“Pay What you Want” – discussion

The ‘Pay What you Want’ model has had some success in the catering and resturant business, but doesn’t transfer well to bookshops.  If readers have the option to pay what they want for books, what impact might that have on established writers, new writers, and those who are considering writing as a career?

Let the discussions begin!


Poetry on prescription from the Emergency Poet :)

Just in case you thought poetry wasn’t your thing, or the last time you were forced to read poetry was at school or college, take a quick look at this BBC clip from the Emergency Poet 🙂

If, like me, you were intrigued, you can find out more at the Emergency Poet website HERE or follow her twitter feed @emergencypoet




Cognitive Poetics, a theory for writers

If you’ve ever wondered why the human brain reacts to a fictional character pretty much the same way as a real person, then read on 🙂

When we read about our favourite characters we laugh with them, we praise them, we feel good when they succeed and we often shed a tear when they get hurt or die.  The posh word for this is Congitive Poetics, it’s a new field which is just beginning to be studied, with much of the current research being done by the University of Nottingham.  There’s a new BBC article, published today, which discusses this in more detail.

If you want to dig in further, there’s a PDF copy of Peter Stockwell’s book, Cognitive Poetics: an introduction, available HERE his paper on Surreal Figures HERE and a word document of Recent Trends in Cognitive Poetics HERE

Pixar storytelling rules

Hullo lovely writers,

The new year is here, and we’re already into our second month.  If you’re finding it hard to get going and maybe meet those pesky writing resolutions you made at the start, then maybe these short videos from Pixar will help 🙂

Each one is a few minutes long, and deals with fundamentals such as story, character, challenging characters, drama and conflict.

You can find them all HERE

FutureLearn courses

As a writer, or indeed any creative person, research is invaluable to creating precisely what you want to invoke in your reader, or viewer, or person that happens to be interested in your work.

Research can take time, and sometimes monies.  And, with busy lives to lead, writers may not have time for an eight hour stint in a library looking up precisely what shades of yellow were available to the eastern vikings living on the Volga for their clothing.  Or any other specialist subject you could want to casually drop into your work to make it internally consistent and give it life through detail.

Fear not!  If you haven’t come across it already, there’s a site called FutureLearn, affiliated with the Open University (and lots of other univerisites around the world) which provides short course introductions to many subjects for free.

We writers like the word free.  I know, I’m a writer, and I like the word free when it comes to doing research and learning.

You can undertake the learning in your own time, which means if you have a variable amount of free time in a week, you can probably fit a course in 🙂  If your course is more than one week long, FutureLearn will drop you an e-mail every week, containing a link to the new weeks learning.

Courses are delivered by leaders in their field, on a multitude of subjects, from arts to law, history to philosophy, sciences, languages, literature and humanities.   Fear not if you’ve never studied at university level, the courses are based for anyone to understand the information and learn 🙂

You can browse their available courses HERE

Did I mention that all the courses are free?  Go to it!

Writing East Midlands Writers Conference 2015

If you don’t already know, Writing East Midlands Writing Conference 2015 is going to be hosted at the University of Nottingham on 28th March 2015.  You can book tickets and find out more information HERE

There are a limited number of slots available for one-to-one sessions with an agent, and also one-to-one sessions with a professional writer for critique, but you must book before 26th Feb to be in with a chance of getting a slot!

Writers e-newsletter

Just in case you weren’t aware, Derbyshire County Council runs a writers e-newsletter every month or so, packed with information about competitions, events, writers groups, performances and more.  How can you say no?  To get this lovely letter delivered straight to your inbox, go to this site HERE, and send a wee message to the fab Alison Betteridge, who’ll put your name on the list 🙂  If you don’t do the e-mail thing, you can let her know and she’ll arrange a copy to be posted out to you instead.

What to wear?

You’ve created a well-rounded character, integrated the flaws, balanced the strengths and figured out the phobia, but before you place them into your setting to go run amok there’s a tiny detail that you might want to consider (especially if your character is female) – what to wear?

The clothes you dress you character in are a huge part of how your reader will see them and define their personality.  It does depend on the setting and time period too, but dressing feminine is something which is usually charicatured to an extreme.  There an excellent article HERE focussing on the perspective of female characters in the gaming industry thorugh their clothing.