Tag Archive for fiction


I’ve had to pinch myself repeatedly over the last few weeks because this last slog of getting the book ready for print (final edit, page layout approval, cover approval, general my-book-is-coming-out chaos) has been incredibly surreal. I know, beginner enthusiasm. But I think you get people who achieve something, enjoy it, but don’t take any time to savour it because… Read more →

Hooking the reader

I’m in the middle of another edit – a fantastic read-aloud edit that is highlighting every hairline crack the story has. I’m loving it. I never thought I would say that about editing but I suppose I have begun to see this part of the process as writing too. I know everywhere sit brings me closer to a good story.… Read more →

The Evolution of a Story

I am busy preparing a novel to submit to a publisher. I won’t say it’s on its final edit because I have a feeling, if it is accepted, the editors will send it back with huge sections to re-work – not because it isn’t good but because there will always be something that could be better. As I sat the… Read more →

Dystopian Fiction

I picked up a collection of short stories at a bargain bookstore not long ago. It found its way to my ever-growing pile of books I must read and I only picked it up last week. It’s called The Mammoth Book of Apocalyptic SF. As horrifying as it sounds, I love reading stories about catastrophic, uncontrollable events because it holds… Read more →

Alpha Readers

I am in the middle of one of the most challenging and encouraging processes of my writing life. A published author I connected with a few years ago is busy reading my finished novel. I took a chance asking him to read it because I knew he was busy but I am very glad that I did. His insights into… Read more →


I’ve been downloading podcasts from the Writing Excuses archives lately but two on dialogue really stood out for me this week. The podcasters (Brandon Sanderson, Howard Tayler and Dan Wells) asked listeners to submit scenes of dialogue without dialogue tags. Eek! Have you ever tried it? When you do, you realise how many bad habits you have. The guys on… Read more →

Architect or Gardener?

There are many things that Brandon Sanderson said in his interview with the guys from speculates.com recently but the thing that caught me was a concept he borrowed from George R.R Martin (epic fantasy master, of Game of Thrones fame). He said writers generally fall in to one of two categories: architect or gardener. THE ARCHITECT As any good architect… Read more →

The curse of the dreaded Info Dump

I’m about to go into some muddy waters and tackle the curse of the info dump. I’m spending eight weeks finishing the bare bones of a novel and as I am writing I’ve become aware of some of my more blatant weaknesses – info dumps being one of them. According to my research the info dump is especially prone to… Read more →

Philip Reeve – Writer

This is the first Author Interview on the new site with Mortal Engines author, Philip Reeve. I first discovered Philip’s work two years ago when I found a signed copy of Larklight at a book sale and I have been an avid fan ever since. Philip has been kind enough to answer some questions on writing… 1.       Explain a little about… Read more →