It’s that time of year when we get all reflective and look back at what’s happened in 2014. 2014 was the year that The Writer’s Cookbook started, and I really appreciate all the support I’ve received so far. I hope that in 2015 the site will continue to grow and you’ll all continue to show your support for it 🙂

As part of that reflectiveness, here’s a list of The Writer’s Cookbook‘s best of 2014.

Harry Potter vs. the Dementors: A Metaphor for Depression

This is a post that was originally featured on Heart of Glass. I was so proud of it that I decided to post it on here so that those interested in the topic can still read the post. It was clearly a good idea, too–it’s the most popular post of 2014.

It’s a well-documented fact that J.K.Rowling suffers from depression.  When she first began to write the Harry Potter books, she’d moved back from Portugal to Scotland, had separated from her partner, was unemployed and had a young child to raise.  She began a downward spiral that Harry helped her out of, and in those stories she wrote the greatest metaphor for depression there’s ever been.

Click here to read on.

Image Credit: Nerdist

Image Credit: Nerdist

10 Things You Should Know About Young Adult Fiction

This was a guest post written by my friend and editor Silvia M. Lopez. She’s a writer of YA fiction, and has faced many misconceptions when writing it.

There are many misconceptions about Young Adult (YA) fiction. This article intends to clear up some of them, as well as offer some insight into the world of YA, whether you approach it as a reader or a writer. Below is a list of 10 things you should know about YA.

Click here to read on.


A Short Guide to Fantasy Genres

Another guest post by Silvia, this one breaks down fantasy genres–it’s not just as simple as ‘fantasy’. There’s epic fantasy, urban fantasy, historical fantasy…

Whenever I ask someone, ‘Hey, what are you reading?’ and they shrug and answer ‘Oh, just some fantasy,’ I always cringe at the lack of specifics and have to bite my tongue before blurting out ‘But what kind?!’ and start listing them to my unsuspecting victim. Fantasy is such a rich genre, that it encompasses many sub-genres that are all very different to each other.

Click here to read on.

When Did ‘Banter’ Become a Euphemism for Bullying?

A fairly recent post that raises a valid question. Banter is something that used to be exchanged between friends, but now it’s used as a justification for picking on or bullying people. There is nothing that can ever justify bullying, no matter what euphemism is used to describe it.

Television channel Dave refers to itself as ‘Home of witty banter’. Radio presenters often refer to discussions between presenters and producers as ‘banter’. But when did it become a euphemism for bullying?

A supply teacher was recently fired for banning the word ‘banter’ in his classroom. Students were picking on other classmates then justifying their behaviour by saying, ‘It’s just banter,’ as if that justifies their behaviour somehow.

It doesn’t.

Click here to read on.


12 Steps For When You’re Writing About Something You Know Nothing About

An oldie but a goody. This one’s great if you’re writing about something completely new and don’t know where to start.

So you’ve got to write a piece – it could be some copy, a journalistic article, or even a piece of fiction – and it’s on a topic you know nothing about. What do you do?

Click here to read on.

The 8 Essential Ingredients You Need to Write a Successful Piece of Fiction

This was the very first post that I wrote for The Writer’s Cookbook. It’s part of the ingredients series, which goes through what fiction, poetry, screenplays, scripts, copy and blogwriting need to be successful.

In this upcoming series of articles, I’ll be sharing the vital ingredients needed by every piece of writing to make it successful.  What do I mean by ‘successful’?  I mean writing that is clear, well-executed, and makes readers come back for more.  I can’t guarantee any money from your great writing, sorry.

In this first part of the series, I’m going to be looking into what ingredients you need to write a great piece of fiction.  Some areas may be more likely to apply to short stories than novels, and vice versa.

Click here to read on.


The Downsides to Studying Creative Writing

Having studied Creative Writing at both undergraduate and postgraduate level, and knowing many other writers who’ve studied various things to various successes, I felt it was important to share what I’d learnt from studying them to help anyone considering studying it. Whilst the article is geared mainly towards university studies, the rules can apply to other writing-related courses, too.

There’s also a post on the upsides to studying Creative Writing, too.

Studying Creative Writing isn’t as simple as writing a story and getting a grade for it.  Pieces are marked on their originality, their use and control of language, and your ability to explain your writing process.  You must approach your writing from an academic perspective whilst maintaining the creativity that you need to carve a piece out of a blank piece of paper (or screen).  Studying Creative Writing is not a walk in the park, nor is it for people who class Fifty Shades of Grey as the greatest book ever written.

Click here to read on.

An Alternative to Mr Grey: My Top 5 Love Stories

Another repost from Heart of Glass, this one was written by Harriet Bunting.

Before we begin it should be noted that this list does not contain a single mention of Romeo and Juliet  — a self-described tragedy — or indeed Fifty Shades of Grey — a different kind of tragedy altogether. The former is a terrible relationship model and the latter doesn’t even count as a model; it’s an abusive mess that you should most certainly be running from, preferably at high speeds. This list will contain books with a bit of oomph, and some will not be for the faint-hearted, but they do not idolise abuse or dubious consent. Because, and I’m letting you in on a well-kept secret here: that’s not love.

Click here to read on.


Feminist Writers You Need to Know

Another guest post, this one was written by former Heart of Glass columnist Katie Smith.

Whether you’re an active supporter of Women’s Rights or are just up for a dabble in a new genre, feminist literature is something that everyone can enjoy. Defined as literature supporting ‘feminist goals of defining, establishing and defending equal civil, political, economic and social rights for women’, it often identifies women’s roles as unequal to those of men — particularly in regards to status, privilege and power — and generally portrays the consequences to women, men, families, communities and societies as undesirable and in requirement of change. Whether you give one or all of the following authors a read, rest assured you will not be disappointed in the literary roller-coaster that is feminist literature.

Click here to read on.

8 Resources Every Writer Needs, and 1 You Don’t

Having resources for any career or hobby is important. Some are more beneficial than others, and in this article I talk you through some of my favourites, as well as one I really, REALLY don’t think you need. EVER.

Ingredients are important when writing, but it’s also important to have great resources.  Below are some of my favourites.

Click here to read on.

Well, that’s it! The very best of 2014 from The Writer’s Cookbook. I can’t wait to see what 2015 brings!