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Tag: novelist

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 Art of Deception

I’m currently reading The Confidence Game┬áby Maria Konnikova, which looks at why we are so easily taken in by the scheming of others. The book cites major frauds and audacious imposters as examples, and explains why we as gullible victims make their work so much easier for them. As a novelist, I’ve always been interested in deception as a theme.…

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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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From novelist to screenwriter: Take 4

Making a movie is easy. You just get a bunch of actors, point the camera, and it’s done. Actually, there’s a bit more to it than that. You may also need the following: Script Location Director Editor Bags of cash With these things in place there’s a chance you’ll make good progress. But when the shoot is finished, how do…

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Too much downtime

I shelved my third novel for a week at Christmas. Why? To recharge batteries and take a well-earned break from the ceaseless toil. The workaholic in me went haywire. To offset the sense of panic, I grabbed a notebook and began hastily penning the screenplay for my first novel, The Butterfly Collector.┬áThis would suffice until the New Year, I thought.…

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Don’t get it right, get it written

I once wrote a blog claiming writer’s block didn’t exist. Having spent several days staring at a blank page, I feel compelled to revise that opinion. There is something utterly disheartening about sitting in front of a laptop with nothing to say. The initial enthusiasm has long since died. The characters and scenes you’ve had in your mind for so…

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