A good place
to get feedback.
A discussion of the methods I use in my craft
Everyone has their own way of working, and there
is not one way of doing anything that is one
hundred percent correct for everyone.
So, why am I telling you how I do stuff?
It sure as hell is not because it is the only way.
It is because there may be something that I do,
which you could find useful, or better, for you.
do I write? I often get asked this and knowing
the answer helps to keep me focused on what I
consider to be important.
I write to enjoy the stories I tell, in the sense
that they affect me in the way I would like them
to affect others.
Comedy should make me laugh, horror should make me
shiver and sad stuff, well that should at least
have me swallowing a lump in my throat, right?
Your best friend and worst enemy. It will
not wait for you, or anyone else for that matter.
So, make the most of whatever time you can
scrounge up to be able to get those words out of
your head and onto the page, and if that means
writing a note on your phone while you are
otherwise engaged, as in travelling, etc. then,
do it. It is surprising how much can be lost when
sometimes all it needs is a word or two to trigger
the recall of an idea that might otherwise have
do I write? It varies from a couple of hundred
words at a time to a couple of thousand words at
a time. One simple rule I try to stick to is - if
the story is hot write what you can and when you
get tired, take break. The length of the break
usually depends on whatever other things there
might need doing that will allow me to rest my
When I go back to it. I am rested and I am able to
read what I've written with (almost) fresh eyes
and I can correct that whilst, at the same time,
re-connecting to the story. Anyone who has been
involved with a project will recognise the cyclic
process that I use. Write, rest, check, write
again and repeat.
do I write? For the most part the development of
the story is a mental process, but when I write, I
write whenever and wherever I can. On good days I
may find I have time to teach, proofread
legal/technical documents, and do all the other
necessary stuff that we need to do to survive, and
still find the time to get the words of whatever
story my muse is telling me at that time.
is not what writing should be like. I have
discovered, as many others have, that the
characters in the stories have a very strong
influence on what you can have them say or do.
When I hit the pain barrier, I take a break, step
back and ask myself the same old question. "Would
**whoever it is** really do or say that?"
Surprise, surprise. The majority of the time is a
resounding no. So, I listen to them and let them
guide their own actions.
Sometimes it is essential that they act out of
character, but that will usually be as a result of
some serious or strong external influence, like
fear of dying, fear of losing someone and similar
about the art, it is an art, and the craft, it
does require a certain skillset, is an ongoing
process. How you learn can vary from reading to
practicing, to studying and, unless you have a
strong leaning towards non-fiction, you will also
need to exercise your imagination. There are cheap
(I know that is a relative term) workshops you can
join to practice your writing as well as learning
what others look for in written works. You can
receive reviews and practice giving them, and
learn the difference between critique (which is
good) and critic (no usually good).
If any other gems occur to me, I will be sure to
add them here.
I wrote a short story, which became a series of
short stories that turned into fictional letters
received by an aspiring author. There are some
words of wisdom and solace in those Letters from
Click the image to read the letters.
A good place
to get feedback.