If you want to learn to write… watch TV

There’s a standard and sensible piece of advice handed out to wannabe novelists: if you want to write books you have to read them. Here’s something they don’t tell you. If it’s mainstream, narrative fiction we’re talking about – not ‘literature’ whatever that is but...

Time and fiction: still uneasy partners

In my book Writing: A User Manual I have a little rant about time. Here’s an extract… When it comes to fiction, and series fiction in particular, time stinks. It’s a blight on us all, a nasty chunk of so-called reality that tries to poke its ugly head in...

Apple Pages is getting better… Microsoft watch out

Most Mac users may be peering at Yosemite right now and thinking… why? But if you write there was one more subtle upgrade yesterdat which is of more than passing interest. Yes, Apple Pages, the word processor it effectively massacred just a year ago in the name...

Thank God Apple don’t design taps

Here’s something that happened to me last week in a hotel on Capri. It may be a familiar experience. You walk into a strange bathroom. You want to turn on the tap. You can’t work out how. Why? Because it’s a new-fangled tap. One someone’s...

Quick Ulysses tip — seeing your actual files

If you’re new to Ulysses one of the things that can throw you is the filing system. There doesn’t appear to be one. Everything is stored inside the app itself, then shared across through iCloud if you like. This works wonderfully well but the nervous among...

No more desktop for me

Someone was asking on Twitter yesterday what to buy after a desktop’s gone dead. A new desktop or a laptop? There’s my answer above — if you have the desk space. A laptop hooked up to an external monitor. In this case it’s an Asus big screen...

Out now… Writing A Novel with Ulysses III

You’ll now find my book on writing fiction with Ulysses III available in Kindle, iBooks and Nook stores around the world. The price varies from store to store according to currency conversions but is around $4.99 or less. To recap… it’s an insight...

Outlinely — a nice, simple Mac outliner

I rarely need an outliner but on the odd occasion I do they nearly always drive me bats. For years I’ve paid for upgrades to OmniOutliner for reasons I don’t understand. I’m sure there are people out there who love the thing. But boy it is...