Opinion Posts

17 May 2017

More writing and publishing advice from Anna Davis

by Jack Hadley Opinion, Writing Tips

At the end of each of our short online creative writing courses, we allow students to ask CBC director Anna Davis one burning question they have on writing or publishing. The answers are always sparky, informative, and to the point. Here’s a selection of some of the most interesting from the last Write to the […]

17 May 2017

Curtis Brown Creative meets… book blogger CrimeBookJunkie

by Noelle Holten Guest Blog, Opinion

Many of our students want to know how to write crime fiction and, indeed, several of those who’ve taken our creative writing courses have gone on to secure book deals for their fabulous crime novels – step forward Jane Harper, Alice Clark-Platts, Jake Woodhouse, Caz Frear and Alex Clare. Underpinning this perennially popular genre, and […]

03 March 2017

Does your protagonist have to be likeable?

by Anna Davis From the Agents, Opinion, Writing Tips

A question I’m often asked by students on our creative writing courses is, “Does my central character have to be likeable?” The honest answer is, it depends on how you’re constructing your novel and how reader-sympathies need to work with it. Let me explain … If you need the reader firmly on-side with your central […]

13 January 2017

How to build suspense in your novel

by Anna Davis From the Agents, Opinion, Writing Tips

Lots of students on our creative writing courses are working on psychological suspense novels – one of the biggest-selling genres at the moment. We associate suspenseful writing with other genres too, particularly crime fiction, action thrillers, horror and supernatural novels. But actually lots of other sorts of novels make use of suspense: When a young girl, […]

05 January 2017

Q&A: John Williams, Crime Fiction Reviewer at the Mail on Sunday

by Jack Hadley Author Interviews, Opinion

For all writers, the possibility of one day having their novels reviewed in a national newspaper or magazine is a thrilling prospect. We thought it would be useful to get to know a little more about the process behind book reviewing itself, so we got in touch with Mail on Sunday crime fiction reviewer John Williams […]

03 January 2017

How to write historical fiction

by Jack Hadley Author Interviews, Opinion

Want to know how to write historical fiction? Or perhaps you’re writing something based around a historical figure? If so, questions about how much or how little a writer should rely on research, and how much they should invent, come up regularly. History offers compelling and dramatic stories ready made for use in fiction, along […]

08 December 2016

All writers start their novels in one of two ways – which is you?

by Anna Davis From the Agents, Opinion, Our Courses, Writing Tips

Curtis Brown Creative director Anna Davis, who provides the video lectures and teaching notes for our Starting to Write Your Novel and Write to the End of Your Novel creative writing courses, believes that when you start writing a novel, you will inevitably fall into one of two categories. Here’s her theory and her tips to […]

06 December 2016

Books or boutique hotels?

by Rufus Purdy Opinion

Before he arrived at Curtis Brown Creative to help run our creative writing courses, Rufus Purdy was editor of an upmarket boutique-hotel guidebook. So why is he so narked that a library in his home town is to be turned into a luxury hotel? In a 21st-century twist on the old ‘my local bank’s been […]

28 October 2016

A Halloween Reading List

by Jack Hadley Opinion, Writing Tips

The nights draw in ever further. The November darkness beckons –  we’ve long cast off our cosy summer reads; we want to engage in something which can supply that thrill of discomfort and fear. Clichés aside, the horror tradition is a rich vein of exciting and original fiction – and something that more than a […]

07 October 2016

What Novel Are You Writing: Literary or Commercial?

by Jack Hadley Opinion, Writing Tips

One of the most frequently asked questions that students on our creative writing courses ask is, ‘What kind of novel am I writing – literary or commercial?’ They’re often confused about what the terms mean and are uncertain of what they should be aiming for. It wasn’t always this way. Dickens was not wracked with […]

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