Creative Questions

2 ratings

Although I offer a full editing service, sometimes that's more than you need. Perhaps you have a specific question related to your creative writing, and just wish you had someone knowledgeable who would listen and give friendly feedback, or discuss a topic over a coffee. Well, I've been doing that on request for a couple of years, but wanted to make it it easier for people to book my time, so here we are: Creative Questions! Something affordable and focussed that won't break the bank, but also doesn't lead to information overload. My goal is to offer something I would have found useful early on in my writing career.


Where it says "Name a fair price" enter £30, click "Add to cart", pay the fee, and I'll get in touch with you. If you want to discuss things in advance then feel free to email me:

If you're unwaged, in economic difficulty, or any other situation that makes money tight, then I offer a discount. No need to prove anything, just enter the price as £22.

You'll send me details of the topic you're interested in or questions you have, probably along with some work it relates to. Note that this is a focussed service, so I'm thinking you might send the equivalent of a poem or two, a short story, the chapter of a book, an author bio or book blurb, a plot outline, or whatever other short thing you're working on that goes with your question. No full novels, please!

I'll read the sample and ponder your topic, then arrange for a chat. If you are local to Dumfries (Scotland) we could meet in a cafe to chat over coffee. If you aren't local, or just prefer online, then we'll arrange some form of video chat. Either way, I consider it to be an informal conversation between friends, providing focussed feedback, helpful suggestions, and inspiring ideas. Like any chat, it could lead to other creative-related questions and topics, and I'll do my best to advise! You can bounce ideas off me, pick my brains, get advice and encouragement, and discuss publishing or technique.

Examples of past questions and topics I've discussed with people:

  • "I've written multiple versions of a poem: which one is best? And how could any good bits from the other versions be combined into the best version?"
  • "I'm entering this writing competition (link). Can you look at my submission and give me any tips to make it stronger?"
  • "I've been told this story has too much telling and not enough showing, have you got any advice?"
  • "I want to put together a short story collection and would like your advice on the stages involved, and topics like selecting the best stories, and what order to put them in."
  • "I'm trying to come up with a compelling author bio, can you read the ones I've drafted out and advise?"
  • "I'm going to perform some of my work at a local event: please could I read it out to you first, so you can let me know what you think?"
  • "I'm thinking about the publication and distribution options for the book I'm working on, and it would be handy to see if I'm being realistic or not."
  • "I really have trouble with organising all the material related to a book. Argh! Any advice to make it easier to keep on top of the project? Someone mentioned versioning?"

Why Choose Me?

My main editing page has more information on my background, plus feedback from clients. Basically, I make my living from writing and editing books, as well as running popular creative writing sessions and occasionally mentoring budding creatives.


"Hey, Karl, I live in Dumfries. Can I just meet you and pay in cash?"
Sure. Just send me an email and we'll sort it out. :-)

"What kind of coffee?"
Erm, any, really. I often pick Americano with soya, or an espresso. But it could be tea. Or water. Yeah, we should all drink more water. (Subliminal message there.) Really, the idea of the coffee is an aspirational image that ties together connotations of relaxation and excitement, to tempt your senses into giving me money. Ooops, that's foiled my literary device. This is turning into a villain's soliloquy.


"Karl is a tremendously insightful and supportive creative force I feel fortunate to have crossed paths with. His perspective and feedback is considered and continuously, spot on. He shines a light into the darker corners of being stuck within word walls. With humor, experience and sincerity, he provides great encouragement and guidance. A genuine creative allie/mentor/legend."
– Sahara D

"I’m working on a rather complex writing project and needed an objective eye and a ‘poet’s ear’. Karl is top notch. He read the ‘work in progress’ sensitively and intelligently. His written comments were instantly helpful and I’ve gone back to them for reinforcement. We also had the face-to-face dialogue. This was extremely helpful. Some of his feedback was instantly recognizable as ‘spot on’ in that he’d hit on segments that I wasn’t completely comfortable with and needed verification and there were other elements that hadn’t occurred to me but resonated with me when he pointed them out. Writing is a solitary activity and it’s hard sometimes to be both the creator and the critic. I highly recommend Karl."
– Anne L

"I AM SO EXCITED. I think I’ve already figured out how I will rewrite it and I really see now what I couldn’t before- all the ways in which I’m using narration to substitute action and that’s something that I’ve had to work in a lot in my writing so it feels really good to feel myself levelling up even just in being able to recognise my weaknesses and knowing that I can improve on them. Thank you so so much for today. It had honestly helped so much!"
– Christine W

"I feel that being an amateur writer it is reassuring to have an expert like Karl at hand to guide and assist especially because of the fact that I lack confidence with my own writing. So it is very helpful and beneficial to get that feedback so I can improve on my weaknesses and keep working on my strengths to achieve my writing goals."
– Pamela S

"Thanks very much for taking time and thought in sending me your detailed and constructive feedback, Karl. Your observations assisted with the poem I was writing and also carried through to how I approached other pieces of work."
– Jeanette A

"Thank YOU ... I'm 85% less nervous about the poetry performance after discussing it with you, and also glad to know you as a human."
– Julia M

"Thanks Karl – that’s excellent. I’m def getting more aware of all my inconsistencies – silly wee things – some of which aren't helped by my typing too fast. I’ll go through this more next week, your notes have been very helpful and the mentor-style support helped me hugely :)"
– Sarah M

I want this!


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Creative Questions

2 ratings
I want this!