Monday, 1 February 2016


By Candy Gourlay

So it's February now. How's it going?  Written any books lately?

It's such a struggle. I sit down to work, my good intentions shining, and what do I do? I interrupt myself. I make another cup of coffee (that I'm going to allow to go cold anyway). I go to the bathroom (even though I've already had a wee ... but why not go again, just in case?). I glance at my phone for messages (and spend the next hour or five answering texts and scrolling through Facebook). I read a passage from the book I'm currently reading (and end up reading for the rest of the morning or even, day).

Why? Why do I do it? Why do I interrupt myself like this?

Monday, 25 January 2016

Notes from the Critique Group - Writers' Tics Uncovered.

by Maureen Lynas

One of the great things about attending a crit group is realising that you and other writers have ‘tics’ in common. By helping to identify them together you can help each other to remove them and improve your writing.

Here are two tics that came up during our latest crit session.

Metaphors and similes.

Simile: a figure of speech involving the comparison of one thing with another thing of a different kind, used to make a description more emphatic or vivid.
Beware the cliché - as brave as a lion 
Beware The Blackadder Syndrome - This place stinks like a pair of armoured trousers after the Hundred Years War – unless you are Ben Elton, Richard Curtis or another genius of comedy.

Monday, 18 January 2016

My Writing Scrap Book

by Addy Farmer

Did you know that January used to be known as the Wolf month? Well, that's what the Anglo Saxons knew it as - when food was so scarce that the wolves dared to enter the villages. There's still something of the wolf about January...

How'll I find those ideas??

Now, January is a time of non-wolf voluntary dieting. It's when garden life seems to hibernate (usually) and the shops are like old news and Christmas sparkle is packed away. But January is also fresh-faced and full of promise; maybe you wrote an entire novel in November with NaNoWriMo? Maybe you packed in some story-making during the Christmas holiday? Now in the month of the brand new year you have sent your precious babe out into the woods in the hope that she is picked up by someone who will love her to bits.  Even if you are not waiting and waiting, sometimes January can be a curiously creatively empty month. So it's best to crack on and fill it with ideas because you never know - one of them might become a proper real story.

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