Sign up to the newsletter

Writing Advice

In this section, you will find a collection of blogs dedicated to writing advice. So, if your manuscript is starting to drive you crazy, or you’re not sure how to get started, read on for the push you need to create your masterpiece.

Literary Lessons: Editorial Investment

From When The Curtain Falls by Carrie Hope Fletcher (Sphere 2018)

Rachel Knightley - Blog 3

Theatres and ghost stories have both played starring roles in every era of my life and, as a result, of my writing. The idea of a ghost story set in a theatre immediately had me on its side – especially one written by a former west-end Eponine in Les Miserables which was another huge plus as far as my inner child was concerned. Carrie Hope Fletcher turned up on the theatrical, music and literary scenes long after my actual childhood but she certainly connects with a whole lot of it; I’m not surprised her emotional intelligence and courage to recognise and discuss her experiences and mistakes have made her “honorary big sister” to Youtubers all over the world.

Actress Fawn Burrows and apprentice doorman Walter Brown fall in love during a production of When the Curtain Falls, Fawn’s first starring role. But their producer is in love with, if not Fawn herself, then what being seen with Fawn will do for his career …

Read more | 0 comments

Are You A 'Non-Writing' Writer?

Hands up if you’re one of those writers that doesn’t actually write.  

Be honest. You love the idea of writing, you follow writers on Instagram, you read about other people who write, maybe you subscribe to literary newsletters and websites like this one, but actually writing? You’ll get round to it. One day.

I am a writer who doesn’t write. At least, I was until very recently.

I was always envious of the ‘real’ writers I read about, people who never have their heads out of their work, dedicated to the core, passionate about storytelling and have something to show for it. 

The closest I came to this was as a five year old, proudly waiting to present my hand written story in show and tell… only for Karl from year two to point out that my protagonist changed gender from page to page. Needless to say, I kept my story to myself and didn't really write after that.

So last year I decided to do something about it. 

I set myself a …

Read more | 3 comments

Literary Lessons: Investing In Faith

From Room to Dream by David Lynch and Kristine McKenna (Cannongate July 2018)

Rachel Knightley with Room to Dream by David Lynch and Kristine McKenna

‘What if someone steals my idea?’ is one of the two most common questions would-be writers ask when sending (or not sending) their writing off. The second question, which may sound like the polar opposite yet often follows directly, is ‘What if my idea isn’t good enough?’ There are practical answers, such as emailing documents to yourself so you can prove copyright by date. There are gentle reminders that there are only seven basic plots but infinite original voices – what you’re selling is not just your plot or idea but the originality of your voice in that plot or idea, a unique combination in all of time and space.

But while the practicalities are helpful, it’s much more helpful to address the questions at the emotional level: The perfect thing in your head will stay perfect as long as it stays in your head. It will stay that way until you have the courage to turn your perfect dream into …

Read more | 2 comments

Literary Lessons: Omniscience and Empathy

The Lost Letters of William Woolf by Helen Cullen (Penguin Michael Joseph July 2018)

When I began studying creative writing, omniscience was often spoken of as having fallen out of fashion in literature right alongside society’s belief in divine interventionism. If God didn’t choose to pop into all of our heads and lives, without generally dropping off a whisper of advice or a nudge of help, why would authors bother with their own characters? The subjective, first/third-limited point of view was more “real” to the human experience as we had grown to understand it, intellectually and emotionally. “I” live my life, “s/he” lives her/his life. We each have one and can only interpret what our five (arguably six) senses offer us as to what’s going on in a head other than our own. First and third-limited points of view also avoided the dangers of “seasickness”, where the reader is made dizzy by jumps from head to head, never getting as deep into any point of …

Read more | 2 comments

Things I Learned On My Path To Publication...

Lia Louis

Regular Writers & Artists blogger Lia Louis only went and got herself a book deal! Here are some of the things she learned on the path to publication...

In January, one of my biggest dreams came true – I signed with a dream literary agent, Juliet Mushens, and just a few weeks later, signed a two-book deal with a dream publisher. After all of those hours; all of those hundreds of thousands of words of worlds and made-up people with made-up heartache and happy endings; all of those ‘unfortunately, this time we are going to pass’s; all the scrapping, redrafting, rejections and tears... I got “the call.” Or the email, should I say. The message I had been daydreaming about for years. I'd broken through what at times felt like a welded and triple-locked door.

I am going to be a published author.

My book – the one I sat writing at the dining table on my laptop, at the park on rain-soaked paper, in bed on my phone beside tiny babies, grabbing hold of those slivers of …

Read more | 11 comments