Monthly Archives: September 2012

How to Devise Characters

1) Pick out disparate aspects of your own personality, or the characteristics that defined you at various points in your life. 2) Add in a couple of people you know well, such as partners, family or close friends. 3) Change … Continue reading

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Which Film am I? I

I feature a god-like race that’s large, uniformly male & conspicuously white. One of them wears robes, another sits on a throne but, disappointingly, none of them has a flowing white beard. I rehash the old anxiety about machines threatening … Continue reading

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Pernicious Conditioning I

Collecting my luggage, I overhear the local accent for the first time. Where have I heard people like this before? And all I can think of is characters on TV shouting racial slurs.

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How to Plot a Novel

Don’t. Who needs external action when you can explore the convolutions of the characters’ psyches? Pick your favourite book & spend a ream mapping out its intricacies. Change the names, setting & narrative point of view, then get writing. Sell … Continue reading

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A documentary about SAS bootcamp illustrated the ordeal candidates endure. Whatever their motivation, it was clearly an all-consuming one. Personal betterment? A fierce love of their homeland? The desire to serve squabbling politicians?  

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Bleary & tired of the morning cold? When you don’t like the weather forecast, find yourself hitting refresh in the hope it’ll change its mind.  

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How to Write a Blog

Give up any pretence of knowing. Renounce your sense of dignity. This is the internet: the entire world’s watching, for all time, & you’re bound to sneeze into the microphone at some point. Nothing’s more boring than narcissism. Down with … Continue reading

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