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Show Not Tell in Fine Style

I enjoyed a wonderful example of show not tell this week, which was a lesson not just to writers but everyone. 

Fortunate am I in being asked to give a few talks to try to inspire young people towards careers in journalism and writing. And this week I experienced one of the finest. 

Who can fail to be uplifted when they walk into a classroom and find these on the walls - 

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That was in front of me the whole time I did the talk. While behind me, for the youngsters to remember - 

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They were messages from my own heart, great companions for the talk. 

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Battles of the Edits

I've spent much of the week chuckling about a comment from the editor of my new tvdetective book, which is out in April (since you ask!)


Why a picture of Master Yoda are you looking at, you ask? Then tell you, I shall. 

The comment went like this - 

The author has a very pronounced style... it occasionally sounds like Yoda talking.

I believe that writing is a team effort. With author, agent, publisher, cover designer, marketing team, all trying to do their best for the book. 

So I don't get offended by suggestions. They're meant for the right reasons, even if they can sometimes feel sharp. 

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Eccentric Notes

A rarely seen, but revealing insight into a writer's character, can be their notes. 

I sent a little Tweet this week which showed my pleasure at solving a plot issue with my new book. 

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It was the set of scribbles third from the left - the stars in circles and the smiley. 

I didn't think much more of the Tweet, but I received a lot of comments about it.

Apparently others also have their favourite (and quirky) ways of recording useful thoughts. 

I heard tell of post it notes in a range of colours, various different coloured pens, underlinings, asterisks, highlighters, encirclings and even pictures of fruit to illustrate various strands of plot / character / setting. 

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The Power of Words

I've been in love with words for as long as I can remember. And I was thinking this weekend of all they give us. 

Words are so very democratic. Anyone can use them, and for anything. To express thoughts and feelings, to love and hate, to explore, to inspire, to explain, to live. 

Sometimes, words can capture a moment and a meaning. And so simply and beautifully. 

Think - 'I have a dream.' Or - 'Once more unto the breach...' Or - 'So much owed by so many to so few...'

But words are for us all, not just great leaders, writers, visionaries or statesmen. And that's what makes them so powerful. 

I've been covering the major fire in Exeter for much of the last week. And it's been so sad to see part of my city's history destroyed. 

But amidst the sorrow, one evening, in the window of a cake shop, Cakeadoodledoo, just down the road from the Hotel Clarence fire, I saw some words I had to record - 

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