I faced a crazy challenge with my latest novel, Fixing Mrs Philpott: 27 characters! How to even imagine them all, let about writing them with conviction! I tried a new trick, which helped enormously — I drew them all. I'm no artist, so I couldn't very well draw people from real life. (They won't sit … Continue reading Inventing characters for that novel
I was feeling anxious for no apparent reason. I checked in with "my" cognitive therapist. We decided I was feeling a big fat lack in my life of a big fat writing project, the sort that brings me not mere pleasure but sustained joy, the sort of project that makes me leap out of bed … Continue reading Let the sabbatical begin!
Want to write a book? Stop talking about it. Entirely. That’s what author Euny Hong says. Is it healthy to talk about your current writing project?
I look at my latest novel and I think, why? Why did I write it, that book, that particular book in that particular way? Why didn’t I write a different novel, or write it in a different way? Why didn’t someone else write that novel? Why do I write any book at all nowadays? Don’t … Continue reading Why do we write the books we write?
Writing a book? Then read. Writing is an impeccable excuse for reading. And reading is a time-honoured strategy for improving your writing. Stephen King says: "If you want to be a writer, you must do two things above all others: read a lot and write a lot. If you don’t have the time to read, … Continue reading When writers read: surreptitious analysis