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April 2015

March 2015

Writing Emotion: is less more, and how do you make it real?

Back when I posted about how showing and telling should co-operate, not compete, a commenter said this: I struggle with showing my main character's emotion, over-complicating things in my attempt to avoid signals and abstract nouns. I'd love to pull off a reserved first person narrator, one you feel for, while she's trying to hide her pain even from herself, but so far not succeeded. I know what she means. In theory we all know that Less is More (except when it isn't) but how can you be sure the reader doesn't just understand, but really feels what's going on... Read more →


Join us on the Itch of Writing Workshop Retreat 15th-17th May 2015

ONE PLACE STILL LEFT ON THE ITCH OF WRITING WORKSHOP RETREAT! Writing can be - and maybe should be - stitched into your everyday life. But sometimes a short break, leaving all the quotidian rubbish behind, can free you to think, play, experiment and submerge in a project in a way which is very difficult when your mind is cluttered with the school run and the annual report. So I'll be leading a new Itch of Writing Workshop Retreat from Friday 15th to Sunday 17th May 2015, at Retreats for You in Sheepwash, North Devon, and I'd love to have... Read more →


All the posts I mentioned at the Getting Published conference

I spent Saturday at the Getting Published conference, and in the course of a day of workshops, one-to-ones and industry panels, I mentioned several blogposts. So this is a list of all the ones I can remember. There are lots more in the Tool-Kit, but if I mentioned another one and you can't find it, do just mention it in the comments and I'll try to dig it up and post a link. SHOWING AND TELLING http://emmadarwin.typepad.com/thisitchofwriting/showing-and-telling-the-basics.html PSYCHIC DISTANCE http://emmadarwin.typepad.com/thisitchofwriting/psychic-distance-what-it-is-and-how-to-use-it.html HOW TO MAKE YOUR TELLING SHOWY http://emmadarwin.typepad.com/thisitchofwriting/2011/10/are-you-showing-too-much.html LONG SENTENCES http://emmadarwin.typepad.com/thisitchofwriting/2008/09/in-praise-of-the-long-sentence.html HANDLING LONG SENTENCES http://emmadarwin.typepad.com/thisitchofwriting/2009/09/the-right-words-in-the-right-order.html FREE INDIRECT STYLE http://emmadarwin.typepad.com/thisitchofwriting/2013/09/free-indirect-style-what-it-is-and-how-to-use-it.html POINT OF... Read more →


"Who's Telling the Story?" All the posts I mentioned at City University CW MA

Yesterday evening I spent a couple of hours working with the students of City University's collected Creative Writing MA courses. It's a two-year MA, structured round writing a complete project - novel, non-fiction or script, and my talk was called "Who's Telling the Story? Voice, viewpoint and narrative in fiction and creative non-fiction", and in the course of it, several blog posts were mentioned: I promised I'd post the links when I got a moment. So, here they are, and if anyone who was there can remember one I've forgotten, then do mention it in the comments, and I'll dig... Read more →


The Itch of Writing Bookshelf 5: Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy by John le Carré

Click here for the full (or rather, rapidly filling) Itch of Writing Bookshelf, and if you're looking for books to help with your writing directly, then click through to Books for Writers. TINKER TAILOR SOLDIER SPY, by John le Carré 1969, or thereabouts: a damaged man arrives at a run-down West Country prep school, and a minor Secret Service thug, posted as a defector to Soviet Russia, turns up in Ascot with a nightmare of a story about the Secret Service. The only people who are - probably - sufficiently outside the new regime of London Circus to be trusted... Read more →