Alarmed Doors

alarmed doorThe door in the photograph looked quite calm to me and not at all alarmed.

Is there another way of wording this statement? Probably. But it would probably be a wordier statement to get the same message across.

Do doors have emotions?

The long and short of it is that we know what this sign means. The door pictured here cannot experience emotion, hence it cannot feel alarmed. We, the readers, know this and so we apply the meaning that makes most sense without really thinking about it.

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Day One – Journaling on the move

hero-dayone-iconI read about an iPhone/iPad/Macbook app a while back called Day One. It had rave reviews, a nice look to it, and the philosophy behind it keyed into my desire to keep a regular journal while on the move. It even has daily prompts (if you switch them on) to get you in the mood and to remind you to get writing.

So I downloaded it. It really is everything I hoped it would be.

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Finger sandwiches and baby oil – the strangeness of the English language

sandwiches that look like fingersThe English language is a strange affair at times. Meaning is usually gathered from the words we use in the literal sense; the words and the order they are placed in a sentence tell you what the sentence as a whole means. But we don’t talk and write literally, neither do we hear or read, and consequently understand, literally.

I take it you are catching my drift so far? (I’m not really taking anything or expecting you to catch a drift, but I presume you know what I mean.)  Continue reading

A Constellation of Vital Phenomena: A Novel by Anthony Marra

Constellation of vital phenomena. A novelA lesson here in writing only what is necessary for the story and only what is necessary for the sentence.

Not a word is wasted and not a sentence is wasted and it shows throughout the entire book.

This is a delicately and masterfully crafted book. Unbelievable that this is Anthony Marra’s first novel. His writing hooked me in from the beginning and immersed me in his character’s lives effortlessly. Continue reading

The Periodic Table of Storytelling

Periodic Table of Storytelling

Click the image to go to TVTropes website to find out more

Here’s something to play with to get your creative juices flowing. Hopefully, it will also help to unblock writer’s block if you feel you are suffering from it.

The Periodic Table of story elements is split into Structure, Settings, Plot, Heroes, Character Modifiers (Protagonist/Antagonist), Archetypes, Villains, and more.

Clicking on each ‘element’ in the table will jump you to a page that explains that element in more depth.

There are ways of combining the elements into the basic formula for a story by using the ‘Story Molecules‘ below the table.


TVTropes (the website this Periodic Table is from) is a catalog of the tricks of the trade for writing fiction.


The Uncommon Reader by Alan Bennett

Alan Bennett The Uncommon Reader
Find it on Amazon

I’ve just finished reading ‘The Uncommon Reader’ by Alan Bennett. It is a charming and amusing story, which begins when the Queen discovers the mobile library in the grounds of Buckingham Palace one day. She goes on to discover the joys of reading, a luxury she has had little time for up until then.

The story is Alan Bennett all over; I could hear his voice while I was reading. I also realised after I was about halfway through the book that it was a discourse on writing as well as reading.

Read if you intend to write

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Writing prompts – 6 ideas to start you writing

The inspiration for writing stories often comes about from a moment in time, a flash of memory, or a minute particle of an idea.

The challenge is to follow that idea or memory and flesh it out into something you want to write about.

Sometimes a whole story might come to you with very little effort and other times you are excited enough about an idea to think more on it and expand the idea.

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