Writing the Seasons: It’s Christmaaaaas!

Welcome to the year’s first Christmas special! Perhaps not as hotly anticipated as this year’s slice of Doctor Who but I’m sure you’ve all been dying to know what I think of how we portray the season in our writing.

I’m sure some of you are about to start or are currently writing festive-themed short stores. So here, I hope to go over the obvious ways to portray Christmas but also to try to think about the less conventional elements to the environment at this time of year.Continue reading “Writing the Seasons: It’s Christmaaaaas!”

Character Feature: Satan in Film

Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.

This is a slightly different character feature for this month. Instead of doing an analysis of a character, I’m going to look at my favourite portrayals on screen of one of the most important characters in Christian lore.Continue reading “Character Feature: Satan in Film”

Character Feature: Marcus Didius Falco

As I have only read ten of the approximately twenty books in this series, this character feature is likely to be a “part 1” with a part 2 expected many years from now. Please don’t hold me to that though!

Appeared in: Lindsey Davis’ series of crime/mystery historical fiction with a good dose of humour. Radio adaptations voiced by Anton Lesser in several BBC radio adaptations.Continue reading “Character Feature: Marcus Didius Falco”

Writing the seasons: Autumn

Autumn is the slow decline of the year toward the winter, a slow lingering death from the height of summer into the cold and dark. Yet autumn is far from miserable. I love the unexpected warm days. I love the colours of the season and the wind and rain feels quite energetic and powerful. It has always felt like a season of portents and omens, birds are flocking, deer are rutting, autumnal colour is everywhere.

So how do we write what autumn feels like?

Continue reading “Writing the seasons: Autumn”

Character Feature: Lyra Belacqua

Lyra with Iorek Byrnisom (New Line Cinema: The Golden Compass) wikimedia.com FAIR USE

Appeared in: Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials trilogy and spin off book Lyra’s Oxford. New Line Cinema filmed a movie version of the first book Northern Lights under its US title The Golden Compass. Lyra portrayed by then debut actress Dakota Blue Richards.Continue reading “Character Feature: Lyra Belacqua”

British vs American Terms Ready Reckoner

Some of the complaints I’ve heard around the internet about Fifty Shades of Grey aside from its juvenile writing style, poor word use and repetition of phrases is how un-American it feels. This is a complaint made by American readers in that they are finding it difficult to believe that this is set in their country. “Americans don’t talk like that” or “I’ve never heard an American use that word before!”

Fair enough. E.L. James is British and perhaps we might accuse the book of demonstrating poor research amongst its sins. I can’t comment, I haven’t read it and I won’t read it. This is a common trap to fall into and you need to go for authenticity on the finer points.

Continue reading “British vs American Terms Ready Reckoner”

Book Review: Russka by Edward Rutherfurd

So, onto the next mammoth book by Edward Rutherfurd who is known – perhaps uniquely – for creating a story around the history of a place and populating it with characters and their descendants as we move through history’s most memorable events. This time, he has chosen to take on the geographically mighty Russia, telling its history from the second century AD through to 1990 and the end of Communism.

If you have read at least one of his works, you know what go expect. Each chapter is a set in a different time period; familiarity is exercised through the descendants of those in the previous chapters so continuity is maintained through the ongoing feuds, marriages, business partnerships etc. Of the work I have read, this approach is no better demonstrated than in Sarum. For me it remains his best work.Continue reading “Book Review: Russka by Edward Rutherfurd”

Character Feature: Batman

I began work on this about ten days ago and until a few hours ago, I almost didn’t post this for obvious reasons. Nevertheless, here is my summary for why Batman is my favourite masked avenger in the month that Nolan’s trilogy ending The Dark Knight Rises hits cinema screens.

People think it’s an obsession. A compulsion. As if there were an irresistible impulse to act. It’s never been like that. I chose this life. I know what I’m doing. And on any given day, I could stop doing it. Today, however, isn’t that day. And tomorrow won’t be either.

Identity Crisis


Continue reading “Character Feature: Batman”

Losing My Sex Scene V-Card

Yes people, after a lot of debate and researching “how tos” and “how not tos” and giving serious thought to those types of scene that I do and don’t like, at the weekend I finally took the plunge and wrote my very first sex scene. I knew it had to be done as the physical act is pivotal to the development of the character in question. I don’t want to give too much away but those of you that have read parts or all of my first novel will probably figure out which character I mean. This was not have been his first time, but it would be the first time that he had emotional feelings toward the woman involved.Continue reading “Losing My Sex Scene V-Card”

Writing Love/Sex scenes – Some Thoughts

With the world currently going crazy over Fifty Shades of Grey and its quickly published sequels, I’ve been having a surf around the internet today to figure out what all the fuss was about. I’ve come up against very polarised views about the books with criticisms usually centring on a dumbed down writing style, the poor use of language during the sex scenes (“uninspiring”, “perfunctory” and “unimaginative” being common complaints) and having a contrived plot. That said, the writer must be doing something right to be the author of the fastest selling debut novel of all time.Continue reading “Writing Love/Sex scenes – Some Thoughts”