Why is it so hard to write a good ending? Why do we struggle and agonise and draft and redraft and throw it all away to start again, usually more than once? I wish I had a gloriously psychological answer that delves into how writers don’t want to let go of the worlds and characters they have spent so much time immersed in and therefore subconsciously sabotage themselves. Instead, I have the opposite – a horribly simplistic reason that won’t make any writer feel any better or any more capable of writing a good ending.
So what is it? Why, regardless of whether we are writing a poem, a short story, an article, non-fiction or a novel, do we struggle to write good endings? Well, it all comes down to this: it’s hard!
Told you it was simple. Frustratingly, annoyingly, head-scratchingly, solution-defyingly simple.Continue reading
When I first started developing the concept for my upcoming novel, Black Spot, there were six main characters, three women and three men. But the more I worked on it, the more interested I became in the story of just one character. She didn’t mean to dominate – she wasn’t that kind of girl – but it ended up happening anyway. She was just so much more interesting – her story was just so much more interesting – and eventually all the other characters started drifting away.
Sometimes a character is so powerful that they insist on having their own story and sometimes a story is so varied that it needs an ensemble cast to tell it properly. There are pros and cons to each choice so make sure you consider them all.Continue reading
Over the past year and a bit since starting this blog, I’ve written a lot. At the beginning it was easy. I had so much material that had never been seen anywhere except writing classes and quite a bit more that had never been seen at all. Bit by bit, I would dole it out along with whatever else I came up with along the way.
I still have plenty of novel chapters, poems, song lyrics, creative pieces in reserve. But posting them all would be indulgent. So I try to sprinkle them sparingly throughout blog posts that offer something more to others who also write.
And I always have opinions, so a steady stream of articles and advice on writing and editing was the inevitable result. Until this month. The ideas boards were starting to get empty. The remaining ideas on them were starting to get less inspiring. I had to admit a hard truth. I was running out of ideas for blog posts…Continue reading
Here’s a few more tips, tricks and suggestions on spelling, punctuation and grammar. You won’t find the following in this lecture because I addressed them in my previous lecture:
*There, they’re and their
*You’re and your
*It’s and its
*Definite, definate and defanite
*Separate and seperate
*Focusing and focussing
*The “Do not check spelling and grammar” box in the Language dialogue box on the Review tab
But if you can master everything in the previous lecture and everything that follows, you’ll be well on your way to not pissing off an editor every time you hand over a piece of writing.Continue reading
Maybe my immediate answer to this question should be no (after all, I don’t want too much competition for the reading time of the audience out there) but there has been an explosion in blog numbers in the past few years and I’m hardly one to lecture others – after all, I’m relatively late to the party. I’ve only had my blog for about nine months.
But my more considered response is to think about why you are contemplating starting a blog and to make sure you understand what is involved. Here’s some pros, cons and tips that might be able to help you decide.Continue reading
Writers who struggle with spelling, punctuation and grammar must get frustrated by the constant corrections from well-meaning editors who bemoan the fact that they never seem to learn. The truth is writers who struggle with these areas will never improve without some tips, tricks and suggestions more useful than an instruction to simply start “getting it right”.
As a trained editor, in many of my positions of employment I became a pit stop for fellow employees wanting clarification on how to spell, punctuate and ensure correct grammar. So here are a few tips I’ve come up with to try to ensure fewer mistakes more often.Continue reading