• Don’t take too long to start your novel

    So, you have a story you want to tell. You’ve been thinking about it for years. It would make a perfect novel. When you finally get round to putting it down on paper, you’ll know exactly what the characters are like, you’ll know how they interact, and you’ll already know how it ends. All that’s […]

  • Location sketches – The French Chateau

    When you’re researching a novel location, and trying to familiarise yourself with your setting, immerse yourself in imagery/photos as well as textual information. Then try and do some location word sketches. Set time aside for this, dig deep into your location, write as much detail as you like, and keep it all in a file. […]

  • 7 ways for writers to unwind

    When writing isn’t going so well, it can feel quite stressful. Or maybe you’ve just spent hours working and now you need a break. You need to chill out. You don’t necessarily want your writing problems to follow you for the rest of the day or evening. True, sometimes you want to chew over things, […]

  • Beautiful Shadow: A Life of Patricia Highsmith – Andrew Wilson (2004)

    In this Whitbread-shortlisted biography by Andrew Wilson, Patricia Highsmith is shown to be a woman who never found true happiness. Condemned by her own psychology to seek out inappropriate and often unavailable women, she never had a relationship that lasted longer than a few years. An almost life-long alcoholic, Highsmith’s happiest moments came from writing. […]