Account Login

Blog Archives

Break your lines

Do read Ann and Peters writing tip first that goes with this exercise:

Have a look at how various writers break their lines and particularly to seek out a piece of blank verse – and then write a piece of contemporary blank verse.


  • Iambic pentameter as we know has nine, ten or eleven syllables to allow five stresses in a pattern of unstressed stressed/unstressed stress etc. syllables. E.g. ‘And leave/ the world/ to dark/ ness and/to me.’
  • Nowadays we still see roughly five stressed syllables in a line but often in among several more unstressed syllables.
  • Now mostly we want verse to be smart-casual, nearer to real speech, or at any rate we prefer it to disguise its poetry.
Find out more

Drawing your childhood memories

We all have child’s eye views – many in fact. Some might say we’re already a step ahead…

Find out more

Trusting the power of gravity

As a competitive fellrunner (and avid cyclist, mountaineer, swimmer etc. etc. you get the idea) I’m fascinated by…

Find out more

Don’t write poems – write an artwork, a musical composition, a dance

What if we quit thinking of poetry as a literary form, and instead conceive of it as a…

Find out more

Writing the unspoken

quicken: to accelerate; to impart energy or liveliness to; to invigorate; to stimulate; to give life to; to…

Find out more

An art collaboration

You don’t have to know an artist to collaborate with them. They don’t even need to be alive….

Find out more

Free writing

Perennially useful.  Set a timer for 5 or 10 minutes. Start the timer and start writing, as fast…

Find out more

The process of writing is really two processes

The creative process is actually two separate processes: creation and criticism (editing). The biggest mistake an aspiring writer…

Find out more

Burning chair

Imagine that there is an armchair smouldering outside on the street. Begin by describing the chair in precise,…

Find out more

Getting started on your novel

The Simplest Exercise in the World Switch off the Internet. Set a timer for 15 minutes.  Open an…

Find out more

Where the wild things are – free writing

When I’m beginning a new poem I always start with free writing. Free writing is when you take…

Find out more

Starting to write

Have your clothes ready at the end of your bed for the next day. Do not waste a second…

Find out more