Learning to write engaging dialogue

I am currently sitting in a cafe listening to a group of men's discussion. I often do this, earwig on people's conversations. You may think this is rude and it probably is; I don't know how I would feel knowing a complete random was sitting listening to everything I say. But I am a writer, I am allowed to as this is research. Ok, I am naturally nosy but that is beside the point. Taking liberties with other people's privacy...

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How I believe writing can help to improve your mental health

Last week I didn't post for the first time since starting this blog; I had managed ten consecutive weeks of blog posting. I was surprised that I didn't beat myself up about it. I was ill, had a lot of work on and needed to allow myself space for self-care. Though I didn't post it, I had actually written the crux of this when I was supposed to and was writing every day. The editing and publishing just felt like too...

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How I manage to write through my self-doubt

I've had enough self-doubt to fill a quarry recently. It seems to increase with the more opportunities that are offered to me. After being asked to submit a short story, I began to drown in self-doubt. What if I'm no good? Why do I think I can write things? What if they laugh at my attempt of even trying? I've mentioned my writing confidence in previous post and while I am proud to say that I am writing and submitting more,...

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Learning to use hyphens, em and en dashes

I love, love, love punctuation. Wait, don't leave! You might learn something cool. While I was studying for Start Fiction Editing , the only punctuation I had a nightmare with in our exercises were em and en dashes. Sophie Playle, the patient dear, got me caught up with these two as I am shocked to say this didn't really come up in my schooling or my love affair with the English language. I know I'm not the only one who had...

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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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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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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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