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 …

Writing sex Read More »

I see you (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 …

I see you (2) Read More »

I see you (1)

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 …

I see you (1) Read More »

Cape Town Goodbye 2020

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 …

Goodbye 2020 Read More »

Woodstock Imagine


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 …

Imagine Read More »

Scene with Table Mountain

Telling our stories

A past student emailed this week to say he really needed to get down to writing and stop wasting time. He did a creative writing short course with me some years ago and wants to enrol on the Writers’ Masterclass because he reckons the deadlines will help him produce his novel. Which is a point …

Telling our stories Read More »

Webinar notice

Shaping your story

If shaping your story is proving a battle it might be because you’re not sure of your genre. I’ve found that if you can nail down your genre early on you can make your writing life a whole lot easier. When I changed from writing general literary fiction to crime fiction that change brought with …

Shaping your story Read More »

A new look

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 …

A new look Read More »

Telling our stories 2

Telling our stories

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. …

Telling our stories Read More »

Score a publishing deal 3

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. …

Score a publishing deal Read More »