Writing can be challenging, with some very deep downs. Today, Tamara M Bailey shares her experiences of the benefits of giving it up, and how that led to the publication of her new SF thriller, The Other Olivia. Christmas Eve, 2013, I rolled over to my partner at the time and told him I wasContinue reading “I Gave up Writing”
Some stories start too soon. But what does that mean and what can you do about it?
Recent radio silence occurred while I was travelling in the US. To get us going again, here’s a post which originally appeared on my Patreon in March 2020. A few years ago, my nephew shared a language meme from The Language Nerds on Facebook: a Venn diagram of “What the Author Meant and What YourContinue reading “What does the author *really* mean?”
It’s a good thing to know that, however hard you’ve worked on your manuscript, more work will be required. Your editor may find dangling plot threads, sneaky plot holes or even plot contradictions. They may find unexplained or inexplicable issues, inconsistencies in motivation or characterisation, or mistimed tempo and story beats. After you and yourContinue reading “Don’t go off half-baked”
A recent post on Tumblr very helpfully gave a great selection of verbs that could be used in place of ‘said’ when writing dialogue. It’s a useful list – and it’s always nice to expand your vocabulary – but I think its premise is flawed. There is nothing wrong with using ‘said’ in your stories.Continue reading “He said; She said – the case for ‘said’”
(or: word counts and what they mean) Most of us have a general idea of what constitutes a the correct word count for a short story, a novella and a novel. But some stories are on the cusp, leaving the waters muddy. I see some different notions, but the following is a general guideline asContinue reading “How long is a book supposed to be, anyway?”
A lot of writers (including me) have written about using the 5 senses (taste, touch, smell, sound and sight) to create believable and textured worlds in storytelling. And here I am again, to reiterate how important it is to bring a world to life in multiple ways! Not only does it help to give theContinue reading “Using ‘5 senses’ to reveal character”
We’ve all heard the advice, the stern word from the Serious Writer that to be considered a Serious Writer also, to Get Things Done, you have to Write Every Day. Not only that, but you have to write a clear and high number of words each and every day. Figures like 2000 daily words areContinue reading “Debunking the ‘write every day’ myth”
Words that look or sound similar are mixed up all the time, in spoken word and in print. A particular problem, especially in print, are the words flaunt and flout. In the last month, I’ve seen the wrong word used at least three times: in a newspaper article, in a blog post and in twoContinue reading “Flaunt vs Flout”
How much research is “enough research” when writing fiction?