Back Your Story

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Who needs to see a character’s back story? Not the reader, usually, but it is essential that the writer knows the back stories of principal characters, at least. And they must be well written. If the writer can’t take the characters that seriously, how can the reader? Besides, there might be another useful by-product: an illustrative scene from a character’s back story can easily lead to an excellent ‘slice of life’ short story – one which is capable of standing on its own. I have found some of my best stories by this route.

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Biting Back

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Although not surprising, it is sad to see the Daily Mail continuing its long history of attacks on the Labour movement and its members (see, for example, the ‘Zinoviev letter’ of 1924). There has been an upside to the Miliband affair, however. Ed Miliband is learning at last to bite the hand that smacks him rather than that which feeds him. Hopefully, he will begin to carry this forward in other contexts (Labour’s relationship with the trade unions, for example – SUPPORT THE FIREFIGHTERS – or its policy on immigration).