OCA tutor Guy Mankowski’s ten tips to (hopefully) improve your sentences.
I often use the analogy of the ‘scale’ of a character in teaching. In this metaphor, a good storyteller penetrates the layers of a character right from the very top of their scale (that is in terms of their surface features, or what we would see about this character if we first meet them) right down to the bottom of their scale (which is their ‘core’).
reative Writing tutor Vicky MacKenzie will be getting a dose of her own medicine in June when one of her short stories is critiqued by writer A L Kennedy in front of a live audience. This event will take place at the Byre Theatre in St Andrews on 20th June.
The author event. That mercurial entity where the audience expects magic from the author and the author somehow expects…well if not magic then what? Some kind of sense of connection with an audience? An audience they would otherwise experience only through Amazon reviews?
Barbara Henderson, programme leader, tutor and assessor for Creative Writing, looks at the flash fiction work of Eve Turner on her level 3 (HE6)…
Usually when a novel comes out I have found you have about six weeks. Then (unless there is some unexpected surprise further down the line) a subtle but pronounced fade in the attention your book gets. For my last novel, An Honest Deceit, it has happily been a different experience.
Creative writing tutor and programme leader Barbara Henderson’s fifth novel will be released on 1 March. Barbara uses the writing name Bea Davenport for her children and adult fiction. The Misper, her latest novel, is aimed at readers aged thirteen-plus.
Have a look around you. What could you animate? A coffee cup that hates tea? A printer that has a mind its own? A camera that takes pictures when no one’s looking? There are endless possibilities…
If you’re going to write disabled characters, try putting one arm in a sling or wearing an eye-mask or ear plugs all day. Remember everything. And then feel thankful that your disability was only temporary.
Through my writers’ group, I’ve met far too many talented writers who are frozen with fear when it comes to submitting their work for publication. I can understand why; I went through it myself. For years I would whip up tsunami-sized excuses as to why my work wasn’t good enough to be inflicted on others. Then something happened: I finally let go of my fears and insecurities, and my work found its way into the inbox of a publisher.
Getting the child’s voice right in writing for children is easier than using a child narrator, or child’s eye view in free indirect discourse when writing for adults. If you have a child narrator in adult fiction, you have to decide if the narrator is looking back with hindsight or whether they are pretending to still be the child they were. There are plenty of examples of both of these approaches and some narratives that fall between the two extremes.