T. B.

An occasional writer, currently studying archaeology. Interested in literature, history, writing and reading.

Junior Contributor I

  • Articles
  • Featured
  • Comments
  • Ext. Comments
  • Processed
  • Revisions
  • Topics
  • Topics Taken
  • Notes
  • Topics Proc.
  • Topics Rev.
  • Points
  • Rank
  • Score
    Sorry, no posts matched your criteria.

    Latest Topics


    To what extent did Virginia Woolf's family influence her depiction of families in her novels?

    In many of Virginia Woolf’s novels (such as "The Voyage Out", "Night and Day", "Mrs Dalloway", "To the Lighthouse" and "The Years"), the concept of family, and in particular family breakdown, appears. Considering her own life (her parents, brother, and half-sister all died when she was relatively young), does her family influence this portrayal of families? Obviously, one would have to give biographical information about Woolf and a description of the principle families in some of the novels (Mr and Mrs Ramsay in "To the Lighthouse", the Dalloways in "The Voyage Out" and "Mrs Dalloway", etc.)

      Sorry, no tides are available. Please update the filter.

      Latest Comments

      The peculiar insistence on the “right way” to write is what turned me away from doing a Creative Writing degree at uni.

      They had one of those open days where you can go and listen to the course admins promote the course. So I went and sat in on the one for the “Bachelor of Creative Writing” or whatever it was called.

      Well, the course admin said: “I’ll bet you all have stories and novels that you’re working on…” We all nodded, believing it was some kind of in-joke. “My advice,” he continued, “is to chuck it all in the bin. We don’t encourage creativity in this course. We will force you all into one format – so, if that doesn’t appeal to you, leave now.” The saddest thing is that he wasn’t joking.

      So, I left. My principles did not align with the principles of the uni course. It seems sad that one has to fit either genre or literary fiction. People seem to believe you can’t do both. Am I not allowed to just write? If it sells, it sells; if it doesn’t, so be it…

      Genre Fiction in University Writing Programs: No longer the MFA's Red-headed Stepchild

      I loved Stephen King’s “On Writing”: it was a very funny, very insightful and incredibly helpful read. I especially liked the memoir part, when King talked of poking the rejection slips onto a nail hammered into the wall. I found it encouraging – that he chose to keep calm and carry on, despite all the rejections.

      One book about writing I can think of is Chris Baty’s “No Plot? No Problem!”. Yes, it may be designed for NaNoWriMo, but it is still full of tips and ideas about things such as ways to overcome writer’s block, generating characters and settings, and dealing with the cursed “Inner Editor” nay-saying your abilities.

      Essential Books for Writers

      When I was 15, I was really into Zen philosophy – it made sense, I think, to me at the time. Cultivating a sense of … not indifference … but more like acceptance, made me feel a lot happier about both myself and my forays into the writing world. I still do think about Zen occasionally.

      Nowadays, when I get bored or start procrastinating, I sometimes recall a thing I read in a book about the history of philosophy. It was about how one particular philosopher (can’t recall who) kept a human skull on his desk, as a reminder of the shortness of life.

      In a way, thinking about “Memento Mori” gives me a little jolt of encouragement – because even though I may have hundreds of stories, they’re not going to write themselves! It helps, when considered in a Zen-like manner, to remember the impermanence of things. That’s what helps me write when I feel blocked.

      Using Zen Philosophy to Improve Creativity and Overcome Writer’s Block