Archive for January, 2008

The Crafty Writer Book Club is Open!

Welcome to the very first Crafty Writer Book Club discussion. As promised, we’ll be looking at Val McDermid’s The Grave Tattoo from a writer’s perspective. I’ll get the discussion rolling by posing a few questions or making comments relating to the following:

Continue reading ‘The Crafty Writer Book Club is Open!’

Book Club reminder

For all of you who have signed up for the Book Club, we will be opening for discussion on Monday. So you’ve still got the weekend to finish reading The Grave Tattoo. How it will work Continue reading ‘Book Club reminder’

An e-book story

American author Marvin Wilson has released his second novel, Owen Fiddler, as an E-book and is currently on a whirlwind cyber book tour. Being a bit of an e-book skeptic, I was so intrigued by his in-your-face and innovative promotion tactics that I decided to find out a bit more about the project: Continue reading ‘An e-book story’

Ideas for writing a weekly column

One of the things with blogging is how to think of something unique to say every week – or everyday if you’re really enthusiastic. As I’ve confessed before, I’m a reluctant blogger, and don’t believe in blogging for blogging’s sake. I’m first and foremost a writer and writing teacher who uses a blog as a tool for writing, teaching and publicity. But my internet manager keeps telling me I need to ‘just get stuff up there’! Now that’s a bit cynical if you ask me, but hey, that’s his job. And if it wasn’t for ‘him’ I wouldn’t be here in the first place. Anyway, I think I’ve come up with an idea that will keep us both happy. Continue reading ‘Ideas for writing a weekly column’

Breaking the Block

Writer’s block can halt productivity for days or merely hours, but it can be broken with positive action and a deliberate motivation to do so and a few techniques.

I was planning on writing a post on the mythical Writers’ Block, but another blogger beat me to it. Check out this great article on Breaking the Block by Neil Dixon:

You may also want to visit Neil’s new initiative, which looks like it’s going to make a positive contribution to the writing blogosphere. I particularly like his realistic approach to writing and publishing by refusing to lead people into believing that they too can be the next Dan Brown.

Crafty Writer’s Book Club Launch

It’s a new year, so time for a new initiative: the Crafty Writer’s Book Club. Unlike most other book clubs or reading groups, this will focus on learning the business and craft of writing.

At the beginning of each month we will nominate a book to read from the current bestsellers’ lists, then, at the end of the month we will discuss the book and see how the author put together a top-selling product. We will look at creative writing techniques such as plotting, characterisation, style and structure and see what we can learn, as well as considering the book’s genre and market placement. Although I will be leading the discussions, my hope is that you all will be willing to contribute and that we can learn from each other’s views on what makes (or does not make) the book tick. If you have not already done so, you may want to work through my free Introduction to Creative Writing course, which will give you a foundation from which to start commenting. Continue reading ‘Crafty Writer’s Book Club Launch’

American Writing Markets

As a British-based writer I’m aware that the majority of my posts to this site are a bit Anglocentric. So whenever I come across something of benefit to my North American readers I get excited. I’ve just started subscribing to a market listing which gives an up-to-date overview of some of the more unusual US and international markets. There is a subscription fee, but in my opinion it’s worth it. However, be warned, many market listings out there are not worth the cyber-paper they’re written on. Only sign up to ones that other people recommend and never have a rolling stop order.

Screenplay success

I’m really chuffed that my first screenplay, Enemy Lines, is going to be made into a film. And thanks to Peter Dillon, my tutor, for helping me on my way. Enemy Lines is a five-minute film short about a British soldier returning from Iraq to face a barrage of anti-war protestors. It has been selected to be filmed for Northern Film and Media‘s Stingers 6 programme and will be screened in September 2008.
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Can you earn money as a writer?

Without wanting to get the year off to a depressing start, I couldn’t miss the opportunity to post this link about authors’ earnings from The Times.

In summary:

  • The majority of authors aged 24 – 35 earn an average of £5000 a year from their writing.
  • The majority of all authors earn less than a third of the UK national average wage (£28,000)
  • The majority of authors have to take on extra work to make ends meet
  • It may take up to 10 years before an author starts earning significant money from their writing.

Continue reading ‘Can you earn money as a writer?’