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'Writing fiction is, word by word, a balancing act. What to say and what not to say? How much to focus on detail, while pressing onwards to keep up the momentum of the narrative? And, simply, how close to keep to the real and how much to make up?'
Nick Holdstock considers the attraction of travelling – and writing – without a plan and shares how an unexpected project changed his approach to fiction writing.

Adriana Hunter contemplates the limitations of automated language translation by computers, and the liberties that human translators simply must take with source material.

Brian Clegg considers our human tendency to interpret the world via patterns and categories, and explains the trouble this causes when it comes to getting books into the hands of readers that might enjoy them.

'Your newly chosen philosophy degree gradually morphs into a literature one and with a dose of Sartrean self-creativity (life being malleable, existence rather than essence) you edit the university’s poetry magazine, write stories, plays, even act...'

Andrew Greig speaks with Doug Johnstone about historical fiction, his fascination with Scottish culture in its many guises, nearly dying of a brain cyst, the death of ambition and relief of being an ‘onlooker not a player’ and coming full-circle back to making music.

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