Find the shape of your story
Pick up one of the books you really like – it doesn’t matter if it’s fiction or non-fiction. Skim through it again, or just refresh yourself by looking at the table of contents or chapter headings (if applicable). Think of the shape and try out various sketches, until you feel you’ve captured a diagram that represents how it’s put together.
Now do that with another book.
And now shift to trying it for your own work! Sketch until you find a shape that satisfies your story. If your work isn’t finished, sketch what you’ve told, then sketch how you want your work to proceed.
With that as a guide editing will be easy, and eternal glory – or at least a nicely cohesive book – shall be yours.Find out more
Shaping the flow of writing
This is very odd, but when it comes to non-fiction I like drawing little pictures of the inner…Find out more
Read As If Your Life Depended On It
In What Is Found There: Notebooks on Poetry and Politics the great American poet Adrienne Rich says “You…Find out more
Reconsider the mundane
Think of a hobby or passion you have, outside of writing and literature. So perhaps baking, or dancing,…Find out more
Rupture the mundane
I don’t want to burst anyone’s bubble, but having the perfect thing to write about isn’t actually enough;…Find out more
How to radically rewrite
Word processing has been a gift to writers. No more typing out pages and pages of manuscript, no…Find out more
Take a piece of writing. It might be a poem or short story. It might be a play…Find out more
Identify your loudest criticism of yourself as a writer, and also consider what its opposite could be. Eg:…Find out more
Asking… what if?
The term ‘speculative fiction’ is often used in vague ways – crossing a variety of genres such as…Find out more
The importance of reading
Reading is food for the mind. Eat — read —well, every day. Read a varied diet. Some books…Find out more
Curate your own literary festival
Please read Jay’s exercise in conjunction with her tip (click here): Go on a reading adventure. Remember Picasso’s…Find out more
Stop Writing! – A tip from Arvon Chair, Jeremy Treglown
This tip was written by Arvon’s Chair, Jeremy Treglown. Creativity flourishes on stimulation, exercise, hard work, but it…Find out more