Santa brought me an iMac Retina and this is why

On the left a pdf of the manuscript marked up using a Galaxy Note tablet. On the right the manuscript file being edited in Pages after export from Ulysses, in advance of final delivery in Word. Both revision and manuscript side-by-side in the clearest detail...

Punctuation: why you only need it once

I linked to two people scribbling in the margins of a Dan Brown book yesterday. I don’t intend to get into a ‘Dan Brown can’t write’ rant here. But if you look at the book pages in that post you’ll see something most writers should seek to avoid. This… One...

Simplicity is so much harder than complexity

Here’s Steven Moffat in today’s Guardian on some of the kerfuffle surrounding the last rather controversial episode of Sherlock.  It is not a detective show. It is a show about a detective … It is a show that celebrates a clever man. So we make the show look complex....

Things telly can do that books can’t

Well, lots of things obviously. But the biggest difference between the screen and the page is this: with the first the media is the king, and with the second the reader rules. Television (and films and the stage) are narratives that run at their pace, not yours. They...

Breaking the fourth wall

One of the things I’ve gathered from The Killing books is that novelists have something to learn from television drama. A few things not  to do, and perhaps I’ll write more about that another day. But a few techniques worth thinking about too. There was one quite...