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Tag: novel

And now for something almost completely different

Novelists often complain that reading their earlier work leaves them with a distinct feeling of unease. The passage of time between one piece of work and another inevitably leads the author to a different place – greater maturity and depth of insight, perhaps, or simply an earnest desire to improve upon his previous attempt. Writing a novel requires a considerable…

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The killer is me

I’ve often wondered where my fascination with the darker side of life comes from. My writing tends to reflect this taste and leads me into areas other writers might choose to leave alone. Although I’ve drawn on autobiographical material in the past, the old advice to write about what you know has never really appealed to me. As a writer,…

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The devil is in the detail

Novelists can usually be divided into two camps: those that enjoy research, and those that loathe it. I belong to the former, and spend hours trawling through books and articles for subject-related matter. But how much detail should end up in a novel is open to debate. Too much and you risk the reader’s irritation. Yes, some readers enjoy textbook…

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The Enemy Within

My son informed me recently in solemn tones that he had some bad news for me. Steeling myself for the worst, I waited. The news as it turned out was indeed rather distressing.  He’d found a typo in my second novel. Given the times I’ve read the manuscript, not to mention the proofreaders and editors who’ve also been over it…

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Life as a QR code

Imagine how many bloggers there are out there, filling the world with unsolicited text. Solitary voices in cyberspace, looking for recognition. I began to wonder at the purpose of it all. What drives us ordinary mortals to pen these quaint little ramblings? Surely, we all have better things to do? For one thing it’s practise, I suppose. The more you do,…

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What would my mum think?

I thought it might be amusing to compile a list of the excuses I have used in the past to convince myself I couldn’t make it in the writing game. Some of these are old recurring themes, others have popped up more recently. Here we go ….. I haven’t been to university I’m too old I have tattoos I don’t…

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Rise of the New Barbarians

Jonathan Franzen says he doesn’t like Twitter. Neither does he like the tide of self-published dross that’s threatening to destroy literature forever. The reasons he gives for this dislike are understandable. As an author accorded almost god-like status by the critics and hailed as the last great American novelist, he can afford to be sceptical. But do his views have…

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