Fiction, folklore & free writing tips!

Brain to Page writing tips on Mondays. Tales of weird myths and folklore on Thursdays!

unfinished writing projects

Published by Icy Sedgwick on May 16, 2016

What can you do with unfinished writing projects?

If you’re reading this then chances are, you have dozens of unfinished writing projects cluttering up your drawers or your hard drive. Does that mean you’re less of a writer? God no. Fragments can actually be invaluable to your writing life, and this week we’re going to take a look at how and why that…

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Seahorses and Newcastle upon Tyne

Published by Icy Sedgwick on May 12, 2016

Are there any seahorses in folklore?

Seahorses are elusive creatures, almost like a mythological animal made flesh. I decided to further look into them after showing a friend around Newcastle’s city centre. After all, the city’s crest features two seahorses, green with gold manes, fins and tails. They were added to the shield back in 1575 as a reminder that Newcastle…

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how do you use writing advice

Published by Icy Sedgwick on May 9, 2016

How do you actually use writing advice?

Writing advice is pretty much everywhere in these glorious days of Google. Even before the advent of the internet, you could guarantee being able to find manuals that would provide you with all manner of writing advice. But given it’s now available in books, on blogs, on podcasts and even Youtube, what do you actually…

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Penshaw Monument

Published by Icy Sedgwick on May 5, 2016

The Lambton Worm & Penshaw Monument

Many parts of the UK have tales related to dragons, or giant worms. County Durham is no exception, and boasts the tale of the Lambton Worm. There are varying versions of the story, but I’m discussing the first version I heard, which links the Worm with Penshaw Hill, near Houghton-le-Spring. Other versions associate it with…

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make dialogue more natural

Published by Icy Sedgwick on May 2, 2016

How do you make dialogue more natural?

Do you look at your writing and wish you knew more ways to make the dialogue more natural? Or do you read what you’ve written and wish that you could tell characters apart so that you didn’t have to rely so heavily on dialogue tags? This week’s Brain to Page post aims to give you…

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elves and the shoemaker

Published by Icy Sedgwick on April 28, 2016

Should you disturb a house elf at work?

Most people have heard the story of the Elves and the Shoemaker in some form. The original story appeared in the German version of Grimm’s Fairy Tales, but it was translated into English in 1884. There are different versions of the story. In one, a poor shoemaker gives away his last pair of shoes to…

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use dialogue to show, not tell

Published by Icy Sedgwick on April 25, 2016

How to use your dialogue to show, not tell

That legendary director and master storyteller Alfred Hitchcock is often quoted as saying “Drama is life with the dull bits cut out”. Believe it or not, but the same applies to your dialogue. In books, you don’t often get those small and polite but relatively pointless exchanges of “Hi, how are you?” “I’m okay, how…

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use this quick tip to make characters more interesting

Published by Icy Sedgwick on April 18, 2016

Use Personality Quirks to Make Characters Pop

Think of someone you know. What’s the first thing that springs to mind? Chances are, it’s not what they do for a living. It’s probably not where they live or what colour their hair is. It’s probably a personality quirk. Something that makes them…them. Those little quirks, or foibles, are what takes a character from flat…

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river god tyne newcastle

Published by Icy Sedgwick on April 14, 2016

Who is the River God Tyne?

Following Newcastle’s tradition of quirky statues, I decided to look at the River God Tyne! Here he is on the side of the Civic Centre. The sculpture was commissioned by Newcastle City Council, and was completed by David Wynne in 1968. He’s cast from bronze (the River God, not Wynne), and while he was originally…

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7 tips for submission success

Published by Icy Sedgwick on April 4, 2016

7 Tips for Submission Success

Short fiction, be it flash fiction or longer ’short stories’, is a good way to learn dialogue, characterisation and structure. They are by no means “easy” to write, but they’re less daunting than a novel! Once you’ve amassed a few stories, you might want to get them published. Be aware there are hundreds, if not thousands,…

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