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- First drafts: allowing the worm to navigate the soils of your mind
- The boy whose butter I ate: writing from the inside out
- All a writer can ask
- Throwing away material without a sense of failure
- Playful child and iron teacher: the two halves of the writer
- What happens when a character’s skirt gets hitched in her knickers?
- It’s an anxious job, pulling out of the comfort zone
- Write of things you love
- Try to get ahead too fast and you might end up with your trousers round your ankles
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Tag Archives: short story
Isn’t it a little coarse to go and bang on the drums just because the doorbell is ringing?
I acted in a student film once and afterwards, at the wrap party in a fusty house at the top of town, I rode an office chair down the hill, flying across the junction at the bottom, ramming the pavement … Continue reading
Posted in Essay Tagged advice, Alice Munro, Creative writing, editing, Gabriela Blandy, how to write, short story, Writing, writing advice, Writing process 7 Comments
Writing isn’t just about having an idea – you have to know what to do with it
I’m sitting at the bar of a coffeeshop in Amsterdam, scribbling away. A man, standing next to me, gestures at my notebook and says: what do you write? I’m actually writing about my notebook, I tell him. Some people who … Continue reading
Posted in Essay, Fiction, Memoir, Travel Tagged Creative writing, editing, Fiction, Gabriela Blandy, how to write, Memoir, short story, travelling, Writer's block, Writing, writing advice, Writing process 18 Comments
That tightrope moment in writing when stories either plummet or remain
Any story that’s going to be any good is usually going to change. I’ve been reading Alice Munro again. There was a point when I suddenly became afraid of the day I’d read all her stories and no more were … Continue reading
Posted in Essay, Memoir Tagged Alice Munro, Creative writing, editing, Fiction, Gabriela Blandy, how to write, Memoir, Review, short story, Writing, writing advice 25 Comments
The soft haze of mystery
The summer Jake turned fourteen, he caught a sudden glimpse of his aunt undressing – a roundness of flesh in between her body and arm as she removed her bra. His head fogged up, but through his blood came a … Continue reading
Posted in Fiction Tagged Fiction, Garden, Relationships, short story, Summer Love 46 Comments
The art of becoming an original writer in three days!
We talk about that first ‘bite’ we get as a writer, the first punch of an idea. Something catches our eye – a painting, or a conversation between two people across the room. We watch. Suddenly we start to imagine … Continue reading
Shockproof shit detector: the editor’s perspective
The late 1970s and early 1980s saw a new kind of fiction, best exemplified by the short story collections of Raymond Carver. In 1981 his best-loved collection was published. ‘What We Talk About When We Talk About Love’ recorded the … Continue reading
Shouldn’t I be able to use all my published books as furniture by now?
I have recently been on a hunt for Alice Munro. When I reached the Canadian border the other week, a lady in the passport control booth asked me where I was heading. Goderich, I told her, grinning ludicrously about … Continue reading
Posted in Essay, Memoir, Travel Tagged Alice Munro, Gabriela, Gabriela Blandy, How to, Natalie Goldberg, sense of a journey, short story, Writing 43 Comments
What happens when a character’s skirt gets hitched in her knickers?
Character is arguably the single most important component of the novel…nothing can equal the great tradition of the European novel in the richness, variety and psychological depth of its portrayal of human nature. David Lodge When I was ten, … Continue reading
Posted in Essay, Memoir Tagged advice, Character, Characterisation, David Lodge, editing, essay, Gabriela, Gabriela Blandy, how to write, Memoir, short story, Writing, writing advice, Writing process 56 Comments
Try to get ahead too fast and you might end up with your trousers round your ankles
When I left drama school, I expected to become a successful actress immediately. I sent my headshot to directors and agents. Every time the phone rang, my heart convulsed, but usually it was my mother, wanting to know about my … Continue reading
Posted in Memoir Tagged Acting, Autobiography, drama school, Gabriela Blandy, how to write, Memoir, short story, writing advice, Writing process 72 Comments
First drafts: allowing the worm to navigate the soils of your mind
I decided to go on a retreat a few years ago. When people asked me why, I tried to explain, but always got a sense I’d left something out; I circled back to the beginning, tried again. Words followed words, … Continue reading
Posted in Essay, Memoir Tagged A writer, Be, Become, Belief, essay, fear, Fiction, Gabriela, Gabriela Blandy, Good PRose, Hilary Mantel, Honest, honesty, How to, Memoir, Novel, Process, Short Stories, short story, Talent, True, Truthful, What is, Write, Writer's block, Writers Resources, Writing 63 Comments