowboy market caught my eye a while ago. I’ve turned my hand to various genres, but it’s one area that has never interested me as a reader or writer (even … Continue reading

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Interview with Lou Treleaven

I stumbled upon Lou’s blog by chance quite some time ago. It will be of interest to all writers, but particularly those writing for children. Among other things, her section on children’s publishers accepting unsolicited manuscripts is an extremely useful … Continue reading

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Dialogue in Fiction

I can’t remember whether I’ve brought this subject up before, but a reminder never does any harm – especially with common problems! Very often when I’m reading manuscripts for the writers’ advice services I work for, I come across dialogue … Continue reading

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Elmore’s Ten Rules

I’ve always liked – and passed on – the American crime writer Elmore Leonard’s advice to ‘leave out the parts readers tend to skip’, because it’s my philosophy exactly. I’ve been flipping through a very good book called Your Writing … Continue reading

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Leave out the boring bits!

I try to leave out the parts that readers tend to skip Elmore Leonard I must admit to a bias here, for two reasons. 1. I’ve just had to read through a manuscript that was 80,000 words when it could … Continue reading

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Send for Back-Up!

I saw a programme recently which featured a student who lost several months’ worth of very important work when his laptop was stolen. I think it was mentioned that he had been ‘just about to back it up’. No, no, … Continue reading

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Over the last few days I’ve regularly been dipping into The Bees by Carol Ann Duffy, the poet laureate. I didn’t expect to like it much because frankly very little modern poetry appeals to me. I’ve always felt that much … Continue reading

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The Moral of the Story

The most recent manuscript I’ve been working on in my freelance work for a writers’ advisory service was intended to be a “life lesson” novel for children – a story which also conveys a message. The problem was – and … Continue reading

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