Which Comes First, The Title Or The Book?

The other day I was exchanging a few words with a couple of TV writers on the subject of titles. It was both surprising and Titlescomforting to know that I wasn’t the only one with the rather odd affliction of not being able to start anything without having a title first. When you think about it, this is ludicrous. There are many who would strongly advise against any further excuse for prevarication. Get on with it. Call it ‘Untitled Masterpiece’ or ‘Work In Progress’. Or just don’t call it anything. Surely, once a work is over and you know what happened, that would be the time to sit back and think of a title? Continue reading

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Feedback And The Art Of Selective Brilliance

What could be better than to be brilliant?

(Actually, if I was being facetious, I could probably come up with quite a good long list but, you know, who needs facetious?) Aside from all the other things that would be nice, I can’t think of anyone – certainly not in any artistic field – who wouldn’t trade them in to hear someone say “that was brilliant.”¬†You may not be able to take your money with you when you die, but you can take your brilliance. But how do you know whether you are, or not? Continue reading

Why I Am Going To Stop Blogging

I have decided, after a long and tortuous discussion with myself over a cup of tea, that I am causing more harm than good by having a blog to which I seem incapable of contributing. I promised myself, when I relaunched, that I would use it simply and lightly. It would be somewhere to make comments on this and that – how the writing was coming along; life on a desert island; maybe the occasional mild rant or harrumph about something. I say that because when I first began with the Blogosphere I became, well, blogged down. I was still writing A Table In Berlin, followed by Goodnight Mrs Day, and it is hard enough trying to get the words out without using up energy on a blog. No, I intended to write swiftly and without recourse to anything resembling a rewrite or polish. That’s why I put “first draft” in the subtitle/blurb at the top of this new version.

But even this is not working. Continue reading