Thursday, 17 February 2011


I think I've said it before, but I do think one of the best ways of improving your writing is to read a lot. And then read more. And then go to the library and read some more.

One of the things I like to do is check out the #FridayReads hashtag on Twitter*. You get a huge variety of ideas from other people's suggestions. A lot of them might be things you don't fancy, but every now and then something will catch your eye that proves to be a real gem.

So what am I reading at the moment? Well I just finished a Star Trek YA book called The Edge (good read, nice plot, and easy to settle down with), I'm in the middle of an intriguing historical mystery Death of a Dancer by Caro Peacock (great descriptions of Victorian London and good characterisations), and my pile of books to read includes a fantasy, a Christian romance, local history and a diary-style how-to guide.

* On Twitter you can flag up certain subjects, talking points, ideas, etc, by using the #. Every Friday lots of people will pick a book and tweet about it, adding #FridayReads to their message. Other people can then search for the list of messages with book recommendations by searching for #FridayReads.

Monday, 7 February 2011

Entering flash fiction competitions

I am a firm believer that in order to write well you have to read a lot, and not just a lot of one type of story, but a lot of every type of story. One way I get my daily fix is from Every Day Fiction, which drops a nice piece of flash fiction into my inbox every day. Sometimes I'm not particularly impressed with what I read, and other times I can't stop thinking about the stories, but because they come from writers all over the world they're always different.

I've mentioned EDF before because I submitted a couple of stories to them last year, but this week they're running a competition to write a flash fiction of up to 250 words based on a 10 word prompt. I've just submitted my entry for the competition, entitled 'Purity', and I hope I'll be able to submit another as well before the competition closes on Sunday.

If anyone would like to have a go at the competition, the details are here.