Breaking Paragraphs – Student Help 3

This is the transcript of my latest video. In this I am talking about splitting paragraphs into their constituent sentences. By doing this, you can see where a paragraph is going wrong, where sentence structure is poor, and more easily see how to fix things! When sentences are embedded in their paragraph, it’s difficult, often, … Continue reading

Students Help – Analysing Your Essay – Form and Transcript.

This is the transcript of the Youtube video which I put up here today. It is primarily aimed at students, but be aware that the same approach works for any writing. Whether you are an aspiring author, a journalist or a business manager trying to write a report, the same disciplines apply. At the bottom … Continue reading

Tips for Submitting Manuscripts

I was asked yesterday on Quora about how to present a manuscript for an editor. This is not intended to be a fully-detailed example, but it summarises my own  experiences over the last 25 years of professional writing. Since it is pretty much the same whether you are looking at fiction and non-fiction books, I … Continue reading

I’ve Lost My Editor!

The last weeks have been more than usually busy. I’m currently working on a new book which is close to being completed which will take me in a new direction – which is why (apologies to agent here) I’m late! Still, I think it’ll be done by the end of this week. Which is good, … Continue reading

Writing Lessons 11 – Rewriting

I’ve recently discovered that I’ve been listed for the shortlist of the HWA SHARPE BOOKS GOLD CROWN award. It’s the prize for the best historical novel of the year, and as such a remarkably prestigious award. I’m very proud to read that Pilgrim’s War has been recognised for this. Wish me luck! Writing, it has … Continue reading

Getting to the End…

One of those days when concentrating is difficult: I have to work around the family, getting a new tent sealed ready for a three day hike, walking the dogs, writing up the short list and winner of a prize, deal with emails and phone calls … and it’s not easy. The simple fact is, as … Continue reading

Writing Lessons 10 – Students And Novelists

This one is for students going to university – either first years or postgraduates – as well as aspiring novelists: keep it simple! I spent two years fairly recently helping students at Exeter University with their communication skills, working for the Royal Literary Fund’s Fellowship Scheme.  It was a great experience, although very daunting. After … Continue reading

Writing Lessons 9

Today I have been working on a new story, and I’ve got to the magical stage of about 90,000 words, which means that I’m on the easier, downhill slopes and almost at the end of the first draft. Perhaps this is a good time to think about how things are going. I’ve already spoken about … Continue reading

Writing Lessons 8

Okay, so what happens when it all goes horribly wrong? You are sitting down, the writing has been a blast, and you have a brilliant first stage written.  It felt great, it reads really well. But now, you have a problem. This was supposed to be a romcom, but it’s gone all black and dangerous. … Continue reading

Writing Lessons 7

It is a very odd thing, that writers will often miss whole weeks of life. When you are writing from a specific point of view, you become so utterly immersed in that person’s life, that you cannot exist in the real world at the same time. Your partner will get used to grumbles and muttered … Continue reading