Have you put full stops at the end of sentences?

Some weeks ago, I received a letter from my parents. Included within it were some probing questions from my dad about the book I’m writing.

As it’s Father’s Day, I thought it would be an appropriate moment to share these. (Dad is not a writer, by the way, though his letters can be rather good.)

So here, for any of you writers out there, are the questions you should be asking yourselves:

  1. In your bookHave you put full stops at the end of sentences?
  2. Have you not mixed up tenses in sentences?
  3. Have you used your Scottish/English Dictionary to good effect?
  4. Have you used the right font?
  5. Have you left a cliffhanger so you can start on book No.2?

It’s a tongue-in-cheek list, but actually it’s pretty useful.

So how am I doing? I’m fairly sure I’ve managed 1, 2 and 4. Number 3 needs some work. And 5… hmm. Watch this space!


26 Winters

musuem-of-childhoodI’ve just heard that I’m going to be involved in an exciting project, which will take me both from summer into winter, and adulthood into childhood.

The writers’ collective 26 recently put out a call for contributors to a project in collaboration with Edinburgh’s Museum of Childhood. 26 writers will each be allocated an object from the Museum’s collections, and asked to write a ‘sestude’ about it – a work consisting of 62 words. The objects – and our sestudes – will then be revealed in an online advent calendar in the lead-up to Christmas. This, alongside an exhibition in the museum, will raise money for the charity It’s Good 2 Give.

I’m already wondering about my object: will it be skittles? A hula hoop? Something more seasonal – a pair of ice skates?

And are hyphenated words counted as one word or two? By my reckoning, this blog is already nearly 150 words long, so I’m hoping a bit of hyphenation might help me sneak in an extra word or two. I expect our editors will be very strict, though, and something unpleasant* from the School Days section of the Museum will be used on me if I cheat.

You can follow what we’re getting up to on Twitter using the #26Winters hashtag.

*Apparently they have a cane and leather tawses.