Writing Lessons 3

Writing Lessons 3

The third in the series…


Right, this is the third piece on my short run of ideas about getting started as a writer. If you haven’t looked, please go and check the first two items from this week.

So how did you get on with trying out different scenes to throw your guy into?

I’m going to give you some basic ideas now about the first stage of developing a story. This isn’t rocket science, it’s just a way to try to get your mind working more creatively. 

The real problem most people have with writing is, that they have no idea how to develop a basic idea. All too often I have people who come to me and say that they have this brilliant opening scene, but just cannot move on from it. I used to get that, back when I was starting out.

My own history is, that I was a computer…

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The Precarious Balance of a Writers’ Mental Health #Writing #MentalHealth

The Precarious Balance of a Writers’ Mental Health #Writing #MentalHealth

Everyone is different. But we still feel pain…

Motivate Me

My first published book received its 200th review on Amazon yesterday. Time for celebration you would think. Unfortunately, the rating was a one star ‘it was rubbish’ analysis. The reader didn’t connect with what I was trying to convey and was disappointed with her purchase.

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Writing Lessons 2

Writing Lessons 2

More sound advice from Michael in part two of his series…


This follows on from the post yesterday, so if you haven’t read that, it could be a good idea to take a quick look.

Right. Now, hopefully you will have a sheet of paper with a fair description of someone you know, someone you have met, or someone you have made up.

The first thing to say is, that this person is not going to have every aspect of his or her life put down on paper. When you read a book, you don’t want an entire character’s life set out in the first page. You want to be teased, with snippets of information that fill out the person spread out over some time, some chapters. My own rule of thumb is to give an outline of looks, of face, of clothing, of any tics that they have, and perhaps a few indicators of what sort of person the man…

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Notes from a small dog ~ Connivance

Poor little Ani 😦

Sue Vincent's Daily Echo

She made me have a bath again,
It really wasn’t fair.
I thought that I’d be safe, you know,
Because my boy was there.

She even played me false on that,
And put me on the leash,
I saw a nice walk happening,
Got all excited… sheesh!

Instead she dumped me in the bath
And made him hold me tight,
Then hosed me down with smelly stuff
I’d thought I smelled alright!

She rubbed me down and brushed me,
Even tried to trim my feet!
“Don’t worry, girlie, when we’re done
We’ll have you smelling sweet!”

I struggled, but they had me caught,
Connivance would prevail,
Between them, they had won the day
…She even combed my tail!

As soon as she released me,
I shot straight out through the door!
I tell you, never trust a bitch*
With fewer legs than four!

* My two-legs informs me that it…

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Writing Lessons 1

Writing Lessons 1

Commonsense writing tips from Michael 😉


I get a fairly regular number of emails and tweets from people who really want to write, but just cannot quite work out what to write.

Only this morning I had a rather desperate-sounding message from a guy who has all the tools, but as he said in his note, ‘I have tried and struggled with this for several weeks now … I just haven’t been able to make this work.’

It’s a real cry for help. So, for the next few weeks I will try to set out how a non-writer can move from that side of the fence to the ‘happily writing’ side in a few easy lessons. Or at least, the easiest I can work out!

So, here it begins.

First things first: you need to be quite sure that you want to write. You have to analyse why you are setting out on what is going…

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The Abstract Principle of Equality

More from the lovely Stefania 😉 x


It was 1871 when Swiss philosopher Henry Frèderic Amiel  pondered on the nature of democracy in his “Journal Intime”. It is impressive how Amiel in few clear words nails effectively the problems implied by a representation where one is worth one despite merit, experience, education etc. and foresees the processes that will shape the world as we know it. Of course, he could not predict how the impact of modern means of communications would have made the development of those processes more dangerous and faster with the consequences we know worldwide, however, his intuition has become astonishingly and bitterly true.

“The masses will always be below the average. Besides, the age of majority will be lowered, the barriers of sex will be swept away, and democracy will finally make itself absurd by handing over the decision of all that is greatest to all that is most incapable. Such…

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Writing or…


I used to have an old valve Gulbransen radio just like this one.

One thing you soon learn when either reading or writing is that the world around you is full of distractions, and for some – procrastination. If any of you are thinking I do not procrastinate, read that damn book you bought last year! As for distractions, television and computer games are the chief ones. Then there is family or friends wanting to have a deep and meaningful conversation/argument with you. Closely followed by idiots knocking on your door.

However I find it almost impossible to read or write in total silence. What is the answer? In my case it is to have either my television or my shortwave radio tuned to Classic FM or BBC Radio 3; and before you ask – no I do not listen to the Rock and Roll of my youth!!! You would be surprised how much easier classical or jazz makes both tasks easily achievable.

Both television and computer games demand your constant attention. listening to Rock and Roll tends to make you want to sing along. Never a good idea if your singing is as rubbish and out of tune as mine! Whereas neither listening to classical music nor jazz require you to look anywhere other than the pages of a book or to your computer screen and your current MS. With literally only three or four programs on television worth watching these days, I usually watch them via BBC Iplayer courtesy of my ancient Sony PS3 game console on the following morning after transmission. That leaves the rest of the day to read and write to my heart’s content.

See what I mean, no moving pictures just good music. In this case from Stephane Grapelli. Carry on reading and writing while you listen to the jazz maestro from yesteryear…