Archive for October, 2008

Craft ‘cozies’ – mysteries for crafters

Joanna Campbell SlanI love it when I come across a genre niche I’ve never heard of and I love it even more when I find a writer as savvy in marketing as he or she is in writing. I found both in Joanna Campbell Slan and her debut novel¬†Paper, Scissors, Death. This was my first introduction to the ‘craft cozy’ mystery genre and though talk of scrapbooking and other activities that an already¬†overworked woman and mother ‘should’ partake in normally turn me cold, this was strangely compelling. However, if I’m honest, my interest is more to do with the business and craft of writing than in scrapbooking or ‘cozy’ mysteries. But hey, that’s me; as Joanna shows, there are millions of readers out there who will lap this up. Go for it Joanna!
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What editors want – the right pitch

Who knows what’s in the mind of an editor? I decided to ask one of them for his top tips on pitching freelance work. Ian Wylie is editor of the Guardian newspaper’s weekly Work and Graduate sections. He also writes on business issues for a wide range of titles in the UK, Europe and US. In the last 12 months his features have been published in the Financial Times, LA Times, Monocle, Management Today, easyJet Inflight and Velocity. So over to Ian …

Ian Wylie, commissioning editorOccasionally poachers turn into gamekeepers, but few hold down both jobs at the same time. I’ve been a freelance journalist for 15 years, selling ideas to a variety of newspapers and magazines both in the UK and abroad. But for the last 10 years, I’ve combined my freelancing with a part-time job as a commissioning editor at a national newspaper.
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Screenwriting for Dummies

As some of you may already know, I’ve just made my first foray into screenwriting and have received a commission for a short film – ‘Enemy Lines’, produced by FNA Films. It will be screened next month in Newcastle. Since receiving that commission I’ve written another short film and have been hired to write the pilot of an animated children’s series – first draft in the bag.

Up until now I have simply been writing on instinct. I felt like a bit of a fake because I hadn’t read any screenwriting books and wasn’t fully aware of the ‘proper’ way of doing things. I had simply downloaded the free Scriptsmart Gold software from the BBC Writers’ Room and figured it out by trial and error and looking at sample scripts.
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Creating a Sense of Place

Have you ever read a book – fiction or non-fiction – in which you felt you had been transported to another world? You could almost feel it, taste it, touch it and smell it. How did the writer achieve that?

  1. They used their senses.
  2. They focused on a few choice details.
  3. They used imagery.
  4. They established power relations between the narrator / character / reader and their environment.

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