Creating Authentic Historic Characters: Portraying Racism as A Fact of Life

My current project, for those who have been following this blog, is a crime-comedy set in a small fictional Cornish town on Land’s End AONB (Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty). It’s a town occupied almost entirely by ghosts and one retired former DI from Cambridge. I decided early that the ghosts would come from all […]

Positive Stereotyping is Still Stereotying. It’s Also Bad Characterisation

I read a lot of blogs by fellow writers. Politically speaking, I am slightly left of centre yet when it comes to creating characters and character development, there is one thing that leaves me slightly uneasy when I talk with them about how to create and develop characters. I’m British so naturally I live on these […]

Need a Villain? Call Him / Her By This Name…

I have recently started re-watching Battlestar Galactica and finally getting to introduce my girlfriend to the show. We’re about halfway through season 1 so far and I can’t wait to introduce her to the arrival of Battlestar Pegasus, the advanced warship that turns up unexpectedly in season 2, sending BSG into a whole new direction […]

Things Never to Say to a Writer

This post is a little tongue in cheek, and there is definitely a case of “many a true word spoken in jest”; I’m sure most of us have heard this at some point but these are the things never to say to, and questions never to ask, a writer. Where Do You Get Your Ideas? Where do […]

Have ebooks Led a Novella Rebirth?

I found an article on Forbes about how epublishing has renewed interest in the novella. What is a novella? The interwebz are divided on the word count range, but most agree that it is a piece of fiction between 20,000 and 40,000 words. Variations go as low as 17,500 and as high as 50,000 though. At 30,000 words, Dead […]

How Should A Zombie Story End?

Compiling the epilogue to Dead Heat on my train journey back from Cornwall today, it occurred to me just how few well-known zombie stories – in film particularly – finish on a high, or at least with some sort of conclusion where the zombie apocalypse ends – or perhaps my zombie education is simply lacking? […]

Dealing with Company Names When Writing Fiction

This is one that got me thinking. I wrote another 1500 words of DNF this afternoon and finally, my protagonists were able to get hold of their mobile phones. Naturally, they found all of their networks were down and I included a conversation – as we all do – discussing network coverage. I was stuck on whether […]

Myths About Writing a Book I Dispelled While Writing A Book

We’ve all heard them, those little myths we get from the internet or someone who knows someone who heard that it’s the proper way to do things and you couldn’t possibly get it right or become a better writer if you don’t follow the rules. But what rules? And who set them? Here’s some I […]

Interview Your Character(s) – A Guide to Development

I touched on this earlier this year but want to go into a few more details. For long term projects such as novels, I have always found it a good idea to set up a mock interview to develop my characters. It always helps to flesh them out beyond words on a page and sometimes […]

A Study of Fictions Greatest Villainesses

A few days ago, I listed some of my favourite villains as represented by the Seven Biblical Sins in response to a Daily Post. Two things occurred to me while was compiling it. Firstly, that I could think of far fewer female characters representing those traditional seven deadly since of lust, avarice, gluttony, pride, envy, sloth and wrath […]