A bout

I am a bout writer; I don’t mean I write about anything in particular, more that I am a lay about for much of the time. I shuffle uncomfortably and look shifty when students or people at parties tell me that real writers write every day. I don’t write about anything at all for months on end. […]

Unhinged

The other day I found myself pontificating about hinged and unhinged thinking. As it happened I was at a party, drink in hand, spouting general gibberish as I am too inclined to do, but unusually and inadvertently I might have said something that is almost true. I need to be unhinged to write or at least to […]

The Leaden mean

What is it about middles? I don’t mean the bit of flab that sits where one’s waist ought to be, but the middle of a novel (where in truth there is often a bit of extra padding where the plot should be.) Normally I like middles – I mean the middle of a sandwich is always the […]

Planning by clockwork

How do you picture a year? A week? I’m very conventional in my imaging I think a week goes up hill, the hardest part being the steep scarp slope of Sunday night when homework has to be done and clothes prepared for the week ahead. Monday morning is pretty steep and then from midday Wednesday it is downhill […]

Worldbuilding for Beginners

In the beginning there was Tolkein and he really did world building: language, geography, history, the lot. I think he is probably the model for the kind of writer who devises a complete world before putting pen to paper, the kind of writer who has notebooks full of background material. I get the impression that JK Rowling did much […]