Justin Cawthorne (dot) com

read, write, ramble

Category: Write (Page 2 of 5)

What percentage diversity?

In which a white, male, heterosexual author continues to indulgently agonise over how best to represent diversity in his (largely unread) work.

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Quick writing exercises

I noticed recently that my writing (at least in my first drafts) is getting a bit limited in terms of expressiveness, vocabulary, and so on. A quick google search for ‘writing exercises’ uncovered plenty of ideas for kickstarting the flow of creative juices and building good habits; but not so many that focused on improving the quality of your prose. So, I decided to come up with some of my own.

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Writing update: May 2015

While May wasn’t quite my worst writing month to date (at least since Morning Shift records began) it was still pretty bad. And, yet, in some other ways, it was also one of my most successful months so far.

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Alchemy (or: Turning ideas into stories)

I was going to write a short post on where I get my ideas from – despite the fact that no one has ever asked me that (or, perhaps, to spite the fact that no one has ever asked me that). But then I realised that ideas on their own aren’t particularly interesting or useful: it’s what we do with them that matters.

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Writing update: April 2015

The contractually required update on my writing activities for April 2015. Well, not really, but anyway …

April was a relatively straightforward month for me: I dedicated the entire month to finishing my final draft of There Is A Light That Never Goes Out. (Spoiler alert: I finally finished the edit on May 5). I probably wrote some blog posts as well, but being a neglectful sort I failed to count those.

I did pretty well at getting up for my morning shifts. There were only five days that I overslept, and on several of those days I caught up during my lunchbreak. There was one morning that I got up in good time, but my youngest son also decided to get up early and was rather more in the mood for playing than for sitting quietly on the sofa. So, writing did not happen on that occasion.

This was by far my best month for editing (in terms of total word count), but that feat is tempered somewhat by the lack of any actual writing and the fact that it’s nowhere near my best average (that was February, during which I edited an average of 1806 words on the days that I did editing). Given that this was the ‘final’ draft of a story I already thought I’d finished, the obvious conclusion is that the story needed a fair bit of extra work and the decision to give it a final pass was the right one.

I also had a story rejected, which I view as more of an achievement than anything else. I’ve been attempting to write stories for quite some years now and, apart from a few efforts several decades ago, I’ve not really felt in a position to do anything other than self-publish. That I’m getting to the point where I think my stories might possibly be worth having someone else publish them is a mark, however potentially misguided, of how much more seriously I’m taking my writing these days. Bring on some more rejections!

The stats

  • Number of writing sessions: 0
  • Number of editing sessions: 26
  • Days missed: 4
  • Words written: 0
  • Words edited: 32,733
  • Average words written: 0
  • Average words edited: 1,259

Writing update: March 2015

Fashionably late, as ever, here’s an update on my writing progress and activities for March.

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The joy of gender (part two)

In the first part of The Joy Of Gender I discussed some general principles I’ve adopted when determining the gender of characters in my stories. In this follow-up I offer some specific examples along with, hopefully, an overview of how my approach has matured over the recent years

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The joy of gender (part one)

I’ve been meaning to do a post on how I approach gender in my writing for a while now, especially since I made efforts to tackle the subject (albeit indirectly) in a recently completed story (and, for those of you playing along in the future, that story is There Is A Light That Never Goes Out). I originally drafted this post in the wake of International Women’s Day, but sat on it for a while because it ended up being a bit of a monster. I’ve now decided to publish it in two parts, of which this is the first. Clearly.

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My new web project: ‘beta’

Over the Easter weekend I set up a new website with the goal of making it easier to get early feedback on my writing. It’s called ‘beta’ and you can access it right here: http://beta.justincawthorne.com/

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Of quotes, breaks and drives

Or how I went faintly mad over the case of the curly quote and ended up exactly where I began

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