Writing Tips and Westcountry Ramblings

October 26, 2017

Storytellers understood nudge theory long before Richard Thaler got the Nobel Prize for it. They call it allegory: an extended metaphor, a parallel meaning, a disguised second narrative. It allows writers to tackle profound issues without seeming to lecture. It allows...

October 20, 2017

7 miles or so easy going with plenty of places to get fat or drunk.

I arrived early for this walk and found free parking on Millpond Ave. There really is a millpond and it’s quitely beautiful, which is not something Hayle’s town planners seem to have overly concerned...

October 12, 2017

According to my old university books, William James, the ‘father of American psychology’, came up with the term ‘stream of consciousness’ to describe the disjointed mix of thoughts, memories and fantasies that flow through our woken hours. Fortunately, when we articula...

October 8, 2017

10 miles easy going. Parking: layby on B3301 just west of Hell’s Mouth café.

With Hell’s Mouth café coming into view, the taxi driver nodded toward it and told me: ‘Recently, a man wandered in there with a dog, handed the waitress the lead and asked her to look after it...

September 27, 2017

Both have been in the new recently (between North Korea and Boris) but what are infinitives and when is the possessive s not included after the apostrophe? And should we care?

According to the Oxford Living Dictionaries' website, it’s debatable whether split infini...

September 19, 2017

Half a day’s walk - about 11 miles.

Portreath (means sandy cove according to Wikipedea) isn’t quaint, though it does have an attractive narrow harbour. Expensive new housing on the hills either side look down on a lot of low-cost and dull sixties and seventies (at a gue...

September 17, 2017

Two yellow footprints on a metal plate. Ordered to stand there, they weighed us as carefully as the suitcases. This is Lands’ End Airport. No body-scanners here, no frisking or passport checks—it’s weight that counts. A glance through the terminal’s large picture windo...

September 14, 2017

Words are water. They flow and sometimes they freeze, they evaporate and reappear elsewhere in storms and showers. Sometimes you drown in them and at other times your lips crack at the paucity. A writer has to treat this liquid lego with respect by, for instance, avoid...

September 7, 2017

Point of View (POV), the perspective a work of fiction is written from, is more complicated than first-person (I/we), second-person (you/your) or third-person (s/he). There’s also who’s point of view. Is it to be the protagonist or antagonist, a lesser character maybe,...

August 30, 2017

All good fiction writing is about life, about characters suffering some sort of crisis. It might be a failing marriage, a zombie attack, an unsolved murder or something more subtle or crazy, but it will be about a life or lives the reader can believe in, turned upside...

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Location: Exeter, Devon.

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