Starting my writing life as a narrative poet, I found the transition to Short Fiction both an easy step to make and an unusually rewarding one. There is a freedom of subject and expression in writing Short Fiction that is only achievable through the application of a single great discipline. Whatever you begin you must finish. Ideas left lying around at the end of the burst of emotional intensity, such as a short story often becomes, are the obstacles that a reader trips over on the way to your next narrative. So tie up the loose ends. Gag the overreaching, overstating narrator. Remove all doubt from the mind of the reader that you have thoroughly understood them, and that you have attended willingly to their needs.                                                                           


And above all, never underestimate them.                                                           


(And never use Italics)


Having stated the above, in retrospect I realise that at various times I have been (and probably still am) guilty as charged on all counts. I feel that what makes a difference as a writer is the striving to overcome these very natural obstacles and pitfalls and to carry blithely onwards making it appear that they were intended all along. If that sounds like a cheat, then I suppose it is. All the best writers were and are. Oh, and while you are at it, feel free to pinch any ideas, styles and strategies you may find along the way. To paraphrase Dear Old Oscar, ' A good writer plagiarises, a genius steals outright.'


Making the transition from Short Fiction to 'The Novel' is a step of a different magnitude altogether. A mind that revels in narrative poetry and short fiction is not necessarily attuned to the same logic as that of a novel writer. Novel writers have the ability to neglect the loose ends until later, or otherwise the weight of the potential they carry around in their heads whilst writing would preclude any forward movement in the plot. They need only to tie up the important ones. Now, having arrived at the novel from a seasoned and already established direction, I personally find this difficult to achieve. Consequently I have a tendency to become bogged down in detail that my instinct screams out to resolve, even though intellectually I know it need not be.(Any tips from out there would be gratefully received!) No matter how often I remind myself that a novel is a series of inter-linked short stories resembling the ribs of an umbrella, revolving gracefully around a central stem, It is a thing that I continue to struggle with.     


Perhaps that's what keeps me alive...             

Perhaps that's why I persist..                                                                               

Perhaps that's why you've read this far....  now read on...



     The Train...and Other Tracks                                           To Kill a Wish      




             The V8 Morning                                                    Red Stripe Candy




           A Small Commotion                                                       Tiger Moth