Tag Archives: Hilary Mantel

NaBloPoMo XIX: On the Necessity of Editing and Proofreading Text


He held out a hand. “I’m John Smith.”
“Jane Brown,” said Jane, …
“Are you on holiday?” asked Jane.
“Yes. I … excuse me.”
I didn’t get his name, thought Jane. He’s very attractive.

Did you spot the glaring error in the above text? If you did, please leave a comment and tell me what it is. I’ll reveal it in tomorrow’s blog post. Tip: the verb ‘get’ doesn’t mean ‘understand’ in this context. Continue reading

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Addendum to ‘Walking into Words (Even More on Writing Dialogue) and Theme


“Description must work for its place. It can’t be simply ornamental. It ­usually works best if it has a human element; it is more effective if it comes from an implied viewpoint, rather than from the eye of God. If description is coloured by the viewpoint of the character who is doing the noticing, it becomes, in effect, part of character definition and part of the action.” Continue reading

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On Writing Fiction: Walking Backwards to Walk Forwards


I’ve posted very little, if anything, about the fiction I write, particularly my major work in progress: my Laurel Grove Mysteries. Well, the fact is that it lurches. It’s like a long train journey. It’s over, all but. You’ve gathered your baggage together and you’re standing in the aisle waiting to get off and you can see the station platform. But the train isn’t moving. Any minute now, you think. 5 minutes go by, 10 even. And you’re still standing there. Then it’s off again. It’s sudden. Unexpected. You’re thrown forward. You recover your balance. Then it stops again, as abruptly as it started. Another minute or so goes by … Half an hour later and the train’s still inching into the station. By this time, you might even be hallucinating – is the motion – when it comes – forwards or backwards? Continue reading

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