Writing Tips 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 […]

20 March 2017

Killer facts and fiction: how to write a crime thriller

by Stuart Prebble Guest Blog, Writing Tips

Anyone who’s writing a crime and thriller novel, and is thinking of applying to our creative writing courses, needs to understand the expectations of the genre and what its readers want. Stuart Prebble (above) – whose novel The Bridge is published by our sister company Studio 28 today – tells us how he created such […]

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 […]

19 January 2017

Submission tips from literary agents at Curtis Brown

by Rufus Purdy From the Agents, Writing Tips

The literary agents at Curtis Brown and C&W get hundreds of submissions each week, so how do you – as a writer – make your work stand out? We asked the literary agents for their top submission tips for new writers who are trying to find an agent. Here’s a selection of their responses… Good […]

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, […]

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 […]

10 November 2016

CBC Tutor Q&A: Simon Wroe

by Jack Hadley Author Interviews, Writing Tips

For our next London-based novel-writing course beginning in February, we’ve hired a new tutor, Simon Wroe. Simon’s debut novel Chop Chop, a brilliant, darkly comic story of a young graduate working in a gastropub in Camden, was shortlisted for the 2014 Costa First Novel Award, longlisted for the Desmond Elliott Prize and won a Betty Trask […]

04 November 2016

National Novel Writing Month: Best of the Web

by Jack Hadley Writing Tips

For many on our creative writing courses, one of the most important things Curtis Brown Creative offers is structure. Whether it’s our six-week Starting to Write Your Novel course, or our longer London-based or online courses, the shape, incentive and deadlines provided by a formally structured course can be key in helping to get that novel off the ground. Structure is […]

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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