Category Archives: Tips on writing

The Elements of a Short Story

I often get asked if there is any sort of checklist for writing a short story.  And yes, I think there is.  Here is what I think a short story should include: A character who has a problem/conflict which must … Continue reading


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Four Reasons We Don’t Write – and What to Do About Them!

Motivation – one of my favourite subjects. Motivating yourself to write should be easy, shouldn’t it? After all, we want to write. Don’t we? So why is it so difficult to get started? Recognise any of these excuses – er hem, … Continue reading


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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


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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

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

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


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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


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Tips on Writing Flash Fiction

Flash Fiction is a term that can be applied to anything under 1000 words but more usually it’s shorter. For the purposes of this blog let’s say between 300 and 500 words. It shouldn’t be anecdotal, i.e. it should still … Continue reading


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Five Tips to Stay Inspired With Your Writing

Got an idea for a story? Write more than one opening paragraph – it takes the pressure off having to get it perfect. Keep writing openings until you feel the inspiration kick in.  This can sometimes take me a while. … Continue reading


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