Historical accuracy in novels

Image by Michael Drummond from Pixabay When I was learning how to write, fiction and non-fiction, I was taught to always ensure that my facts were correct, as there will always be someone who knows, and there will always be someone who complains if there’s a mistake. When I was training to be a broadcast journalist, I was taught to always check any facts or historical details to ensure that they were correct. I’ve been writing for a long time, […]

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52 books in 52 weeks: Writing Your First Novel – a 60-minute masterclass

I set myself the goal of reading and reviewing 52 writing guides over the year. Here is book 8. Writing Your First Novel – a 60-minute masterclass by Shelley Weiner bills itself as the first book in the series, but I’m sure I’ve read and reviewed earlier ones, including one I thought was, in fact, the first in the series. But perhaps that was just my own incorrect assumption. The book took me around 55 minutes to read from start to finish and, […]

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52 books in 52 weeks: Writing Crime Fiction – a 60 minute masterclass

I set myself the goal of reading and reviewing 52 writing guides over the year. Here is book 6. Writing Historical Fiction – a 60 minute masterclass by Katharine McMahon took me just over an hour to read from start to finish. I read it on the PaperWhite, and that struggled at first to calculate the total time the book would take to read, starting at 6 minutes, then 12 minutes, then finally an hour and 12 minutes. But it probably took me just […]

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52 books in 52 weeks: How to Write Fiction – a Guardian masterclass

I set myself the goal of reading and reviewing 52 writing guides over the year. Here is book 4. How to Write Fiction – a Guardian masterclass is similar to the 60-minute masterclass books in that it takes around 60 minutes to read it from cover to cover. There, however, is where any similarities end. The book comprises a number of contributions from different “experts”, interspersed with writing exercises lifted from The Writing Book: a practical guide by Kate Grenville. And if […]

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52 books in 52 weeks: Writing Short Stories – a 60 minute masterclass

I set myself the goal of reading and reviewing 52 writing guides over the year. Here is book 3. Writing Short Stories – a 60 minute masterclass by Shelley Weiner took me just under 60 minutes to read. But I was lucky to get through it as the literary comparisons and the lack of practical exercises that build on each other almost stopped me in my tracks. I’m glad I got over myself, and my own personal prejudices, though, as once […]

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52 books in 52 weeks: Writing Crime Fiction – a 60 minute masterclass

I set myself the goal of reading and reviewing 52 writing guides over the year. Here is book 2. Writing Crime Fiction – a 60 minute masterclass by William Ryan & M R Hall took me more than 60 minutes to read. But as I read this one in instalments, I can’t provide an accurate figure. This book is a no-nonsense, straightforward book that collates everything you need to know about writing crime fiction without all the guff in between. It’s clear […]

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52 books in 52 weeks: Feature Writing – a 60 minute masterclass

I set myself the goal of reading and reviewing 52 writing guides over the year … and then right in week one was struck down by lurgy. So the first in the series is a little late, but it’s a short enough book. Feature Writing – a 60 minute masterclass by Rob Orchard does exactly what it says on the cover. It took me just about 60 minutes to read it in one sitting. and the exercises – all five of […]

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