Roald Dahl Quote

Dark Angels Note 115

Dearest Friends

Welcome back to our weekly Dark Angels Note.



This week, in 1916, Roald Dahl was born (13 September 1916 – 23 November 1990).

Well known for his fantastical and funny children’s stories, his foray into writing came late and by “pure fluke” when he met author C S Forrester, who encouraged him to write.

Drawing on his experiences as a fighter pilot, his first short story was published in the Saturday Evening Post anonymously in 1942.

His best-selling debut collection Someone Like You was a macabre mix of short stories. But it wasn’t until he started making up bedtime stories for his children that he turned his writing to a younger audience.

He went on to write 19 children’s books starting with James and the Giant Peach in 1961.



4 hours each day in a writing hut, 6 sharp pencils sharpened before you start, a blanket and a comfy armchair – what are the ingredients for a perfect writing routine?

“It’s looking and musing and correcting and then you do a little writing. In the end, you get something done.”

Watch this clip from Pebble Mill 1982: Roald Dahl’s writing routine



“Everything else in your life disappears and you look at your bit of paper and get completely lost in what you’re doing. You do become another person for a moment. Time disappears completely.”

Roald Dahl

Take a blank sheet of paper and a freshly-sharpened pencil. Write the words: Time disappears completely… as a starting point and write for 5 minutes.



Keep sending us your poems, writings, links and writerly whatnots that you’d like to share with the wider Dark Angels family.




Weekly Tuesday Gatherings

Join us for a reflective hour of reading, writing and communing led by Neil Baker. Everyone is welcome; in fact, invite a friend along. We meet at 7pm UK time. To join us, click here on the night. There’s no need to register in advance and we’ll be using the same link every week from now on.


26 Orphans: Creative Writing Workshop

As part of a project for writers’ group 26 with the Foundling Museum in London, devised by John and called 26 Orphans, John & Neil will be running a creative workshop based on Dark Angels thinking.

The workshop will be in the morning and in the afternoon there will be a tour of the museum with readings from some of the 26 writers involved. And it’s all part of the Bloomsbury Festival on Saturday 22 October.

You can find out more and book a ticket here through the Foundling Museum.


Writing With Constraints: London, 9 November

One way to make writing easier is to make it harder. That sounds illogical, but putting some obstacles in the way of your writing can be a great way to get the creative juices flowing.

Whether you are a first timer, an experienced writer or all-round creative person, this will be an enjoyable and rewarding workshop. Find out more about the Writing with constraints workshop on the website.


Be well, keep reading, keep writing and know that we’re always here..

From everyone at Dark Angels