The writing life 1 1

The writing life 1

Michelle Edwards joined The Writers’ Masterclass in 2017 and wrote the first draft of a work of fiction during that year. That draft became her debut novel Go Away Birds, which is to be published in March by Modjaji. She was back on the class last year to write her second novel, which is nearing …

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Food for thought 1 2

Food for thought 1

Food for thought: It struck me recently while going through proofs of my next novel – The Rabbit Hole – that there was a lot of food and drink in the story. Not only pizzas, pasta, sushi, fish ‘n chips, delicious takeouts from such places as Giovanni’s Deli in Green Point, but meals consumed in …

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Writing sex 3

Writing sex

Writing sex scenes: some writers have no trouble at all; others squirm with embarrassment and avoid the subject altogether. “I can’t do them,” one writer told me and she shall remain anonymous. “People – my family, my friends – will think that’s what I get up to. No ways am I going to write about …

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I see you 2 4

I see you 2

Part 2 Last week I mentioned how useful the first-person observer could be as a writing tactic; this week I’ll look at some ways authors have deployed the “I see you” technique. There’s a useful double edge to the observation: “I see you”. In one sense it means that I acknowledge you as another human …

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I see you 1 5

I see you 1

Funny how with the start to each book comes a new revelation, and a new writing tip. Even 20 books later. So my theme of “I see you” has two parts. Part 1 has to do with the revelation; Part 2 with how to use it. Thing is, over the last few weeks, I’ve been …

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Goodbye 2020 6

Goodbye 2020

Goodbye 2020: it is certainly one year I’m not sorry to see the end of. Although it is probably going to be a year with a long reach into the new year and beyond. What will be interesting is to see the books – novels and memoirs – that this year will produce. From what …

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Imagine 7


Imagine. Remember John Lennon’s brilliant song? He said people called him a dreamer because he could imagine a world without hunger or greed. And he said making this imaginative leap was easy if you tried. Fair enough. But as any novelist will tell you, sometimes the imagination needs a little push and a shove. We’ve …

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A new look 8

A new look

There is nothing like a makeover. It not only brings with it a new look, but creates an exciting buzz. And that’s what has happened with WriteOnline. Last week it relaunched with a whole bright new look, extra features, and a team putting a huge amount of energy and thought into the future. I couldn’t …

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Telling our stories 1 9

Telling our stories 1

How books get written is one of those issues which really intrigues me. Sometimes they are written in a rush – at least I’ve heard some authors admit to this – but mostly they take weeks, months, years to write. Years and years is how long it took A’Eysha Kassiem to write her first novel. …

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Score a publishing deal 10

Score a publishing deal

One of the great spin-offs of the Writers’ Masterclass is when a writer gets to score a publishing deal. There have been a host of books published by WriteOnline’s Masterclass writers since it began in 2012, and there are more coming up next year. The latest to add to the list is by Luc Zwaenepoel. …

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