Tag Archives: character

The Liars’ League Experience

My short story Do You Dare Me To Cross the Line? was selected as a winner for this month’s Liars’ League London event (see previous post for an account of its selection and the rehearsal). It was performed last Tuesday evening by Alex … Continue reading

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Anne Tyler at the Oxford Literary Festival

Along with 850 other fans, I was lucky enough to have a ticket to this morning’s Oxford Literary Festival interview with Anne Tyler at the Sheldonian Theatre. It was an absorbing event – the first public appearance of its type, … Continue reading

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A Dickens of a Pub Crawl

As anyone who’d watched TV or picked up a newspaper since Christmas will know, 2012 is the bicentennial anniversary of the birth of arguably Britain’s greatest novelist. If you’re a person with more modern tastes in literature you may believe … Continue reading

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Infinite Universes

I watched an edition of Horizon on BBC2 a few weeks ago which attempted to discuss the utterly bizarre nature of what we perceive as reality once it’s considered by physicists — quantum, astro- and various other varieties. (It’s available … Continue reading

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One Day

‘One Day’ by David Nicholls won the Sainsbury’s Popular Fiction prize at the Galaxy National Book Awards last week. I’ve mentioned this book in passing a couple of times on this blog since I read it in the summer. I’ve … Continue reading

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Cardboard Megaliths

Those from the City course who’ve carried on with the monthly workshopping read an extract of mine in the last session where James is struggling to build an IKEA wardrobe. The piece is intended to cast light on the state … Continue reading

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Lip Service

A fascinating aspect of reading fiction is that, sometimes despite the best efforts of the author, every reader must have a different mental image of each character — most likely a synthesis of their own experience and from triggers picked … Continue reading

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Character Names

It always seems to me to be more difficult to think of names for my characters than virtually any other of their attributes. If you look online for any inspiration there are a large number of baby naming websites which … Continue reading

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Strictly No Sex Please in the British Literary Novel?

After the Facebook campaign that led Tony Blair’s ‘A Journey’ to be involuntarily moved within bookshops to the war or crime sections, there’s much excitement that a passage from the book has been urged for short-listing in the Literary Review’s … Continue reading

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Time on Franzen

Jonathan Franzen’s new novel ‘Freedom’ has been causing a stir among reviewers — one Guardian Books blogger is already calling it the novel of the century. Time magazine a couple of weeks ago gave Franzen the honour of being on … Continue reading

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Reviewing the Literature

There are two reasons why the blog has been a little quieter than usual recently. One is that an element of my ‘other life’ intruded – hopefully the side that will continue to pay the bills in future.  I had … Continue reading

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Zipping Up Kim

It’s a paradox that characters in fiction tend, naturally, to be figments of the author’s imagination but also have to be real and credible enough for the reader to maintain the suspension of their disbelief. Of course authors piece together … Continue reading

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Addressing Deficiencies

Getting back to ideas for The Angel, I think I may have plugged a bit of a hole in the plot and balanced out the characters a bit by considering introducing a male admirer of Kim when she moves to … Continue reading

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Strengths and Weaknesses

For our commentary we need to list the strengths and weaknesses in our writing. I won’t list what I plan to write are my strengths but I came up with a rather long list of weaknesses, although some are the … Continue reading

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‘Is It Any Good?’

I would guess anyone who doesn’t ask themselves this during the course of writing a novel is not going to produce a very good one. What’s probably not such a good idea is to include this angst in comments accompanying … Continue reading

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Everything But The Bar Sink…

…but I did get the dishwasher in! Bearing in mind Judith Murray’s comment that ‘in some sense all novels are historical’, I decided to load my last reading with as many contemporary cultural references as I could think of. ‘Decided’ … Continue reading

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‘I Agree With Nick’

Seems to the new catchphrase of the moment — and very apposite as both Cameron and Brown desperately try to convince Clegg that they do agree with him just enough to get him to drop his core demands and prop … Continue reading

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Top Bombing

A friend of mine sent me a YouTube link to the new John Smiths’ Peter Kay advert. His observation in sending it was that it picks up a subtle difference between the sexes in that often women try to guess … Continue reading

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Sneaker Pimps

More odd musical/novelistic connections: one song I belatedly discovered is by a little known band called The Sneaker Pimps. Even though I only heard it properly on a compilation last year it dates back to 1996. Given my recurring themes … Continue reading

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Kim

In The Angel my main female character is called Kim. She was called that before I decided to make her a German and I’ve not changed the name yet and I’m not inclined to at the moment. It’s quite an … Continue reading

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