The Semi-Colon

Reading Time: 5 minutes I was reading James Scott Bell’s Writing Fiction for All You’re Worth: Strategies and Techniques for Taking Your Fiction to the Next Level on my holiday (excellent – the only sunny week of the summer and we were in Kent!) and came across these comments: “Do not use semi-colons. They are tranvestite hermaphrodites representing absolutely nothing. All they do is show you’ve been to college.” – Kurt Vonnegut “For non-fiction, essays and scholarly writing, the semi-colon does serve a purpose; I’ve used them myself. In such writing you’re often stringing lots of thoughts together for a larger purpose and the semi-colon allows …

What’s in a name?

Reading Time: 3 minutes Names are a funny thing. As I know a lot of teachers, professionally and in my own family, it’s sometimes a topic of conversation – how someone can live up to their name without even knowing it. If you’ve got a Tyler in your class, beware! Emilys will usually be sweet and quiet, at least early on, and then you’ve got the more quirky – I once taught a class that had a Willow and a Branch in it! Of course, there are exceptions, but names are very powerful things – in old stories and ancient mythology, to know someone’s …

Rewriting endings

Reading Time: 3 minutes Rewriting stories is always the hardest part for me. Editing your own work is always difficult. Not the proof-reading or checking the spelling – although there, too, it’s always difficult to read what you’ve written instead of what you intended to write – but the fundamental plotline or needing to know a character better (or less!). As a writer, you know a lot more than the reader needs to but communicating it, or holding it back, is a really difficult balance. There are other reasons for rewriting as well, one of which I’m working with at the moment.

Locked In

Reading Time: 1 minute Just one of the research materials for the story I’m currently working on! It seems like a horrifying idea – that you can be completely conscious, even feeling whatever is going on, and yet not be able to communicate or move in any way. Everything you did would be at the whim of someone else, who might not even believe that you were able to hear or see them. Woman’s recovery from ‘locked-in’ syndrome