Opinion Posts

13 January 2017

How to build suspense in your novel

by Anna Davis From the Agents, Opinion, Writing Tips

Lots of students join our creative writing courses to work 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 students on our creative-writing courses, 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 […]

03 January 2017

How to write historical fiction

by Jack Hadley Author Interviews, Opinion

For students on our creative-writing courses who are working on historical fiction, or who are writing something based around a historical figure, 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 […]

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’s director, Anna Davis, 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 help you get going …  When you decide to write your novel, there are two basic starting positions. *Sweeping generalisation alert* – but bear with me, […]

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 turned […]

28 October 2016

A Halloween Reading List

by Jack Hadley Opinion, Writing Tips

As our creative writing courses get into full swing, 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 […]

07 October 2016

What Novel Are You Writing: Literary or Commercial?

by Jack Hadley Opinion, Writing Tips

One of the most frequently asked questions on our creative writing courses is, ‘What kind of novel am I writing – literary or commercial?’ Our students are 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 despair […]

03 October 2016

Tips on preparing your submission package

by Anna Davis From the Agents, Opinion, Writing Tips

As we enter the busiest time of the year for many literary agents, how do you put together a submission package that will catch their eye and make them want to read your work? Here are some tips on how to do it – and, by the way, most of them also apply to putting […]

27 September 2016

How to get the best out of your creative-writing course

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

Each time I welcome a new bunch of students to one of Curtis Brown Creative’s novel-writing courses in London, I always make a point of telling them how to get the best out of their experience with us. And actually, much of my advice also applies to studying on many other creative-writing courses – whether […]

27 September 2016

Starting to Write Your Novel: a student’s experience

by Chandra G From Our Students, Guest Blog, Opinion, Our Courses

Chandra G (above) was a student on our very first Starting to Write Your Novel creative-writing course earlier this year – and was one of the students selected at the end for a free tutorial with one of the Curtis Brown and C&W literary-agent team. Here, in a piece taken from the Medium writing community […]

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