Some 21st Century Character Archetypes

This first appeared in 2012. New version edited and updated. I read a lot of books and I watch a lot of films and TV series, typically in the evening to wind down from spending all day on the laptop working. I’ve identified several tropes of the modern age. I don’t know if any appearContinue reading “Some 21st Century Character Archetypes”

Feed a Writer AND an Artist: Buy Books New!

“Do you know how much it costs to pay an artist to design a custom cover for your book?” Was a question I recently asked of somebody in a book group. This was in response to how “cheap” self-published and indy book covers look, and that they “put readers off”. While readers are drawn toContinue reading “Feed a Writer AND an Artist: Buy Books New!”

Some Dos and Don’ts for Writing a Prequel

It seems prequels, prequel-sequels and sequels to prequels that remain prequels are all the rage at the moment. This year, I’ve read Philip Pullman’s La Belle Sauvage (the first volume in His Dark Materials follow-up, but a prequel) and last weekend watched Alien Covenant. These two works have got me thinking a lot about whatContinue reading “Some Dos and Don’ts for Writing a Prequel”

Why Regional Food Culture Matters in Your Fiction

Food, glorious, food. Who doesn’t like it? We need to eat to survive but there is so much more to food than mere sustenance. I started writing about food on this blog when researching for my Romans vs Aliens novel (preliminary title: Children of Phobetor). The article on Roman street food remains rather popular. IContinue reading “Why Regional Food Culture Matters in Your Fiction”

A Sense of Place: London, The Eternal City

It’s been almost two years since I wrote about creating a sense of place in your urban landscape when writing, but I want to revisit it following a most recent trip to London where I climbed the O2 arena and was able to take in a good portion of the city while on top ofContinue reading “A Sense of Place: London, The Eternal City”

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?Continue reading “How Should A Zombie Story End?”

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 whetherContinue reading “Dealing with Company Names When Writing Fiction”

Myths About Writing a Novel I Dispelled While Writing A Novel

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 IContinue reading “Myths About Writing a Novel I Dispelled While Writing A Novel”

So You’ve Decided to Write a Sequel

Last week, Roz Morris posted this article on when you should or shouldn’t write a sequel. I agree that we have become far too sequel minded as Hollywood churns out guaranteed moneyspinners and fails to take risks on new projects in these financially difficult times. I have created only two sequels to my work. TheContinue reading “So You’ve Decided to Write a Sequel”

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 shortContinue reading “Writing the Seasons: It’s Christmaaaaas!”