Last edits on your novel? Record an audio-draft

An audio-draft is essentially a scratch audiobook. An audio-draft does not require professional recording kit or access to acting talent. You can (and absolutely should) narrate it yourself, and it can be more or less entirely recorded and edited with the memo app that ships with the average smartphone. So why should you do it? […]

52 Stories #7 – The Idiot President by By Daniel Alarcón

The Idiot President was published in The New Yorker in October 2008. Set in a recently war-ravaged South American nation, the story describes the two months a recent theatre school graduate spends with a traveling radical theatre group named Diciembre. After last time’s incident-packed short story, this one can be summed up really in a […]

52 Stories #6 – Everything Ravaged, Everything Burned by Wells Tower

It was a warren of a place off Coldharbour Lane with echoing stairwells and concrete floors. An oddly brutalist interior at odds with the Victorian fascia that shouldered up tight to the pavement. We climbed at least one flight of stairs and took several turnings before we reached the flat. J was waiting at her […]

Write This Now! – The Five Act Structure Questions

This exercise is adapted from John Yorke’s excellent book Into the Woods in which he discusses the five act structure and how it can be used manage a story’s tension and the development of its protagonist. It’s a great way of warding off the ‘saggy middle’ to which the more traditional three act structure can be prey. […]

52 Stories #4 – Sea Oak by George Saunders

This week, Sea Oak by George Saunders. You can find it in the collection Pastoralia or online at The Barcelona Review. They summoned me along with thirty or so other managers the day before the axe fell. At the head of the room stood a representative for the security department in a jolly primary coloured […]