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John-Paul Flintoff

📖 7 Books in 16 languages 📚 including: How To Change The World A Modest Book About How To Make An Adequate Speech.

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Writing a book proposal is a pain in the wotsit

Hello Reader Last Thursday, I spent an invigorating 45 mins on Zoom with writers who are working on non-fiction book proposals. This was the first Write Your Book Proposal group zoom. Unashamedly rough sketch, from memory The idea behind this gathering is to make the sometimes dreadful process of writing a proposal easier for all concerned. More book-proposal Zooms, every Thursday throughout July. There’s one at lunchtime (UK), one in the early evening. Free to join. Read more here. JPF

Go into a branch of Waterstones (or other well supplied bookshop). Take photographs of the front and back cover of books much like the one you intend to write. Use the text reading thingy on your iPhone to copy all the text on everything – or other type of phone, but I don’t know anything about other phones. Feed all that text into your favourite AI wotsit. Command the AI wotsit to make sense of it all. Repeat previous step a few times because let’s face it the AI wotsit won’t be flawlessly...

Hello Reader Can you guess which film inspired these two drawings: Clatter clatter clatter ding! Some years after the Watergate scandal pictured here (oops, did I give away the answer?) I would spend many hours in my mum’s office after school and during half-term etc. Mum worked as a lawyer, and dictated letters into a dictaphone. The tapes were taken away to be typed by her secretary, Debbie. Other typing was done in a typing pool, where three women (yep, all women) typed and typed and typed...

Hello Reader The typewriter drawings continue. This woman with a beehive is typing on a manual. For your info, the photo on which this was based is black and white. Tapetty-tapetty-tap. Ding! Etc You may wonder what has prompted this sudden interest in the old-fashioned typewriter. Well, it has a lot to do with my growing anxiety about AI. I’ll attempt to explain a bit more tomorrow. Plus, I’ll post a picture of a later typist with an electric typewriter. I bet you can’t wait! *** Thanks for...

Hello Reader I had a very positive response to yesterday’s email about the advantages of typewriters. Thank you. Here’s a less positive account. I invite you, as you read, to consider how much has really changed with the advent of computers. Erika Typewriter (Cyrillic). The Erika typewriter company was established in the early 1900s by Carl Laufer and Ludwig Kracker: Erika was the name of Kracker’s wife. By the 1930s, Kracker had stepped down. Under Laufer, the company became one of Germany’s...

Atmospheric drawing of a woman in the 1940s, sitting behind a typewriter

Greetings Reader A typist in the Churchill film. - no cable or batteries,- satisfying tap-tap-tap-ping!, - no problems (ever) with wifi, - unlikely to be hacked by bad actors, - auto-saves your work,- rare metals not generally reqd.,- no strangers asking to “connect”,- smaller than a piano,- more legible than handwriting,- familiar qwerty keyboard,- no subscription fee,- good enough for Hemingway etc Thank you for looking. Till next time. JPF You can SWITCH any time to Daily, Weekly or Monthly

Hello hello! Yesterday, I spent a whole therapy session talking about a book proposal I'm trying to write. It was quite helpful, actually. (To be clear: I'm not a psychotherapist. I was the client / patient.) This is the monthly newsletter from John-Paul FlintoffYou can unsubscribe any time, using the link below The book I want to write is about interviews. Not about dialogue, as such, but about what happens when dialogue is shared with some kind of audience. That's what makes it an...

Greetings Reader Have you stopped on a pavement, recently, to take a whiff of a neighbour's lilac? I recommend it. I wish you could smell the one on Crewys Road, between me and Childs Hill Park. It looks a bit like this: Ink, pencil and pen on A3 textured 250gsm paper. In other news: Using pictures to develop stories. I asked a recent International Booker Prize winner if I could do his portrait, along the lines of this one. He seems willing. Magnolia prints now available. (These prints are -...

Hello Reader Until you attempt to describe a still image, using actual words, it doesn't really mean much. Or, to put that the other way around: by describing a picture - actually choosing words and uttering them or writing them down - you can't avoid finding stories in it. I recorded a short video about this (see below), at the request of Helen at Arvon, to drum up interest in the upcoming online writing course. In the video you can see examples of the to-and-fro of words and pictures...

Hello hello Recently, I sent you an email with this photo of writers NOT having a beastly time: They were finishing an online writing course, run by the Arvon Foundation. I mentioned that I'm running a one-day course later this month. Some who replied said that, alas, the date doesn't work. I hope you won't mind if I trouble your inbox with details of an alternative (below). Instead of a one-day intensive, you can join me and the sensational Alice Jolly over five weeks. I've run Arvon...