January 30th, 2015
First, thanks to Colin for last Friday’s blog. You often hear people who are ‘sniffy’ about genre fiction saying it’s plot driven, whereas literary fiction (usually their preferred reading/writing matter) is character driven. It’s OK for a book or story to be character driven but if those characters don’t provide some forward movement or development (a plot?!) then the reader loses interest pretty fast. Read the rest of this entry »
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January 26th, 2015
Hey, I’ve made an album! All my own songs. I played most of the instruments too. It took a year to record, and we did the final session last Tuesday. So that’s it – job done. I’ve just got to sell the thing now and … oomph! … there I am, back to Earth with a bump.
Seems like polishing off an album is just like finishing a collection of poems, a set of stories, or a novel. After all the great creative work, you have to get down to business. Should you release the thing yourself (self-publish)? Or try for a record company (publisher)? Who’ll do the artwork? Should you get a stock of hard copies made, or just go digital? And what about marketing? Read the rest of this entry »
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January 23rd, 2015
Why is a carefully worked out plot both necessary and popular in any short story or novel? My contention is that the answer to this question is quite simply that the progression of a plot in a story follows or reflects a similar pattern to the development of the main events in almost everyone’s life. Subconsciously we are attuned to be interested in plots – and perhaps need them.
Let us take what is probably the most common and familiar plot in fiction from crime stories, romances, adventure stories and even literary stories. In these stories there is invariably a main character (a protagonist) who has some aim to fulfil, some crime to solve, a partner to find, success to achieve, a battle to win – and so on. To make the story interesting, obstacles must be put in the way of the protagonist. He or she must struggle to be successful in whatever the enterprise is. Suspense must be created as the reader wonders how the obstacles will be overcome. The protagonist is likely to be in conflict with others who may wish to prevent his or her success. There will be setbacks and the final one (the climax) will be especially dramatic. Assuming that the protagonist is successful in whatever the enterprise was, the ending of the story will be happy. If failure occurs, then we have a tragedy. Some stories end more neutrally. Read the rest of this entry »
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January 19th, 2015
You know how people say, ‘If you’re stuck for an idea and don’t know what to write, then go for a walk?’ Well, if you were really at a loss, you could always try writing about … the walk.
Does that sound daft? It did when I first put it down. But, apparently, it’s not. You see, I’ve just finished reading an article called The Great Outdoors by WB tutor Simon Whaley. It was in an old edition of E-Zee Writer from 2009, and it’s all about writing, then publishing, walking routes. Read the rest of this entry »
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January 16th, 2015
By now I’m sure that all of you have heard of Facebook boss, Mark Zuckerberg’s New Year resolution to read more books. But he’s also launched an online book club and the first title on his reading list is The End of Power by Moises Naim. Needless to say, the book has rocketed into the Amazon bestseller list and sold out. Had you heard of it? No, me neither. And I won’t be taking any bets on the number of people who download it but never quite reach the end!
Apparently, after announcing his New Year resolution Zuckerberg said: “Books allow you to explore a topic and immerse yourself in a deeper way than most media today”. Nothing like stating the obvious! Read the rest of this entry »
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