Cut The Fat; Make Your Writing Lean: #Tip 39.

Writers like to share ideas to improve their craft. Here are some ways to trim your writing. Readers will appreciate the removal of these common redundancies and flabby expressions. Desirable benefit: Do you know of an undesirable benefit? I thought not. e.g. What desirable benefit does a racehorse owner obtain from his horse? Try: What …

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After rereading Ray Bradbury’s Zen in the Art of Writing …

One I must read. Added to my ‘to read’ list and bought!

Books: Publishing, Reading, Writing

Ray Bradbury, 1997 (Photo Credit: Steve Castillo/Associated Press) Ray Bradbury, 1997
(Photo Credit: Steve Castillo/Associated Press)

I’ve just finished rereading Ray Bradbury’s brilliant but brief book on writing – about how he wrote, and what he thought writing should mean to all authors – and I must say that I feel particularly exhilarated, refreshed, and ready to write again! It’s like receiving a much-needed kick in the seat of my pants to be refocused by his words.

And there are any, many quotes I’ve underlined in my print edition (Bantam Books, 1992) and I will trot them out as necessary. Some you’ve probably read before in those lovely quote boxes that circulate on Facebook and other social media. But I wanted to mention one in particular, because what he says here reminds me of a blog post I wrote previously.

What is the greatest reward a writer can have? Isn’t it that day when someone rushes up to…

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Cut The Fat; Make Your Writing Lean: #Tip 38.

As writers, we generally share ideas to improve our craft. Here are some ways to trim our writing. Readers will appreciate us removing these common redundancies and flabby expressions. Descend down: I’m fairly certain it’s not possible to descend in any direction but down, so the qualifier is not needed. e.g. The pirate captain forced …

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Shortlist announced for the 2016 OWT Short Fiction Competition

Great news when one of your stories is selected. Source: Shortlist announced for the 2016 OWT Short Fiction Competition

Cut The Fat; Make Your Writing Lean: #Tip 37.

As writers, we generally share ideas to improve our craft. Here are some ways to trim our writing. Readers will appreciate us removing these common redundancies and flabby expressions. Depreciate in value: Can something depreciate in anything other than some form of value? I can’t think of anything, but by all means educate me. e.g. …

Continue reading Cut The Fat; Make Your Writing Lean: #Tip 37.

Cut The Fat; Make Your Writing Lean: #Tip 36.

We writers generally enjoy sharing ideas to improve our craft. Here are some ways to trim our writing. Readers will appreciate us removing these common redundancies and flabby expressions. The recent celebration of love via St. Valentine’s Day, that tacky, commercialised occasion much promoted by florists and the sellers of cards and chocolates, prompted me …

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Longlist announced for the 2016 OWT Short Fiction Prize

It’s always good to be recognised for your writing. And this is a contest I entered from the Writing Contests Table I keep on the Writers Resources page of this website. Have a go; it might bring you some real joy!

Online Writing Tips

After numerous arguments, fallings out, and snide comments about each other’s judgement, we have a longlist! First, let me say a massive thank you to everyone who entered: it’s been a delight reading such a diverse range of writing from all over the world, and it’s been really hard to select just 30 pieces to go forward to the next stage of judging. There were several stories we agonised over and inevitably some of our choices came down to subjective factors: there are stories we couldn’t fit onto the longlist that I’m sure will find success in other markets. There were also some very strong pieces that we decided we had to exclude in the interest of fairness since they didn’t meet the stipulated 2000-5000 word limit.

However, for all the stories we’re sorry to lose at this stage, the thirty we have left form a mouth-watering selection. The list…

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A Walk on the Slightly Wild Side

Life in a forest can be so rewarding. Valerie and I moved to the Forest of Dean just over a year ago and began exploring our new home area almost at once. But we’ve kept largely to the laid down paths provided by the Forestry Commission and those that have been made by dog walkers …

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Enchantment in Morocco, by Madeleine McDonald, Reviewed.

Madeleine McDonald’s book is a traditional romance set in an unusual location. Told from the points of view of the two main protagonists, the story reveals secrets about both that neither are aware of in each other. The clash of cultures and personal histories makes the possible resolution of this romance uncertain until the very …

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Cut The Fat; Make Your Writing Lean: #Tip 35.

We writers generally enjoy sharing ideas to improve our craft. Here are some ways to trim our writing. Readers will appreciate us removing these common redundancies and flabby expressions. Crisis situation: Since a crisis is a ‘situation’, we can do without the word here. e.g. Inaction by many governments renders climate change a crisis situation …

Continue reading Cut The Fat; Make Your Writing Lean: #Tip 35.