Forum Discussions (12)

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Weekend writing workshop – taking inspiration from your surroundings

Writers! Fancy writing in a house on a hill? Looking to learn more about how writers draw inspiration from their surroundings? Like to fin…

Started by John Dean

0 Feb 4

Libraries Champions

John is one of the new Libraries Champions based in England, Scotland and Wales, appointed by The Crime Writers’ Association in Summer 2018…

Started by John Dean

0 Sep 12, 2018

Blizzard series

I have read a number of the Blizzard series on Kindle—Strange Littke Girl,The Railway Man, The Secrets Man and The Long Dead. Got The Latch…

Started by Deborah Kaback

1 Aug 8, 2018
Reply by John Dean

Creating something special

For me, there are plenty of examples of stories which are well written - well-crafted and technically competent. Often, they are very, very…

Started by John Dean

0 Mar 16, 2018

Creating intrigue

Good short stories and novels are often by writers that have a keen understanding of the need to intrigue the reader by creating tension. I…

Started by John Dean

0 Mar 16, 2018

Getting it right from the beginning

One of my students came up with a cracking first line the other day and it got me thinking about one of my favourite topics. A busy and har…

Started by John Dean

0 Mar 16, 2018

How to create characters

A lot of my teaching focuses on characters (they are at the heart of my classes, they are, after all, our major tools as writers). So how d…

Started by John Dean

0 Mar 16, 2018

What makes good writing?

What makes good writing? I think good writing is good writing because it triggers responses in its readers. Readers say ‘I have been in tha…

Started by John Dean

0 Mar 16, 2018

Where do ideas come from?

I’ve been doing a lot of teaching, and giving talks, on the idea of ideas lately and came across these excellent quotes. ·         People a…

Started by John Dean

0 Mar 16, 2018

The unreliable narrator

I recently taught a course part of which focused on the unreliable narrator, a character who tells a story that the reader cannot take at f…

Started by John Dean

0 Mar 16, 2018

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A question of pace

I am editing the first draft of a new Jack Harris novel at the moment and my big preoccupation is pace.Learning how to write a narrative with the right pace is one of the most crucial writing skills. Get it wrong and you are jeopardising your chances of success. Get it right and you are onto something.In this case, there are some sections where characters are repeating what others have already said in other passages.Deleting some lines has removed such sections, eradicated the slowing of pace…See More
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