1000 Followers!

This is unprecedented, unreal, unbelievable! To have reached 1000 followers on this blog of mine is truly humbling. If you had said to me, when I started uploading my ramblings, that I’d have reached a hundred followers I would have laughed. After that, I would’ve continued to face-plant my keyboard in the never ending search for inspiration.

But here we are, and I’m incredibly thankful for it. When I started writing this blog, I didn’t have a clear idea of what I actually wanted to do with it. It has certainly evolved from the haiku, clunky prose, and sparse verse of my past. The truth is the more I write on here, the more comfortable I become as both a blogger and a writer. It’s a lovely feeling, and as a community, you’ve all been wonderful to me – thank you.

*Gives you all an internet high-five*

That being said, I still have a long way to go! The good news? I have plans (muahaha) *rubs hands in anticipation*.  So yes, this blog post is a little bit more than a quick thank you, I have some stuff to announce.

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There is Nothing Sweeter than a Free Book!

A London Book Haul

You may have noticed that I’ve been to The London Book Fair, god knows my Twitter feed has been full of stuff about it.

For those of you who don’t know much about it, The London Book Fair is the global marketplace for rights negotiation and the sale and distribution of content across print, audio, TV, film and digital channels.

It is an annual event that sees more than 25,000 publishing professionals, authors, and students arrive in London for the week of the Fair to network, attend seminars, and kick off the year of business.

Perhaps even more important, however, is the metric tonne of free stuff that one can acquire. Continue reading “There is Nothing Sweeter than a Free Book!”

I Went to The London Book Fair

We stumbled out of Baron’s Court tube station looking lost and feeling overwhelmed. I, clutching my new oyster card, walked over to a map and pretended that I knew what I was looking for. I had obviously failed because a kindly old lady approached me, observed my pained visage, and gave me and the group the directions we needed.

That was the first surprise London afforded me! I had been led to believe that everyone in London was stuck in tunnel vision mode. That they were too rude and/or indifferent to bother with a lost looking group of master’s students. At least, that is what I had been told.

Unfortunately, that soon became the truth as pedestrians elbowed us aside, people cut in front of us, and drivers beeped their car horns and swore under their breath as we failed to cross the road quick enough.

Ah! Finally, the ‘authentic’ London experience. Continue reading “I Went to The London Book Fair”

Show, Don’t Tell: Is it That Simple?

Anyone that has ever taken a creative writing course or an interest in the subject has most likely encountered the famous phrase: show, don’t tell! I’ve received this as feedback countless times and have been told the phrase even more so. But what I haven’t often been battered over the head with, is what show, don’t tell actually bloody means!

It is often said that showing, not telling, is the best way to write fiction. This opinion often stems from the fact that people who are just beginning to write have a tendency to tell the audience about everything happening in a story, rather than show them. This, of course, is not always the case. Even established authors can be guilty of over-telling.

Continue reading “Show, Don’t Tell: Is it That Simple?”

What is Writer’s Voice

Recently, I’ve read some fantastic articles about the phenomenon known as a ‘writer’s voice.’ Writer’s voice is something that has perplexed me for a long time and still does to some extent. It is one of those difficult to pin down terms. Speaking of pinning things down, in this article I will attempt to wrestle (yes, I’m off to a good start) with this difficult concept. Let’s begin.

What is voice?

I’ve been taking writing seriously for a number of years now, and during those years I’ve been taught a lot of things. These lessons have systematically divided writing into several neat compartments in my mind: structure, style, language, lexicon, pacing, theme, and characters to name a few. Voice is none of these, and I think that is why I struggle with it. It doesn’t fit neatly into a box, and I find that stressful.

So, if I can’t put it in a box, can I at least explain what it is? Yes, I can, or at least I can explain what I think it is. Writer’s voice, to me, is the real you that you express on the page. It is the real, unique, and unrestricted words which you place into each paragraph. The ones that allow people a deeper understanding of you, your characters, or your passions. A deeper understanding of your hopes, dreams, fears, beliefs, and attitudes. It is your story, de-fogged, for all to see.

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An Obstreperous Concatenation of Adumbration: Wednesday Wordage

Yes, the title makes no sense. Yes, it’s the use of big words for big word’s sake. No, I’m not going to change it!

There is a therapeutic quality that comes with leafing through a dictionary and looking for a new word, and there is always a new word. It’s something I particularly enjoy, searching through the dictionary. I tend to avoid looking at online dictionaries if I can help it, not because they are bad, inaccurate, or incomplete, but rather because there is no opportunity to roam pages full of other words. How else would one stumble upon words such as adumbrate?

We English speakers and writers are spoilt for choice when it comes to our lexicon, and it would be a shame if we didn’t take full advantage of the varied vocabulary afforded to us. This is where Wednesday Wordage comes in. Every week I’ll bring three new – unnecessarily fancy – words to the table, and all you have to do is pick the ones you like and throw them at your friends.

Continue reading “An Obstreperous Concatenation of Adumbration: Wednesday Wordage”

Primary Education is Lacking!

We spend a lot of time persuading others. Whether it is what kind of take-out food we want, what to watch at the cinema, or just exactly what to think of Donald Trump. One thing is certain, a lot more time than we think is spent trying to persuade. For most, persuasion is part of their daily routine. For some, their job is built entirely around it. We often see politicians persuading people that their party is the best, celebrities persuading the public to give to charity, lawyers persuading an audience of someone’s innocence or guilt.

So, it’s safe to say that the ability to persuade is pretty important, which is why my focus has been on classical rhetoric of late. If you’ve been following my blog recently, you may have noticed that I have been writing a lot about classical rhetoric and how it can improve writing. I have talked about structure and techniques, but – apart from some small quotes from literature – have provided very little in the way of an example of how it could be used. With this in mind, I have decided to give an example of a polemic I wrote a month or so before Christmas as a piece of coursework for my Master’s degree.

So what exactly is a polemic? It is, in the briefest terms, a strong verbal or written attack on someone or something. Politicians are often seen delivering these. The idea of a polemic is to persuade the audience, often by creating an emotional response or call to action.

Continue reading “Primary Education is Lacking!”