Five Mistakes New Fiction Writers Make

Writing a work of fiction is a commendable and an exciting time. But there are caveats. Many annoying caveats that you'll need to think about before the money is rolling in and you can live off the royalties. The first caveat is that probably won't happen. Writing is a learning process. I believe it is something you get better at every time you put pen to paper or finger to key. As with all learning processes, there is the potential...

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YA Elitism: Why you should read whatever you want to read

Teenager reading, YA fiction

A couple of weeks ago, Joe Nutt, an educational consultant and author, wrote an article that rubbed a lot of people the wrong way. Interestingly, the article, published in TES, was originally titled 'Today's young adult fiction is robbing our teenagers of a chance to become literate adults' but this (likely due to the furore it caused) was later changed to 'Why young-adult fiction is a dangerous fantasy' . I can see why they changed it, 'robbing teenagers of a...

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How I plan to finally finish the first draft of my novel

Race lanes for 100m sprint

Remember the line from Frank Herbert's Dune: "Fear is the mind killer." It is a line that is incredibly relevant to me. Fear does indeed kill my mind. Did you know that the actress Natalie Dormer, who played one of my favourite characters from Game of Thrones, has this line tattooed on her arm? This is probably something I'd do if I wasn't scared of getting a tattoo! Ha! Don't get me wrong, I'm not a complete scaredy-cat. I've had piercings before...

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5 Things I Have Learnt From My Competitors

Every four years, I become well-versed and entirely knowledgeable about sport. I know exactly why that floor routine received a score of 14.333 when another obtained 15.666. I can tell how that sprinter's technique is letting them down. I use my experience gained as a athlete at high school to become an informed judge from my sofa. Then once it's all over, I go back to having the football offside rule explained to me only to forget it five minutes...

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How I plan to rediscover my confidence and write regularly

black woman kicking out her leg

Last Spring term (2015), I left teaching. This was a career I had been in since 2005. I had wanted to work with kids since I was 16 years old. In 2014, I realised teaching no longer made me happy. I was working in a school that was very much performance-related. Not much value was placed on relationships with children and parents or creativity, instead the focus seem squarely placed on attainment and results. I don't blame this school per...

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Why you need a professional editor for your manuscript

So you've written your novel and now you're questioning whether or not to use an editor. Using an editor is not cheating - just because you're self-publishing this doesn't mean you have to do everything by yourself. Yes, it's an added expense but self-publishing is a business and errors in your manuscript will cost you. It will cost you the thing you hold dear - your readers. After investing your time into your novel, are you really willing to turn...

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