Category Archives: Writing

Writing Courses – Five tips on finding a good one?

I am lucky enough to be able to teach creative writing at various venues.  This is Woman’s Weekly’s new home at Canary Wharf. How can you fail to be inspired by this view? Tip Number One – Credibility Do the … Continue reading


Posted in Short stories for magazines, Woman's Weekly, Writing, Writing conferences & schools | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments

How much research should I do?

I can’t believe how long it is since I’ve blogged. So big apologies.  Where has the year gone? I think it’s summer isn’t it, although it doesn’t actually feel like it in deepest Dorset right now!  It’s all wind and … Continue reading


Posted in Questions from Dear Della, Tips on writing, Writing, Writing problems and solutions | Tagged , | 2 Comments

Where is your story set?

Settings are incredibly important for fiction. They are where our characters live and they are where we are going to take our readers. So for me, it’s important to choose a setting I know well. The setting for my latest series … Continue reading


Posted in Settings, The Reading Group, Tips on writing, Writing | Tagged | 3 Comments

Genre novels – what are they and how long are they?

Publishers and agents like to categorise novels into genre. Partly so they know which shelf to put your book on at the library/bookshop. Genre refers to the type of story you’re writing. Here are some of the most popular genres … Continue reading


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Writing The End First – Do you write chronologically? Or not?

I can’t believe how long it is since I wrote a post! It’s been mad lately. I’ve been writing the last part of my series, The Reading Group.  Part Five was the Summer Holiday. Blimey, that was definitely the trickiest. … Continue reading


Posted in Book Deals, Endings, Inspiration, plotting, The Reading Group, Tips on writing, Writing | Tagged , , , | 4 Comments

WRITING GOALS and the Rule of Three!

Do you, by any chance, have a New Year Resolution that involves writing? This idea might help you to keep it. The Rule of Three is one of the most powerful principles I have ever learned. With thanks to Jack … Continue reading


Posted in Flash Fiction, ideas, Inspiration, Short stories for magazines, The Reading Group, Tips on writing, Woman's Weekly, Writing | Tagged , , , , , | 6 Comments

My Top Ten Books for a Reading Group!

Have you ever been in a Reading Group? I haven’t, but I was recently asked for my top ten Reading Group Books – interesting question. It made me think. So I’ve reproduced them here – in reverse order. Would love … Continue reading


Posted in The Reading Group, Writing | Tagged , , | 5 Comments

The Long and Winding Road – to a Book Deal!

‘Whatever the struggle – continue the climb – it may only be one step to the summit.’ Diana Westlake This is a quote I keep over my desk – because blimey it’s so true of writing. The road to success … Continue reading


Posted in Book Deals, Inspiration, News, Writing | Tagged , , | 12 Comments

Creating Characters – How well do you know your imaginary people?

Sometimes a character comes into my head fully formed. Sometimes they are shadowy. Sometimes they are shy like real people and I have to get to know them slowly.  Interviewing them is good. These 21 questions are one of my … Continue reading


Posted in ideas, Inspiration, Tips on writing, Writing, Writing exercises | Tagged , , , , , , | 7 Comments

Writing Courses – are they worth it?

There are so many writing courses around these days. Universities run them, publishers run them, magazines run them. In fact every Tom, Dick and Harry (if you’ll excuse the cliche) runs writing courses. Even the smallest town has a literary … Continue reading


Posted in Short stories for magazines, Tips on writing, Woman's Weekly, Writing, Writing conferences & schools | Tagged , , | 11 Comments