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March 2010

February 2010

Come back Mr Casaubon, all is forgiven

In putting together the list of Books for Writers, over there in Resources on the right-hand sidebar (which I keep adding to, and welcome more of your favourites in the comments), I realised that there's one kind of book I really, really wish someone would compile. There's nothing I enjoy more than a happy ten minutes (half hour... hour... Remind me what I was looking up?) pootling about in Brewer's Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, for example. But if I'm really in full, writerly cry, what I want is reverse dictionaries and encyclopaedias. For example, as a word-nerd I might... Read more →

Never mind what you're burning to write

I know a couple of writers who, offered a two-book contract on the basis of their first novel, turned it down on the grounds that the book they wanted to write next wasn't remotely like this one, and they didn't want to be tied into a contract that was expecting it to be aimed at the same sort of readers. (There are other more businessy reasons for turning down a two-book deal, but that's for another day and probably another blogger.) And if you get in among any gathering of literary-ish writers, much of the grumbling is about how publishers... Read more →

A Twist of Gold

Forgive me for how long it's been since my last post, but it's been a funny few days. Not, you understand, in a life-changing sort of way; in fact, my outside self is bored to tears because I've been doing almost nothing but work. My inside self, however, is feeling a bit shaky because I'm rapidly coming to the end of my life with this novel. A few weeks ago I was talking about the strangeness of the novel having become finite, though not finished, and since then I've been working my way through from the beginning, sorting out tweaks... Read more →