Category Archives: The Writing Process

Making it happen. Basically, sitting down and writing.

The honest editor and cognitive bias

In a previous life, I facilitated training sessions on managing obstetric emergencies; clinical skills, teamwork, leadership, decision-making and so on. One of the features of effective decision-making is the awareness of cognitive biases and so we discussed the problems that … Continue reading

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The Joy of Writing Sex (research review)

View this post on Instagram I read The Joy of Writing Sex: A Guide for Fiction Writers by Elizabeth Benedict (revised edition 2001) on Kindle, which may accounts for the boring cover image. Sorry about that – and apologies also … Continue reading

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Becoming a writer

I believe I have mentioned my bruising editorial review of The White Lady? It took me nearly three weeks to pluck up courage to read the review properly (my initial reading was a watching-from-behind-the-sofa sort of affair in which I … Continue reading

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Testament of Mary (reading-as-a-writer 9)

View this post on Instagram I had to read Testament of Mary by Colm Toibin (2012) twice; the first time to get to the end of a gripping story, the second time to read the words. In between sittings, I … Continue reading

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Babes in the Wood

View this post on Instagram My writer’s mind is very weird and wonderful. I’ve been struggling to define a key relationship in my book between two young and very frightened people in the midst of war and the phrase “babes … Continue reading

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A Whole Life (reading-as-a-writer 8)

View this post on Instagram I really don’t want to write about A Whole Life by Robert Seethaler (trans. Charlotte Collins 2015). I’m afraid I won’t do justice to it – or that thinking too hard about this exquisite book … Continue reading

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Field Service (reading-as-a-writer 7)

View this post on Instagram I first read Field Service by Robert Edric a year ago as part of my research into the aftermath of the #GreatWar. I reread it this week as a writer. This is the first book … Continue reading

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Brooklyn (reading-as-a-writer 6)

View this post on Instagram I didn’t want to read Brooklyn by Colm Tóibín because 1950s, small-town, Irish emigre, coming-of-age stories are really not my thing. (Plus, although I loved the clothes I found the film pretty insipid.) Then a … Continue reading

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Brideshead Revisited (reading-as-a-writer 5)

View this post on Instagram I’ve just reread ‘Brideshead Revisited’ by Evelyn Waugh (1945) because I really didn’t appreciate the brilliance of this novel when I read it a decade or so ago. It feels mean-spirited to condense such bounty … Continue reading

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A Month in the Country (reading-as-a-writer 4)

View this post on Instagram Where to start with “A Month in the Country” by JL Carr (1980)? Would it be hyperbole to say this is one of the most exquisite short novels ever written? Another long, hot, post-war summer; … Continue reading

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