Lost in Ways

You can read that title over and over, stressing a different word each time, and find the glimmer of another meaning. Even within a single word, the intonation could be subtly altered, and so too would the meaning be altered. I suppose that’s the purpose of punctuation, but they’re never quite right in a title. Besides, I love a bit of ambiguity.

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Said, Ever Unassailable

For a part of my writing that I’ve always put a lot of stock in, the absence of posts on dialogue rings peculiar. As it’s been so long since the last time I wrote about it, I feel a bit less wary about treading the same ground. The way we express ourselves, that special inner voice we all have when we’re not trying to be literary or profound, that’s a big part of it – yet that’s a matter of expression, and isn’t the same thing.

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Writing Talk: A Slow Build

It was almost fourteen years ago that I went to Europe for the first time (out of three). I was a newly minted twenty-one year old, still at university, only just working (comparatively) and an occasional dabbler in writing (much as I was until more recent times).

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Let us not speak falsely now…

As a writer, it’s your job to be understood. At the outset you can point to the act of writing and say “No, that’s my job.”

That’s also true.

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Writing Musts: Realise That All Readers Are The Same

The most important thing about your writing, is that it starts with a bang. The more explosions, the better. You need to grab your readers by the throat and shake them until they lose consciousness. Rouse them, and then SHAKE THEM SOME MORE. There is literally NO other way to grab and hold the attention of a reader short of being there beside them when they do and MAKING THEM READ IT.

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Writing Musts: Be Human

The biggest caveat with writing advice is that you should treat it as a suggestion, rather than an unalterable truth. It’s a point I belabour here whenever the topic of writing advice comes up, in a general, non-specific sense: If it doesn’t work for you, ignore it.

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Imagination: Space for Lease

It feels strange going back over old pieces of writing. It’s not that it’s woefully bad. Well, the terrible quality of it isn’t why it’s strange. I vaguely remember writing bits and pieces of it, and can pinpoint the source to back when I was seventeen, though there’s now another seventeen years of life thrown on top of my running tally. What I find strange about the writing, is how very different the style is.

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On Expression: The Roads Run Down

There’s a moment of realisation in writing, when you look at the expressions that you use by instinct, and realise that the first-shot may not be the best. I’m a firm believer in the important of voice when it comes to writing, but there’s a difference between what comes first, and what comes naturally.

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Pace, Focus and Viewpoint

The idea for this post comes from Kat, the mind behind “Midnight is for Writing“. See, rather than wait for inspiration to strike, sometimes I’ll prompt people into prompting me. Lazy? Maybe. Inspired? Maybe. Probably neither? Almost definitely. So, it’s been recommended that I write about pace.

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One hundred ways to say it

I can’t remember exactly why I stopped being so secretive about my writing. I recall a point in time where I’d be ridiculously vague (even in comparison to how terribly vague I still am now), and then the now, where I’ll share early snippets of my writing, or allude to characters, and all that goodness that shows I’ve been writing and not just procrastinating.

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The Mood of your Story

Sometimes when I start these, I’m sure that I’m retreading old ground. Okay, yes, it’s ALL old ground considering somebody else has covered every single thing about writing you can imagine at some point (even Ring Method, despite my self-indulgent glee at ‘discovering’ it).

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Rhythm of the Words

“It rose up before me like an angry giant threatening to bring down a bloody fist upon my head. The ribbing of its legs ready to stomp at-” . “Wait, you’re talking about the tree? Still?” . “Yes Tara, I’m telling you about the tree. A stompy giant tree. Alright yes, the tree.”

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