There’s nothing I like more than getting to the point. That’s what flash fiction does, and it’s also how I started writing. For the longest time, I wrote fractured pieces, snippets of stories that weren’t destined for me to finish. Characters came and went, challenges were entered, and pieces of stories lay frayed at the edges and abandoned to dusty corners.
But the skills I picked up writing flash fiction were invaluable.
If it weren’t for the heroics of bloggers and community builders like Charli Mills, I might never have been brave enough to pick up the proverbial pen and grit my way through 70,000 words.
February sees the launch of the first flash fiction anthology from Charli’s writing community: The Rough Writers over at The Carrot Ranch. I am both humbled and deeply honored to have been part of that anthology.
There’s nothing better than an epiphany. It’s all gooey and warm on the inside, and on the outside it smothers my brain in a glass clear sensation of clarity.
What follows is usually a brief flappy hand dance, a wide stare into the distance as my brain discombobulates and then has an epiphany.
That’s what the Emotion Thesaurus did to me the first time I read it. If you’re a writer and you don’t own a copy, then shame on you… You bloody ought to. To my absolute delight, I was given a copy of the latest installment in the emotion thesaurus series to review: The Emotional Wound Thesaurus.
Once again, I had one of those delightfully sticky and positively crystal clear moments. Each time Ackerman and Puglisi release a new book, it’s like my writing jumps another notch on the development scale.Continue reading →
It’s been a while since I saw a film that was so good I practically combusted over it. But I just saw the Dark Tower, and oh my sweet, sweet deliciously-evil villain heaven was it bloody amazing.
Now before anyone whips out their red pen and corrects this post:
ONE – This post will contain some spoilers, if you haven’t watched the film and intend to, please don’t read on.
TWO – I have not read The Gunslinger by Stephen King, that’s the book the film is based on. Therefore all comments are in relation to the movie the Dark Tower only.
I lied, there’s a third caveat, this is all my opinion. If you don’t like the Dark Tower movie, I can’t do anything about your bad taste in films. :p
Why am I talking about Dark Tower? Because it had a villain that was off the chart. And you know how I swoon over a good villain. But Walter (the villain) was also a total cliché, and yet, despite that, he worked. Like really, REALLY well. So well, that I was salivating literary story joy all over the screen.
Which means the film provides a cracking lesson on how to make a clichéd villain work: Continue reading →
If you want to sell books, then it’s not enough to just be good at writing anymore. In fact, being good at writing doesn’t really mean shit, (something I hate, but I can’t argue with the truth).
I watched a Chandler Bolt from Self Publishing School tutorial and he recounted a quote, from (I forget who), some big named best-selling author who was talking to a newbie about to publish.
This young author asked how the best selling author did it, how he sold so many books. To her disgust, he said it wasn’t about writing good books. He freely admitted he wasn’t the ‘best writer’ in the world. His accolades didn’t say “Best Quality Writer” or “Most Like Shakespeare” oh, no. His accolade said “Best-Selling Mofo” the only thing he (and subsequently the newbie writer) needed to be good at was selling.
I’ve talked about Author Earnings before, it’s a report on the whole book industry from Data Guy and Hugh Howie, something that I like to ponder on regularly. If you’re taking book selling seriously, then I think studying the industry is important. You don’t want to establish yourself as a writer and then get side slammed because one of your platforms for selling books closes. I look to the future a lot, and I talked about the debate between the indie and traditional publishing routes back in September, but today I am pondering the latest Author Earnings report, and what it might mean for us writers. Continue reading →
If we’re honest, us writers tend to be a little on the obsessive side. We get an idea, a character forms, and before we know it, we’re tits deep in 30,000 words of wordish vomit. We swim in it like it’s a jacuzzi with naked waiters continuously handing out glasses of champagne. No one wants to get out of that jacuzzi, I know I sure as shit don’t.
But sometimes, after you’ve been chucking up the good kind of word vomit (the one that’s rough round the edges but makes pretty pictures in the middle) all of a sudden it stops. Then you’re pouring out illegible turds, minus the glitter and shine.
Something’s broke. Really broke. It’s not writers block, because the words still come. Only now they’re turd-words instead of smothered with genius literary butter.
Now, no matter what you do, the pretty word vomit won’t come back. So what do you do? If you’re anything like me, you either:
Beat yourself with a pen chain and spiral bound notepad until your face is pitted with imprints or
Fall into a deep pit of self-deprecating writerly hatred
Neither of which are particularly effective at producing anything other than obscure shaped bruises. Trust me.
I had to try something new… So today, is less of a crazy lesson with bookish explanations and crude examples, and instead a lesson I’ve learnt through experience on my writing journey. Continue reading →
*Wipes brow* PHEWWWWW, it’s all over. Can’t fricking believe it. The bash consumed me for the last couple of months. So much so, I actually took an entire week off the blog… AN ENTIRE WEEK WITH NO POSTS… I KNOW. Try not to fall over. I was shocked too. I didn’t even put up a fight!
It was spectacular. I loved every minute and wanted to do a little reflecting on the event before I swiftly force ask the committee to start work on next year’s do. (I gave them one day off. I’m nice like that!) *snigger*
But it’s all over, I really can’t believe it. First and foremost, a massive thank you to all of you, we had an enormous 6331 votes cast this year, and that is all down to you, the bloggers for helping to share the awards. So thank you <3 Continue reading →
April brings another of those months where there are challenges coming out your ears and the usual pressures of Camp NaNo. That means time is limited. So I thought we would go old skool and do a challenge we haven’t done for a while.
Get a timer, set it for 120 seconds and when and ONLY when you are ready to do the challenge, scroll to the very end of the post to see the one word prompt. Write hard and fast until your time is up.
If you want to join in, post your flash in the comments or in a post and link back here. Mine is at the bottom under the word.
You have until 1st May to respond.
Please note, I do read every entry, but as I am taking a breather of sorts from the blog, in order to finish my book, it will take me a few days to read and reply to all your entries. Continue reading →