Tag Archives: authors

James Holden: Do lists on good writing say more about their author?

A couple of weeks I stumbled upon a list of “53 ways to improve your short stories”, published as part of the promotion for a new collection of stories by the Irish writer Thomas Morris. It’s quite a long list, … Continue reading

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James Holden: Colin Barrett’s riot of language

Although I’m not getting much writing done myself at the moment, my commute to work means that I still have the time to read, and I’ve just finished reading Colin Barrett’s collection of short stories, Young Skins. One of my … Continue reading

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James Holden: Sarah Waters and keeping track of progress

Sarah Waters is one of my favourite authors, not only for the trilogy of Victorian novels with which she made her name, but her most recent wartime and post-war novels The Night Watch and The Little Friend. So I was delighted … Continue reading

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James Holden: The language of writing

Last week there were a couple of items in the news that touched on the choices writers make when it comes to choosing words. The first was a feature in The Guardian, who asked authors for their favourite words. Will Self … Continue reading

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James Holden: The Crazy World of Donald Barthelme

I’ve just finished reading Donald Bartheleme’s Sixty Stories, a collection of his short fiction from 1964 – 1979. When I set down to marshal my thoughts about the book, my intention was to post something about how I found the … Continue reading

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James Holden: Some thoughts on the joys of tradecraft

Last month I took a story about a hitman to a meeting of the Asylum for feedback. As ever, people were helpful, and left with me a sense that the story was worth investing some more work in. One thing … Continue reading

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James Holden: Some thoughts on Somerset Maugham and his (mis)use of “I”

I’ve just finished reading the second volume of Somerset Maugham’s collected stories, an author who appears to have fallen somewhat out of fashion (maybe I’m wrong, and in reality he’s as venerated as Raymond Carver). I think in part it’s … Continue reading

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