Tag Archives: Structure

How I Fell In Love with the Romantic Novelists’ Association New Writers’ Scheme

I revealed, rather coyly, in this blog post earlier in the year that I’d been accepted on the Romantic Novelists’ Association New Writers’ Scheme. When I mention this to people in conversation I occasionally receive the polite astonishment that I imagine a … Continue reading

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Into the Woods with Robert Galbraith

Ironically, the big literary story of July, and probably of 2013, has been the real-life whodunit over the authorship of a novel about a private detective. Even those who don’t follow book news with my keen interest will know the … Continue reading

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My Other Magnum Opus

Apart from the two novels in progress I’ve also authored a more prosaic volume over the past fifteen months or so. And — spit on me now — I’ve decided to self-publish it. I don’t have much capital so it’s … Continue reading

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An Off Stage Question

I was wondering about the point in the last post where David Nicholls mentions the impact of having important event happen ‘off stage’ and their impact being made greater when viewed from the perspective of their subsequent impact on characters’ … Continue reading

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One Day I Went to Listen To David Nicholls

I’m rather late in posting about this but last week I went along to the Sunday Times Oxford Literary Festival at Christ Church College, Oxford. I was hoping to spend the best part of a day there but one session … 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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‘A Beginning, A Muddle and An End’?

Interesting blog on the Guardian Books website today by Robert McCrum. He talks about Ford Madox Ford’s advice that the literary quality or narrative power of a novel should never be judged by the opening alone but by reading a … Continue reading

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The Narrative Center

As mentioned in the last post, I just spent a very long weekend in Center Parcs (staying until late Monday afternoon. trying to get most value for money). I’ve been to all the Center Parcs in the country although 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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Rick from the course had a look at some of the first chapters of The Angel. He made quite an interesting suggestion regarding the selection for the reading event that’s had me thinking. At the moment I have an opening … Continue reading

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Looking for Inspiration

I wrote quite a bit in a short time up until the last Saturday workshop — around 7,000 words of the beginning of ‘The Angel — two sizeable chapters or perhaps three or four shorter ones. I tend to like … Continue reading

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Opening the Novel?

Unlike the majority of my fellow students on the City course I’ve not approached the writing of either of my novels-in-progress in any kind of sequence — either chronologically or in anticipation of the eventual order in the book. I’m … Continue reading

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Both Alison and Emily have said they think it’s a great idea for me to start ‘The Angel’ with James and Kim going out on a massive bender together (or at least have the sequence quite near the start). I’m … Continue reading

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I adapted Emily’s suggestion about using index cards to plot novels (and do various other things) by using post-it-notes on a conference room wall in our offices. It’s not as permanent a reminder as having index cards arranged on a … Continue reading

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The Shock of the New

It’s going to be quite an intense day on Saturday for a few of us: Rick, Nick and myself have both a reading and a tutorial. The reading is c. 2,250 words and the tutorial extract can be up to … Continue reading

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‘The Angel’ Changes

I reworked the synopsis of ‘The Angel’ based on the feedback I’d received. Probably the biggest change was that I gave James and Emma a different backstory that changed the start of the novel — I married them — unhappily … Continue reading

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Perils of Living in the Country

Last night I ended up getting a good knowledge of the many traffic lights along a 15 mile stretch of the A41 by crawling along at about 5mph. This was due to all the traffic coming off the M1 due … Continue reading

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