April 2022

Building the world of your novel

Novelists create fictional worlds for their story to take place in, even those novels set in the real world. The best world-building makes readers feel like they could be reading about an actual place, even if it’s completely imaginary. While some people find it difficult to get into the extensive details of Middle-Earth provided by …

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On writing: Gold among dross

Every now and then you stumble across articles that make you snicker, help you take the world less seriously. The Paris Review, a literary magazine established in Paris in 1953, has all kinds of interesting tidbits for inspiration and historical material (if you’re a budding author, you might want to check it out). It also, …

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You say viridian, I say verdigris

Did you know that there are 171, 146 words1 in use in the English language, plus another 47,1561 obsolete words? For writers, language is a rich and delightful playground. Like the great old radio dramas (The Shadow, Philo Vance, Dimension X, and the famously infamous War of the Worlds), we use ‘theatre of the mind’ …

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Fascination with the Supernatural

I discovered a new (for me) newsletter on the weekend. The attraction was an article titled “Goblin mode: a gothic expert explains the trend’s mythical origins, and why we should all go ‘vampire mode’ instead”. Actually, it was the word “goblin” that caught my eye. As supernatural creatures go, goblins aren’t particularly popular at the moment. …

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