Writing Secrets: Dialogue scraps do not make scenes

2017_02

“Hey Audrey.”

Jane appeared in her office doorway. “It’s Friday. Shouldn’t we reward ourselves with a drink?”

“Great idea. Giles at 6?”

“Perfect. I’ll see you then.”

I keep discovering little dialogue scraps like this in the manuscripts of our mentees. Perhaps it’s been ingrained in us that we should use more dialogue; include more scenes… Continue reading

Writing Secrets: You’re the doorman, not the bouncer

writing_tip_quote_02I once had a journalism student (If you’re out there reading this P, you’ll recognise your younger, idealistic self), who set out to write a feature about young women who were forced into prostitution after trying to escape desperate circumstances.

He was (and still is) a good writer, but when he gave me a draft, I advised him to start all over again. It consisted of this kind of thing: I climbed the stairs, the smell of excrement and boiled cabbage.. Continue reading

Writing Secrets: Making the Intentions Work for You

2017_01 text bubbleEach morning that I sit down to write I think I won’t be able to do it.

I know it’s pathetic. I’ve written five books, but when I contemplate a day’s writing, I panic.

When that happens, anything seems more appealing than staring at a blank screen. I’ve been drawn to do the most extraordinary things: like tidy out all the cupboards or wipe the kitchen drawers. I know, can you believe it? … Continue reading

The New Year’s Promise

2017 sucess sqI hope your new year’s resolution involved fostering your creativity rather than your business success or your abs.

I’m not against gyms and I’m certainly not anti-success. Happy new year, by the way. But our lives are so busy that we need that other dimension for true happiness. We need time to day-dream, time to exercise our creative muscles.

I truly believe it’s essential to our mental and spiritual health… Continue reading