I am passionate about the craft of creative writing. Whilst clearly some people have more of a natural talent for writing than others, there is much that can be learned to improve and hone your work and with time, attention and love that is possible for everyone at any level. I really enjoy teaching creative writing. I teach it for the Open University at both introductory and advanced level and also run a number of workshops around the country and in schools. Here I share just a few thoughts on the craft of writing and the funny old business of being a writer...
Want to hear my thoughts on how Fantasy and Historical fiction are like east and west – and certainly meet on the other side! Well pop over to the brilliant blog of the lovely Helen Hollick here
Save us from Dry January Or – why must we make resolutions? I’m not an exponent of dry January – not because I’m weak-willed or borderline alcoholic (though the latter at least may be true) but because January is a dark, long, tough month and far from the ideal time to be setting yourself challenges […]
One of the inherent problems of being a writer is that you work for yourself and I find that brings with it all the usual issues faced by the self-employed, nicely laced with an additional dose of paranoia and a tendency to the over-dramatic. I’ve built up my working hours year on year as my […]
I cannot write straight to screen. At least, I occasionally can for short stories or more factual pieces but when it comes to the first draft of a novel, I have to write it pen in hand. I just find that my ideas seem to flow so much more naturally if they go straight from […]
Life as a working mum can often feel like throwing yourself off a cliff (as I’m doing on holiday last summer here!). We all know that. Indeed, the fact that being a working mum is tough is becoming one of the most blatant truths of modern life. I’ll never forget the wonderful opening scene in […]
The roller coast first draft… Writing a draft is an exhilarating experience, a little like riding a huge roller coaster only in slow- motion as, clearly, it takes rather longer to write 100,000 words than to plunge over the edge on ‘Oblivion’ or its ilk! Nonetheless, there’s the same pit-of-the -stomach anticipation beforehand, the same […]
Last week I was lucky enough to spend a glorious day walking around beautiful Ladybower Reservoir in Derbyshire with my fellow writers Tracy Bloom and Julie Houston. We paused once or twice to gasp in awe at the stunning scenery but most of the time we were lost in a world of books – writing […]
How to write from the ‘wrong’ side of the story. As I start to pull together my research on the Normans ready to launch myself into the third book of my trilogy, I find myself with a very interesting task – learning to love the enemy. In this case, William the Conqueror. My first book, […]
The perils and joys of a book launch… A month on from the launch of The Chosen Queen and I have finally drawn breath enough to take a moment to record a little of that lovely day on this blog. As I said, in my previous post I was nervous beforehand. I had that horrible […]
This will be a fairly short and possibly incomprehensible entry, for which I apologise, but I couldn’t let this moment pass without sharing it with the world. This morning the post lady knocked smartly on our door and delivered (unbeknownst to her) a package that I have been waiting for all my life…
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Hope to see you soon - Joanna