Wanted: Articles

When we first set up this blog it was with the intention that it be written by a range of different members. While I am fine with writing (it is something I love to do) I would love to see some other takes on topics.

That’s why we have a contact form sections encouraging you to become a contributor.

For those of you with a blog, a guest post (the odd post for another blog) can help gain you new readers and gives the blog you write for a bit of variety.

This is a list of topics that we would love to publish an article about. If you think you can do one of these justice, then we would love to hear from you.

  • How to choose first person or third
  • Writing with the present tense
  • Tactical use of offensive language
  • How to approach publishers
  • What is the three act structure and should I use it?
  • How to write compelling female characters
  • Using smell as an emotive part of description
  • How to get started with poetry
  • Chapter sizes – how long or short should chapter be?
  • Getting started with self-publishing
  • Techniques for writing dialogue
  • How to write lively dialogue
  • Does the monomyth really apply?
  • How to write for the young adult market
  • How to make a Time Travel fresh again
  • When and how to use gore in horror
  • Time and place – using real locations in fiction
  • An introduction to the editing process
  • What are serial rights and why do they matter?
  • Overcoming writer’s block

That’s not a hard and fast list of topics. If you have a good idea then please come forward with it.

As and when these topics are covered by me or by you, I will link them so you know that there is already at least one article on the subject. Even if there is already an article on the subject I would bet that you have something new to say on that subject.

We need you to write for us.

Why does your copy contain so many grammatical errors?

I recently threw down the gauntlet and invited you to ask us the hardest questions you could think of. You can ask questions by using the “ask” link.

Nickie asks:

Why does your copy contain so many grammatical errors? Why do you not proof read before publishing? Even the first paragraph on this page for instance. ‘No really, ask us the about the’

That is a good question and it has a clear answer. The reason for many of the errors on this site is me. I am dyslexic and dyspraxic (and also easily distracted) which causes me to make spelling and typing mistakes despite my best efforts. I wrote about being a dyslexic writer on my personal blog, give it a read if that interests you.

This is also the exact same reason why our Writers’ competition posts are not always up on time. As I said in my blog post.

I also struggle with planning and organisation. I screw up, frequently. It does not take much for appointments, deadlines, and commitments to pile up into each other and chaos to ensue.

This is why we have reporting forms. There is one specifically for reporting errors (and typing mistakes and all that) because I know they are going to happen no matter what I do.

chimpanzee_seated_at_typewriter

The photo of a monkey at a typewriter that you sometimes see around the site is actually a photograph of me on a bad hair day.

You can help me out by reporting mistakes when you find them so I can fix them. I appreciate every correction that gets reported to me because I know that I will make mistakes and those reports help me to catch them and make them right.

Thanks to Nickie, a silly mistake has been corrected. There will, I have no doubt, be more. Feel free to report them to me so I can fix my errors.

The other way to reduce the number of errors here is to become one of our writers. Thanet Creative Writers has always been a group project and while I seem to do most of the blogging, I am happy to have others do that instead. If becoming one of the Thanet Creative Bloggers appeals, we have a form for that.

I refuse to give up and stop doing the things that I love just because my brain is not optimally wired for doing them. If a dyslexic, dyspraxic, arthritic, geeky weirdo like me can write, I am pretty sure anyone can. I hope my faults and failing give you hope.

Ask us hard questions on anything you have wondered about and we will try to answer your question.

Click here to ask a question

Perfect or good enough

Who is this guy?

We’ve talked before about imposter syndrome. It’s one of the things that can hold you back as a writer – the feeling that you are faking it somehow. Similar, but not quite the same, is the drive to be perfect. There’s probably a fair amount of overlap.

One of the things I have been wrestling with lately is the balance between driving towards perfection and realising that “good enough” is a far better start than no start at all.

It is quite unlikely that anyone will create a perfect first draft and I know I would benefit from reminding myself that just getting a first draft written – even if it is terrible – is a huge achievement.

I’ve blogged about that just recently.

Read: What’s so great about perfection, anyway?

Do you let perfection stand in the way of getting started? I know I do sometimes. Tell us about it in the comments below.

What are your top tips for dialogue?

Nice hat

Writing is a craft that we never completely master. There is always more to learn, more to understand, and more to say. This is especially true when it comes to dialogue.

The breadth of technical and artistic skills needed can be a steep curve for new writers. That was part of why I compiled a list great articles on the subject of writing dialogue. You can read the list on my personal blog – 5 must-read articles for dialogue writers

Self-promotion aside, what I’d like to do now is to throw open the doors and invite everyone else to have a say.

Using the comments form, tell us what your top tips are for dialogue writers or our forum.