Mind Programming: What is the Central Desire of Your Life? And Who Put It There?

IN a recent episode of the BBC Drama Series “Merlin” we saw Guinevere being “brainwashed” by Morgana. Now Arthur’s beautiful queen (who was previously all goodness) is in Morgana’s power,and doing her will. Although of course she did use the full force of her magical powers as well, Morgana used long-established brainwashing techniques on Guinevere.Continue reading “Mind Programming: What is the Central Desire of Your Life? And Who Put It There?”

Historical Novels versus History Books, and Hilary Mantel’s Wolf Hall: The Power To Make You Feel You’re An Insider in the World of Henry VIII

Hilary Mantel’s  success in winning the Man Booker Prize for her novel “Bring Up the Bodies” has provoked many varying opinions of her work. For my part, I look forward to reading this second book in her Tudor Trilogy. The other day I had a conversation with a keen reader who said, “I don’t likeContinue reading “Historical Novels versus History Books, and Hilary Mantel’s Wolf Hall: The Power To Make You Feel You’re An Insider in the World of Henry VIII”

The Writer’s Journey: A Satisfying End to the Story

The way in which a novel ends is critical to its success A satisfying end determines whether readers will go away and say to their friends, “I’ve just read this fantastic novel!” I believe that a novel is defined by the way it ends. The theme becomes clear, and the focus of the story shinesContinue reading “The Writer’s Journey: A Satisfying End to the Story”

Unconscious Research and Dream Yoga

What might walking backwards through the Australian rainforest have to do with a mystery romance novel set in the Cotswolds? It was all part of my “unconscious research”. And it was a long research journey too, I admit. If you’re intrigued, go to Martin Willoughby’s blog to read my guest post on how “Dream Yoga” played a roleContinue reading “Unconscious Research and Dream Yoga”

Minor Characters Who Highlight the Theme in Great Fiction

The success of a great novel does not lie entirely in the hands of its hero. Many of my favourite novels come with a surprise gift – the character who is most interesting of all, who is not the main protagonist. This is the character you wonder about later, the character that seems to step outsideContinue reading “Minor Characters Who Highlight the Theme in Great Fiction”

Structure, Collapsed Middles and Fiction Writing

One of the greatest challenges I have found in writing a novel can come  through a surplus of ideas. Which ones do you choose, and which have to be set aside to be used in another novel? The result of trying to pack in too many ideas is often a collapsed middle. So the best way to dealContinue reading “Structure, Collapsed Middles and Fiction Writing”

On the Outside Looking In, Royal Barges, Rowing Boats, Glimpses, Panoramas and Artistic Vision

As I watched The Diamond Jubilee River Pageant on TV and tried to work out whether I wished I was there, or whether I was glad not to be, I remembered these words in a radio interview several months ago. ‘I have always felt myself to be on the outside of everything, looking in.’ IContinue reading “On the Outside Looking In, Royal Barges, Rowing Boats, Glimpses, Panoramas and Artistic Vision”

Spaces, Holes and Boundaries in Creative Imagination

In the Birmingham City Art Gallery I found an artist whose work conjured up for me an imaginary conversation between two people meeting at a party: “So what do you do for a living?” “I tie threads round holes.”  As I imagined the likely response, I gazed at a series of photographs of various holes inContinue reading “Spaces, Holes and Boundaries in Creative Imagination”

Sherlock Holmes And Creative Writing

Sherlock Holmes, Mycroft tells Watson in the latest BBC recreation of this much-loved character, has the mind of a scientist or a philosopher; yet he chose to be a consulting detective. When he was a child he wanted to be a pirate. And Conan Doyle tells us Holmes is also a consummate actor. He willContinue reading “Sherlock Holmes And Creative Writing”

How Can Carl Jung’s Theory of Synchronicity Help You in Your Creative Writing?

Among his many theories, Carl Jung includes “synchronicity”. This may be defined as “the meaningful patterning of two or more psycho-physical events not otherwise causally connected”. I’ve known of this theory for several years, and have seen it operating not only in my life but in the lives of others. Now I realise how it canContinue reading “How Can Carl Jung’s Theory of Synchronicity Help You in Your Creative Writing?”