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Home Retreat Week

Aug 20, 2017

ANNOUNCING a new feature of the Kritikme Autumn Plan for members of Kritikme:


Here's how it works:

1. Book a week off work October 1-7
2. Put in a good four hours daily Monday - Friday that week (no need to rise at dawn on this week!)
3. There will be a Kritikme embargo on social media before 5pm so no need to check Facebook etc before then surely? ;-)
4. Personal Tutoring Plan members can book in an hour with me between 5-8pm daily
5. Evensong at Eight. There will be an...

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How I wrote my novel with Kritikme - by Cate.

Aug 20, 2017

I've started many books over the years but, until today, I'd only finished one. That one came from an MA in Creative Writing and took nearly two years to write. After I'd finished I sent it off to agents and publishers and got some nice comments on my writing, but no enthusiasm at all for the book. I knew it was flawed but didn't know how to fix it.

A little while later I started another. This one was going to be the one. It had a cracking premise and a protagonist I really cared about. I...

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Everything you wanted to know about your plot but were afraid to ask (yourself.)

Aug 19, 2017

Whether you're starting to consider your story, or reconsidering it's merits for a second draft, you'll want to check a few things are in place.

Some of you will be familiar with the Five F's Kritikme Structure for a novel which is a re-working of Aristotle's Poetics and seen again and again in most  great novels. If not, it is summarised here as Flaw, False Hope, Flight, Fury and Facing it.

Your novel will begin by establishing the common understanding between the writer and...

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The Beatles 'Daytripper' - a lesson in how to write a novel in 2 minutes 47 seconds.

Aug 15, 2017

'It took me so long to find out, but I found out.'

A big novel is deft and assured from the get-go. 

A big novel has a strident motif; it's bold enough to repeat it like a chorus or to repeat and remind it in a good line which speaks for the theme.

Think about Kurt Vonnegut's 'Slaughterhouse-5' 'So it goes.'

He wasn't alone. In fact a novel with a slogan (and a number in the title ;-) is a big hit formula.

The Beatles had cracked a formula.

'Daytripper' cashed in those chips during a...

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Word Counts. (Are You Normal?)

Aug 14, 2017

Are you normal?

As part of our peering over writers' shoulders to see whether we are in any way 'normal' please find here the calibrations.

It's a little like the old shoe-sizer which we put our tootsies onto at 'back to school' time. I don't know about you but it gave me a funny little thrill. I hope this gives you a funny little thrill...

As for me? I'm deviant as often as I can be. Last Saturday it was 7,500 but when I'm on the first draft, I'll write about 1000 (rather poor words.) Some...

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Aug 13, 2017
A cautious accounting would reckon on some 3.5 million words of serious writing chalked up between us all at Kritikme so far this year.

From our collaboration as novelists working side by side - shush - beyond the Kritikme prescription of discipline and routine-  have popped three things in the last few weeks:

  •  the worth of moving between longhand writing to the keyboard and back, when and why
  • journalling the big write and to keep the first draft productive ‘deep’ play
  • ...
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How I wrote my novel with Kritikme - by Janice.

Aug 08, 2017

If you’re anything like me, you have a new idea for a story as often as you change your pants. Not only that, you also want to write them all. You might even start writing, but maybe lose your way or simply lose interest, so you stop, and start on your next big idea instead. This was my life until I joined the KritikMe Novel in 90 Days course at the end of May 2017.

 I’d been trying to finish a novel--not even a finished novel, just a first draft--for about 6 months, but...

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Gore Vidal foresaw a man like Trump

Jul 30, 2017

"We should stop going around babbling about how we're the greatest democracy on earth, when we're not even a democracy. We are a sort of militarised republic." Gore Vidal.

In 2008, I was invited to the Galle Literary Festival to speak on conflict having published a work of historical fiction on The Troubles in Northern Ireland which detailed the Blanket Protest in the run up to the Hunger Strike. 

For 'This Human Season' I had spent an year interviewing participants from both sides - the...

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Roasting old chestnuts

Jul 29, 2017

“I suppose that every writer is a gadfly; the crude term that every writer would like to do is mind-f**king. It’s to get into somebody else’s head. In a Bible-belt area like here it would be a felony to mind-f**k somebody.”

Kurt Vonnegut to Hank Nuwer. South Carolina Review. Spring 1987.

Watching the pitiful degeneration of our political 'ideals' in the last few years, stirs the embers of desire for big bold brave new novels. Steinbeck and so on. But everybody's...

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