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Friend or Foe: The Impact of Your Belief System on Writing

“If you have behaved badly, repent, make what amends you can and address yourself to the task of behaving better next time. On no account brood over your wrongdoing. Rolling in the muck is not the best way of getting clean.” ~ Aldous Huxley, (Brave New World) In the early weeks of January I set off to find the person I knew and loved as ‘writer’. It meant a harsh process of... read more

Deep Reading

As an English teacher, my colleagues and I often have discussions about the texts we use for study in our classrooms. Some texts are prescribed for us to teach while other texts are chosen by staff based on knowledge of our students and their interests. Many of these texts are contemporary fiction. Canon vs Contemporary Invariably, there is a question raised about the ‘canon’. We all have our... read more

Who Am Write I?

I was brought up in a home where we taught never to sing our own praises. That’s why I find it hard to step back and look at what is good in my writing. I’d far prefer to write “it’s all bad”, and leave it at that. But that would be doing myself a disservice. There are both good and bad things in my writing. And to improve, I need to identify where improvement is needed, and... read more

The “hybrid author”

In today’s wild publishing world, there’s a new, fun term floating around. Meet… the hybrid author. Just think, two years ago, if you were querying an agent and you mentioned you had a self-published book, it would probably work against you.  Sure, there are those rare cases when someone makes it big with a self-published book, but generally speaking, you queried an agent about a new project and... read more

Two Tips to Accelerate Completion of Your Writing Projects

The editors at Write Anything asked each regular contributor to perform a skills audit and gap analysis; a reflection on what we do well today and where we see need for self-improvement as it relates to our writing. Here’s exactly how it was postured to us: “What do you do well?  What do you do poorly?  Are there genres you don’t feel equal to?  Do you leave spelling and grammar for later... read more

Hanging Up My French Pen

2011 saw one bright star on the writing horizon. Against all expectations, I was one of the prize-winners in the Literary Correspondence competition organised by the local media library. And no, against all expectations is not supposed to indicate some kind of false modesty. I really was surprised. You see, I live in France, so the competition was in French, not English. True, it was only third prize but I... read more

Basic Plot Brainstorming

Writers are inundated with tools, programs and ideas on how to brainstorm the next story or scene. Many of these are over complicated or take such a long time to learn to use or decipher that all creative juices which may have flowed at the start, have shrivelled up in a drought of despair. Sometimes the most insightful stories are birthed from simplicity. I’d like to share a basic plot brainstorming... read more

Isn’t This Getting a Little Personal?

This month our editor-on-high gave us the directive to look inward, and assess our writing-self. By now you’ve heard a lot from my fellow writers about how hard it was to make it through this assignment in one ego-still-intact piece. Why did they all find it so difficult? It’s not because we all had trouble telling you where we need improvement. It’s because most of us think we’re... read more
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