Pick the words to suit the mood

While we are encouraged to ‘show, don’t tell’ and build pace and mood into our dialogue, sometimes there is just insufficient action and dialogue to satisfy the requirements. The narrator is then called upon to fulfil the obligation of creating an environment for the characters and building those characters by the way in which he READ MORE


It was fog. It was a very, very dense fog. London had not experienced such a pea-souper since the 1950s when coal fires spewed forth their hearths into the lower atmosphere for it only to sink to street level and clog the roads as well as everyone’s lungs. So this fog was a freak. As READ MORE

Humility, humanity and self-image

My natural inclination is to be shy, some might say withdrawn. Shyness puts you on the edge, the periphery, and you rely on others to draw you in, to a certain extent. It also makes you aware of your own abilities because shy people cannot bluff successfully. We tend to know our limitations and are READ MORE

Times change

It doesn’t do to dwell in the past. Generally comparisons are unreal and unfair. Societies were different, beliefs were different, fears were different. So comparing my life as a young man in the 1970s to the life of someone in their 20s today is a pointless exercise. But history gives us one important lesson. Times READ MORE

A way to drop description

Of course, you can’t. Description gives a situation context. It locates your characters and story in a time and place. If you want it can describe the mood, what those characters are wearing, how they feel. It’s the typical scenario for the omniscient, third-person narrator. ‘He fumed. His eyes glared and he felt the buttons READ MORE

Off to church

‘I do I dooooo Iiiiiiii doo Mmmmmm I Arthur James Smethwick do take, hrmmmmm. I whatever do take Molly Rose Bimble. God I mustn’t laugh. Molly Rose Bimble as my lawful wedded wife.’ ‘Art, are you ready, what are you doing up there?’ ‘Nearly. Moll are you sure you want to do this?’ ‘Are you READ MORE