Top 3 older books

The New Release section of a bookstore does have a certain appeal to it; the bright colours and literary designs hint at what lies within the pages. But there is more to a bookstore, and indeed, more to literature, than the latest stories to hit the shelves. Perhaps you haven’t set foot in a bookstore…

Fictional research – yes, it does exist

All fiction, regardless of genre, requires some research. This may be choosing a spot in the middle of the Pacific to create your own island nation, discovering if it’s physically possible for a plane to fly five times the speed of sound, or finding a common Scottish name for your hero. There might be small…

The writing retreat

I am halfway through my week long writing retreat and I have to say that so far, this works for me. The days a so long that I feel like I’ve already overextended my stay and my worries seemed to have fallen- out of the car somewhere along the drive here. Each day, I stay…

a Flawed book review

The stunning young adult debut by bestselling author Cecelia Ahern is titled Flawed and tells us of a society with a system to supplement the law. This second system is designed to create a morally perfect community, removing corrupt people and those prone to poor decisions from positions of power. It is an interesting concept…

Tools to help you write (pen excluded)

Listening to a great song can make you run up a hill faster. Silence can focus your concentration during an exam. And candlelight can bolster romantic feelings during a special dinner. Like all these pairings, there are certain things which support the act of writing. Here’s a list of situations and activities which I have…

WOW! I want to write a book!

When I tell people that I am writing a book, I get one of three standard responses; 1) I could never do that, 2) Do I have a great story idea for you? Or 3) Oh, wow! I’ve always wanted to do that.   The people in the first category are probably the smart ones…

Meeting your protagonist

There are countless articles and writing courses that tell you to know you main characters before you start writing. Not just what they will do throughout the manuscript, but why they do those things. What is their motivation, history, personality? The list goes on. The need to know your character like you would a friend…

Tsundoku

A friend recently introduced me to a new word; tsundoku. It is a condition in which the sufferer feels a strong need to buy more books than they can possibly read. This can also be linked to a fear of running out of good books. While I may be in slight denial about the first…

Knowing what is a short story and what is a novel

A trouble I sometimes have in sorting out my various story ideas is; what is a short story, and what can support the length of a novel? Unfortunately, there is no hard a fast rule. Most stories can go either way, but will lean more to one side or the other. If you are having…

Book Review – My Sister’s Keeper

Great writing is not only beautiful on the page, and poetic to listen to; it can also create strong emotional reactions within the reader. We spend hours flicking the pages, getting to know the characters, feeling invested in their future, until they become real to us. For me, it feels like I am reading about…

When Travellers Stay Still

I recently went to Tasmania. I finally made it down south and rented a car to drive around much of the state. It was a busy trip, with the car being loaded most mornings, a different bed each night and the days full of as many adventures as possible. It was exactly how I used…

Writing advice

Possibly the most useful piece of writing advice I have ever received, came from my year 2 teacher. She was a passionate and dedicated teacher who inspired and challenged her students to write more often, and to write better. Despite the fact that I was only seven years old at the time, she taught us…