John Dean's Blog (108)

So where do those ideas come from?

I’ve been doing a lot of teaching on the idea of ideas lately and came across these excellent quotes.

• People always want to know: Where do I get my ideas? They're everywhere. I'm inspired by people and things around me. (Gwendolyn Brooks, American poet)

• My standard answer is "I don't know where they come from, but I know where they come to, they come to my desk." If I'm not there, they go away again, so you've got to sit and think. (Philip Pullman, English writer)

•…

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Added by John Dean on September 7, 2017 at 9:35 — No Comments

The golden rules of writing

Here are my golden rules for writing.

* Consider the reader - do not write for yourself, always write for the reader.

* Be disciplined - you may wish to pack lots of information in but does the reader need it?

* You may not have put enough information in - you can imagine where a scene is set but have you given the reader the information they need? You may have drawn a character but can your readers see…

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Added by John Dean on August 31, 2017 at 14:50 — No Comments

So what makes good crime fiction?

Following the news that I am to run an online crime fiction course (details in the blog below), I thought it would be useful to look at how to write a good crime story:

* The story should be strong and one that can be told in a short story (most crime stories are novels)

* Create a strong sense of place - the reader must be able to visualise where the action happens

* Create strong characters - do not stray…

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Added by John Dean on August 21, 2017 at 16:31 — No Comments

Online crime fiction course is launched

Crime novelist and creative writing tutor John Dean has launched an online Crime Fiction Course.

John, author of 12 novels published by Robert Hale, and the creator of DCI John Blizzard and DCI Jack Harris, also runs Inscribe Media Ltd, which is based in Darlington in North East England, which will be offering the course.

The online course, which runs in eight parts and can begin at a time and date to suit the student, will help writers to improve their technique and improve…

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Added by John Dean on August 21, 2017 at 16:28 — No Comments

So, where do ideas come from?

I’ve been doing a lot of teaching on the idea of ideas lately and came across these excellent quotes.

·         People always want to know: Where do I get my ideas? They're everywhere. I'm inspired by people and things around me. (Gwendolyn Brooks, American poet)

·         My standard answer is "I don't know where they come from, but I know where they come to,…

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Added by John Dean on August 21, 2017 at 15:47 — No Comments

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 that situation, ‘I know someone like that’, ‘what a terrible thing to be faced with’ etc etc.

If readers feel like that, it means that they are being drawn into the story. They stand next to your characters, they fear for what is about to happen, they simply must know what is on the next page.

If a reader does…

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Added by John Dean on August 21, 2017 at 15:43 — No Comments

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 face value.

The technique has been used for many centuries but only became known as such in the 1960s. Sometimes, the narrator is unreliable by the nature of the character, such terrible people that they cannot tell their stories objectively and resort instead to lies and deceit.

There is another type of…

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Added by John Dean on August 17, 2017 at 13:51 — No Comments

DCI Jack Harris novels are published

Check out my latest crime novels from The Book Folks, all DCI Jack Harris tales set in the North Pennines.

Dead Hill…

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Added by John Dean on June 23, 2017 at 16:00 — No Comments

Open mic nights

The seventh season of Open Mic nights for authors will start on Thursday September 28 after the summer break.

Supported by Darlington for Culture, the nights offer a forum for writers to read their material and audiences to enjoy it and run at Voodoo Café/Cantina, 84 Skinnergate, Darlington, on the last Thursday of the month.

The nights have given dozens of writers from Darlington and further afield…

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Added by John Dean on May 26, 2017 at 9:00 — No Comments

How to write crime fiction

We run an online crime fiction course (you can email me on deangriss@btinternet to find out more) so I thought it would be useful to look at how to write a good crime story:

 

* The story should be strong and one that can be told in a short story (most crime stories are novels)

* Create a strong sense of place - the reader must be able to…

Continue

Added by John Dean on February 8, 2017 at 11:00 — No Comments

Go where the idea takes you

The more I talk to writers, the more I realise the passion that they hold for their art and one subject that seems to evoke stronger reactions than most is ‘where do stories come from?’

This comes to mind because I am teaching a plotting masterclass at Greenfield Arts Centre in Newton Aycliffe on February 16. There are those writers who argue that ideas come out of real life experiences. You go through it as a writer, therefore you are able to best tell the story.

Others recoil…

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Added by John Dean on February 6, 2017 at 11:00 — No Comments

Author launches online crime fiction course

Crime novelist and creative writing tutor John Dean has launched an online Crime Fiction Course.

John, author of 12 novels published by Robert Hale, and the creator of DCI John Blizzard and DCI Jack Harris, also runs Inscribe Media Ltd, which is based in Darlington in North East England, which will be offering the course.

The online course, which runs in eight parts and can begin at a time and date to suit the student, will help writers to improve their technique and improve…

Continue

Added by John Dean on January 16, 2017 at 16:33 — No Comments

Open mic to b held

The season of Open Mic nights for authors will  continue on Thursday January 26..

The nights, supported by Darlington for Culture and which offer a forum for writers to read their material and audiences to enjoy it, run at Voodoo Café/Cantina, 84 Skinnergate, Darlington, on the last Thursday of the month.

Now in their sixth year, the nights have…

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Added by John Dean on January 16, 2017 at 16:11 — No Comments

Beginner's classes

I am doing two beginner's masterclasses at Greenfield Arts Centre in Newton Aycliffe in February and March - you can email me on deangriss@btinternet.com for details

Added by John Dean on January 16, 2017 at 16:00 — No Comments

Creating the triangle

Good story writing depends on many things but can be boiled down to three factors, the triangle.

At the top is the narrative, a strong story, plenty of pace, a tale that enthrals the readers.

At one bottom corner is a sense of place, a strong sense of where the action is taking place.

At the other corner is a sense of being, the creation of characters strong and interesting enough to carry the story.

Get…

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Added by John Dean on October 20, 2016 at 9:57 — No Comments

Masterclasses

I am running two masterclasses as part of Darlington Arts Festival 2017

Saturday May 6

A Touch of Villainy–   Crime Fiction Masterclass

Friends’ Meeting House, Skinnergate, Darlington 10am-4pm

Run by crime novelist John Dean, the creator of the DCI John Blizzard and DCI Jack Harris series of books, this masterclass shows you how to create a crime novel

Booking in…

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Added by John Dean on October 20, 2016 at 9:30 — No Comments

Open mic to be held

The new season of Open Mic nights for authors will continue on Thursday November 24. The nights, supported by Darlington for Culture and which offer a forum for writers to read their material and audiences to enjoy it, run at Voodoo Café/Cantina, 84 Skinnergate, Darlington, on the last Thursday of the month.

Now in their sixth year, the nights have given dozens of writers from Darlington and further afield the opportunity to read work including poetry, short stories, novel extracts…

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Added by John Dean on October 20, 2016 at 9:30 — No Comments

Open mic night to be held

The Open Mic night for authors season continues on Thursday May 26 as part of Darlington Arts Festival.

The nights, supported by Darlington for Culture and which offer a forum for writers to read their material and audiences to enjoy it, run at Voodoo Café/Cantina, 84 Skinnergate, Darlington, on the last Thursday of the month. Each session starts at 7pm and the cost of entry is £3 paid on the door.

More information is available from Inscribe Media Limited at…

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Added by John Dean on May 19, 2016 at 16:53 — No Comments

Crime and thriller writers in conversation

Darlington Arts Festival has seen a new series of events this year in the form of three In Conversation With… events featuring published authors. The third and final one is

Monday May 23 In Conversation with …..crime and thriller writers Mike Beck, Roger Barnes, Bud Craig and Pam Plumb, the final evening in the festival’s In Conversation With published writers series. Crown Street Library 7pm

Chaired by crime writer…

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Added by John Dean on May 19, 2016 at 16:30 — No Comments

Chance to nominate your favourite crime writer

The UK-based Crime Writers’ Association has asked book lovers across the nation to nominate their favourite crime authors for the 2016 Dagger In The Library award.

This literary prize is a unique part of the Dagger Awards because the nominations are made by crime readers and are in celebration of an author’s entire body of work, not just one individual book.

The CWA continues to be inspired by readers, who flock to libraries to devour crime books. The Dagger In The Library was…

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Added by John Dean on November 11, 2015 at 8:34 — No Comments

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