Modishness of Ladies – Literature of the English Country Rose

  In the ‘good old days’  ladies would entertain and admit gentlemen into their bed chambers,which were grand affairs, with large sitting rooms. They might even wear glamorous negligees, whilst entertaining!  There is an old worldly charm in this. But I can’t see it catching on now!  Nowadays we tend to have smaller more functional bedrooms, that tend to be more personal […]

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A Fully Loaded Balloon of a Character

In the Futurelearn Start Writing Fiction course we’ve now moved on to Finding and Developing Fictional Characters, so I thought I would share with you some writing nuggets of wisdom. We have been studying Josip Novakovitch’s methods of finding and developing fictional characters. Of course there are numerous ways to develop characters. This is not rocket science, but the following […]

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Hooked by Lines and Images

This sounds like I’m going fishing and in a way I am. I’m searching for that illusive first line of a great story. In the Futurelearn Open University course we touched upon sources of inspiration: lines and images. I got hooked by the idea. 4.10 Hooked By Lines and Images. When I first started writing fantasy, I’d say that visual […]

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Writing Characters – Cowpat Man

Futurelearn Start Writing Fiction Course 4.9 Writing Character. Let’s have another look at my roughly sketched farmer, Cowpat man, maybe I can do something with this guy. His hair is trashed but who knows maybe he has potential. If you haven’t met him before, here’s my short description of him: Arthur’s hair sat on his scalp like an apologetic cowpat. […]

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Mantra For Authors: Editing Is My Friend

A mantra for all authors, editing is my friend, editing is my friend. Welcome new friend. Let’s hope we enjoy a long and happy relationship. Editing is such an important process. Read over what you’ve written, edit. Then take a break. Return to it again. Read it aloud. Edit again, and again, and again. You get the picture. But don’t become obsessed, editing is important but so is a life. Joining a writer’s group can be really helpful. Also it can drag you away from the internet for a while and you can interact with people face to face which is nice from time to time. Not saying that it’s not nice having internet pals too. They’re cool too, but you know what I’m talking about. I found having other writers critiquing my work scary to begin with but it’s well worth it. Don’t be put off by what people say, accept changes that you agree with and ignore opinions that you don’t agree with. Believe in yourself, after all it is your work, your story, at the end of the day you have to be 100% happy with it. Yes 100%. I’m talking to writers here. Simple editing mistakes are easy to make. I have just found some that I didn’t notice when I was typing the following short passage for a FutureLearn exercise, so I thought I’d share them with you, as an example of why editing is […]

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Futurelearn – Free online courses.

Futurelearn. Start Writing Fiction Course. I started this free on-line course at the end of April. There are a wide array of courses to choose from. “At FutureLearn, we want to inspire learning for life. We offer a diverse selection of free, high quality online courses from some of the world’s leading universities and other outstanding cultural institutions. Our aim is to connect learners from all over the globe with high quality educators, and with each other. We believe learning should be an enjoyable, social experience, with plenty of opportunities to discuss what you’ve studied, in order to make fresh discoveries and form new ideas. Courses are delivered one step at a time, and are accessible on mobile, tablet and desktop, so you can fit learning around your life, rather than your life around learning. We are a private company wholly owned by The Open University, with the benefit of over 40 years of their experience in distance learning and online education. Our partners include over 20 of the best UK and international universities, as well as institutions with a huge archive of cultural and educational material, including the British Council, the British Library, and the British Museum. FutureLearn is in beta and the courses we’ll be running this year – there are many more on the way – are all pilot courses. This allows us to shape and refine how it all works, using feedback and ideas from our learners. […]

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