Many thanks to Mandy Keene who has sent us an excerpt from her novel, The Ill-Made Witch. We’ll leave this post live for a week, during which time we’ll welcome any constructive comments. At the end of the week, the author will receive a free critique from one of our writing tutors. (If you’d like to share your work for critique, please see here for all the necessary information.)
Mattie hated hospital food.
Today it was bread that was older than she was. She had no appetite, but all her movements were being watched. Everything, from the beeping of the pulse monitor to each sentence she said. But there was no point complaining to anyone. She could almost hear their replies: “Well, you landed yourself here.” More…
We hope you’ve all had a great summer and are ready to do some serious writing. After an unprecedentedly profitable first two quarters of 2016, the OWT team were able to spend our vacation touring Greek islands on the Online Writing Tips yacht. The good news is that you too can live like this, by winning the richest literary prize currently offered anywhere on this website.
Yes, the Online Writing Tips Short Fiction Prize is back for 2017, and the deadline has just been announced as midnight on March 15th (GMT). It’s free to enter and international entrants are welcome. There’s no theme, but to get an idea of what we’re looking for, check out the runner up and winning story from 2016. In 2017, first prize will be a sumptuous £100, with £50 for second place, and £25 for third. All the submission information is available here – good luck!
Here’s a game I sometimes use in the Creative Writing classroom to get students thinking about resisting the obvious when describing their world and their characters.
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Here’s something for the romantics: an example of how to deploy metaphor to convey ideas of romance succinctly. In this video D.D. Johnston takes a process that is often unconscious and shows how and why we can arrive at the right image.
read video transcript
A commenter on a previous video noted that “You can get carried away saying ‘this is like this and this is like this and this is like this.’ It can reach the point where you just want to say ‘shut up and get on with the plot.’” It’s a fair point and I agree that in most instances you need a good reason to use a metaphor. Usually, for a metaphor to be worthwhile, it has to do at least two things. Find out what in our latest video.
read video transcript