Writing fiction 1

Writing fiction

Last year Kwanele Kunene did the WriteOnline Writing Fiction short course. She’s at the start of her writing career. So how did she find the course and what are her plans for writing her first stories? In this email Q&A, she talks about how the course got her writing. First off, tell us a bit …

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Food for thought 2 2

Food for thought 2

Food for thought: so you want to use food as a way of bringing your character to life but you’re wondering how to do it? Do you sit them down to a meal? Do you have them sprinkling spices into a pan of sautéed vegetables? Do you have them ordering-in pizzas? As you can see, …

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The writing life 2 3

The writing life 2

Part Two Last week I had an email Q&A with Michelle Edwards whose debut novel Go Away Birds is being published by Modjaji next month. That interview covered her writing life, but we weren’t done yet so here she looks at some of the themes and issues she brings to that novel and the new …

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The writing life 1 4

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 5

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 6

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 7

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 8

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 9

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 10


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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