Writing tips

Letting go 1

Letting go

Last week I wrote about ‘completion fear’ and was then asked if I’d ever thought it worthwhile letting go of a manuscript. The person asking was someone I’ve never met, except virtually. She did one of my short courses some years ago and has been on my Masterclass twice. The first time she wrote a novel called Suitcase of Memory which Kwela will publish in May next year. Her name is A’Eysha Kassiem.

Fear of finishing 2

Fear of finishing

Have you ever worried about finishing your manuscript? a student asked me recently. He should have completed his reworking of a first draft in March 2020 and it was now October. He’d started writing at the beginning of 2019. The intervening months of this year had been spent researching, adding text, deleting text, moving text …

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Writing a memoir 3

Writing a memoir

Writing a memoir, especially when it involves the famous, friends, family or foes, can be tricky. Do you get legal advice before you start? Do you write it all down and worry about the consequences afterwards? How are publishers going to react to a manuscript that could bring with it suits of defamation? I recently …

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Best practice writing tips 3 4

Best practice writing tips 3

While reading Len Deighton’s Spy Sinker this week I came across a passage which well illustrates what not to do when writing dialogue. And because dialogue is a vital part of any novel you really do need to get it right. It’s about the use of names when characters are addressing one another. How often …

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Best practice writing tips 2

An interview with the literary website LitNet last week, brings me to the second of my writing tips thanks to a reader. I was asked by LitNet’s Naomi Meyer how writing non-fiction stories differed from fiction.  My response was: “With non-fiction, as you know, you are tethered to what happened. However, non-fiction narrative has come …

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