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October 2020

Writing through the pandemic

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We could write our way through the pandemic, couldn’t we? Well, we could try. But sometimes a lack of energy, time, and all that other stuff you need makes it seem impossible. Excuses! Excuses! Except they’re not excuses now are they? Not since March 2020.  People are meant to have… Read More »Writing through the pandemic

A ridiculous time to publish a book?

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What a ridiculous time to publish a book, you might think: businesses furloughed, bookshops closed for months, libraries mothballed, deliveries delayed. Yes indeed, but also: readers looking for diversion, people desperate for any printed material, an artist with time on his hands, a publisher who takes an interest, and a… Read More »A ridiculous time to publish a book?

Bare Bones 2

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So in the first part I talked about how to strip a story back to its basic plot, taking out the emotions, setting, adjectives and leaving just four or five sentences giving the outline of a plot. Now we need to put flesh back on those bones. Once you are… Read More »Bare Bones 2

Bare Bones Part 1

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In the March programme of Writers on Radio we focused on autobiography and family stories and I shared this method that traditional storytellers use when they begin to work with a story. Because we work with traditional material that already exists, rather than writing it from scratch as in most… Read More »Bare Bones Part 1

Ekphrastic Challenge

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First – find a painting. There are some great online resources to pick your way through, e.g. art gallery website collections and video tours and Time Out and The Guardian have lists of virtual tours across the world – see below: The Courtauld Gallery has a great virtual… Read More »Ekphrastic Challenge

Ekphrastic Writing 1

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BACKGROUND Ekphrastic has come to mean any writing – prose or poetry – in any form – which uses art as its stimulus.  The art can be painting, drawing, sculpture, dance, or any other art form. The term ekphrastic comes from a Greek expression for description and the earliest ekphrastic… Read More »Ekphrastic Writing 1