Writing tips

Writing sex 1

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 2

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 3

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 4

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 5


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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Telling our stories 1 6

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 7

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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Writing the last line 8

Writing the last line

It’s always a bit scary getting to the end of your first draft and writing the last line. I was there again the other day and I have to admit the final sentence came as a surprise. For one thing, the novel ended with dialogue and the last word went to a minor character – …

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Writing as therapy 9

Writing as therapy

All my life I have never thought of writing as therapy. I’ve always thought of writing as a job. Something you sat down to during the day and worked at for as many hours as you could afford. It was a seven days a week job and it had nothing to do with my emotional …

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