Tag Archives: creative writing

Writers Needed For Science!

As some of you might know, I’m an exper­i­mental psy­cho­lo­gist. I’m cur­rently run­ning an online exper­i­ment for which I need writers. It takes just over half an hour — I’m afraid I can’t pay you, but you might find the exper­i­ment fun, and you’ll be doing your bit for science!

If you’re inter­ested, do read on:

The exper­i­ment will ask you to con­tinue writ­ing a scene after a brief genre-based prompt to get you going. You’ll do this three times. There’s also a brief pre-experiment ques­tion­naire and post-experiment ques­tion­naire. Your par­ti­cip­a­tion is entirely vol­un­tary and you can stop at any time.

There’s more detailed inform­a­tion on the exper­i­ment page itself, which you can get to via this link:


Recording the Novel, Word by Fricking Word

It is my Web 2.0 dream to cre­ate a real-time rep­res­ent­a­tion of writ­ing a novelWell, maybe Web 1.0. I’m not sure I’d like to crowd-source the thing. I’d like a video, per­haps, that shows the let­ters appear­ing and dis­ap­pear­ing. The tap of a stone mason’s ham­mer could accom­pany each new let­ter; a squeaky sound a dele­tion. Once the novel is rep­res­en­ted in this way, the film could be speeded up. Imagine a novel tak­ing form like a house, brick by brick. Continue read­ing

Lists and the creative process

I once read that, before sit­ting down to write The StandOne of my favour­ite ever books, Stephen King put a single sen­tence on his notice­board. It was enough to put him in the space where he could write the novel.

That sen­tence was:

Randall Flagg is a dark man.

If that sen­tence doesn’t con­jure an entire world in your head, it sounds as though you’ve haven’t read The Stand. The only thing to do is pootle off and read it.

Via Roger’s Plog, I’ve just come across a list by Rachel King, author of the Sound of Butterflies, in which she places all those items that she needs to ‘fall through the hole in the paper’.

I thought it might be inter­est­ing to come up with a list of the things that some­what describe the ‘feel’ of my novel. Desert Island Objects, if you will, with the desert island being the novel itself.

Oh, and the synopsis.

UPDATE: Roger’s list is in the com­ments of Rachel’s art­icle, a couple of other lists too…

What’s the story, Hocking?

It’s been an embar­rass­ingly long time since I updated this blog. The last proper entry was pos­ted on the 17th of March. While there are sev­eral reas­ons for the slow down — a trip to Germany, a ton of stu­dent mark­ing — the chief prob­lem is that this blog is meant to doc­u­ment my writ­ing life and, to put it plainly, I haven’t had much of a writ­ing life recently.
Continue read­ing

Saskia Brandt 1, Ian Hocking 0

There are many senses in which the writ­ing life is an easy one. For example, one sits down a lot. The com­mute is short. No boss pops up like the shop­keeper in Mr Ben to ask why you’re check­ing Facebook when you know very well that the invoice for eight thou­sand and one paper­clips should have gone out eight­een minutes ago.
Continue read­ing