Fiction, folklore & free writing tips!

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

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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500 words challenge

Published by Icy Sedgwick on April 2, 2016

My 500 Words a Day Challenge – Update 3

So how am I progressing with the 500 words a day challenge now it’s Day 26? As in update 2, I’ve been a bit sporadic around hitting 500 words a day. But whenever I have missed a day of writing, I’ve made it up the following day. On average I’ve written 543 words a day so…

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vampire rabbit

Published by Icy Sedgwick on March 31, 2016

The Vampire Rabbit of Newcastle

A couple of weeks ago I posted a photo of Newcastle’s Vampire Rabbit in the #FolkloreThursday hashtag on Twitter. He proved rather popular, and on Saturday I went to a talk given by cultural historian Gail-Nina Anderson about the city’s favourite lagomorph gargoyle! The Vampire Rabbit sits above the weirdly ornate rear entrance to Cathedral Buildings. The…

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Celts gundestrup

Published by Icy Sedgwick on March 28, 2016

Celts at the National Museum of Scotland

The Celts occupy a somewhat romantic and wild position in the British imagination. This new exhibition in conjunction with the British Museum has helped to spark new interest in these enigmatic peoples. I’ll be honest, I always had a mental image of primal tribes led by thunderous figures and advised by mysterious groups of druids….

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plague at national library of scotland

Published by Icy Sedgwick on March 26, 2016

Plague Exhibition at the National Library of Scotland

It’s not often you get to talk about the plague in polite society. But if you should find yourself in Edinburgh between now and 29 May, might I recommend a visit to the National Library of Scotland? As a writer I’m duty-bound to recommend a visit to any house of books, but in this case, the NLS…

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