Other Writing

Short Stories

I love the form and discipline of the short story. In its focus, its compression, the weight attached to every word, the story shares many elements with poetry.
Some thoughts on the short story:

  • ‘Something glimpsed from the corner of the eye in passing.‘ V. S. Pritchett
  • ‘Art of the glimpse.’ Willian Trevor
  • ‘You take a point in time and develop it from there: no room for development backwards.‘ Frank O’Connor
  • ‘As in film, you must be conscious in a story of dead air. Twenty mediocre pages won’t hurt a novel, but such slackness would kill a story.‘ Thomas McGuane

A Writer’s Alphabet

The inspiration for this book was an A to Z blogging challenge. The book uses the letters of the alphabet to generate ideas on the art and craft of creative writing, from obvious ones such as C for Creating Characters and P for Plot, to the more unexpected K for Kettles and Y for Yellow. It also reflects on the ups and downs of life as a writer.

River of Stones

In January 2012, I joined the River of Stones set up by Writing Our Way Home and wrote a small stone every day for a month. People from all over the world took part and it was wonderful to share in such a project. The idea was to notice something properly – really focus on it – and then write about it. It’s something everyone can try, whether you are a writer or not.

What is a small stone?’
‘A small stone is a few words or lines that describe a moment observed: a fragment of prose or poetry that tries to capture something seen, heard, felt, tasted, smelled or experienced in the world. When we write small stones we aim for an intimacy with whatever it is that is being observed; we aim for an observation that is as true as possible.’ (ed. A Blackbird Sings)