Show, Don’t Tell – Descriptive Writing Using Imagery

Some time ago I stumbled across the website, Dear Photograph. It works on the simple idea of taking an old photograph of people you know and holding it up against the original backdrop where it was taken and photographing it so that past and present blend into one photograph. Along with the images, the photographers…… Continue reading Show, Don’t Tell – Descriptive Writing Using Imagery

Write what you know – debunking the myth

If you keep up with any writing advice on social media, or even in books about writing, you’re bound to have seen the advice, ‘Write what you know.’ It implies you should only write about stuff that you know about or have experienced. Let’s get one thing straight – you already know a great deal.…… Continue reading Write what you know – debunking the myth

Write small for a big effect

If I told you that six-thousand people died in an earthquake, how would you feel? Pretty shocked I’m sure. Have you ever felt numbed to tragedies in the world because you can’t comprehend what is happening on the global scale? That’s the point where you turn the TV off because you feel overloaded with information. When it’s six-thousand people you…… Continue reading Write small for a big effect

Hook your reader – why opening lines are important

How do you start your stories? Do you hook the reader from the opening lines or leave them wondering why they should read on? If you’ve ever picked up a book in a shop or library (you do use libraries, right?) and started reading the first few lines and then bought – or borrowed -…… Continue reading Hook your reader – why opening lines are important

Possessive Apostrophe

An apostrophe used to show possession of something to someone can be a complicated thing. Do not confuse a possessive apostrophe with one used for a contraction of two words. For clarity you should always consult a good style guide, such as New Hart’s Rules: The Oxford Style Guide or The Elements of Style by Strunk and…… Continue reading Possessive Apostrophe

Homophones: Sound-Alike Words – Whose and Who’s

Who’s versus Whose? Homophones are sound-alike words. They are spelt differently but sound the same. Each word has a distinct meaning. If in doubt consult your dictionary or style book. A good proofreader will pick up mistakes such as these but it’s best to get it right in the first place. So, when do you use who’s and when…… Continue reading Homophones: Sound-Alike Words – Whose and Who’s

Critiques for Writers

There are various ways of having your work critiqued. Most of the really useful ones you will have to pay for. The important thing to remember is that a critique will be constructive and given positively. Writers want other writers to do well and negative criticism is a great way of putting people off. If…… Continue reading Critiques for Writers


Well, I learnt a new word today: ‘toponym’. Definitions The dictionary defines it thus: noun: a place name, especially one derived from a topographical feature. Its origins are from the Greek topos ‘place’ + -onym ‘name’. Wikipedia defines toponymy as the study of place names (toponyms), their origins, meanings, use, and typology. The word can refer to a non-specific feature, such as lover’s leap (or lovers’ leap or…… Continue reading Toponyms