Forum Discussions (12)

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Weekend writing workshop – taking inspiration from your surroundings

Weekend writing workshop – taking inspiration from your surroundings Writers! Fancy writing in a house on a hill? Looking to learn more ab…

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 written by writers that have a keen understanding of the need to intrigue the reader by creating te…

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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Chance for Dumfries and Galloway writers to get spooky with ghost story workshop

Bookings are starting to come from authors after Buittle Castle and best-selling novelist John Dean teamed up to run a workshop on how to write a ghost story in the spooky surroundings of the Medieval Tower House near Dalbeattie, Dumfries and Galloway. However, there are plenty more places available.The event, which will take place between 3-8pm on Halloween, Thursday…See More
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Book Week Scotland talks announced

Best-selling crime novelist John Dean will help library-goers in Dumfries and Galloway to celebrate Book Week Scotland with a talk looking at the conversation between writer and reader.The theme of Book Week Scotland this year is Blether and John will look at how you can’t always trust the writer to tell the truth!He will give talks at: Tuesday 19th November – Dalry Library 11.00amThursday 21st November – Kirkcudbright Library 2.00pmBoth events are free but places must booked from Kirkcudbright…See More
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Blizzard faces up to conflict

Time and time again in my writing, I come back to the theme of conflict., It is what makes fiction work.But why is it important? Because stories need things to happen and that usually comes out of conflict - characters argue, fight, feud etc. It is through seeing characters in conflict that we see them at their truest, when their guard is down, when they are fighting…See More
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Keeping secrets

I am writing the latest DCI Jack Harris crime novel and, although I plotted it pretty carefully in advance, the characters are doing a lot of the work for me as I write, throwing up questions and hinting at secrets.It reminded me how important secrets are to a crime writer. It is crucial that your characters are hiding things. They may reveal their secrets to the reader but it can be a very effective storytelling tool if the investigators are in the dark until the story comes to its dramatic…See More
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