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Schadenfreude

November 17th, 2017

At the recent Hong Kong Literary festival Ian Rankin, author of the John Rebus novels, was quoted as saying that in a world of uncertainty, increasing violence and terrorist attacks people were turning away from grittier novels and looking for something more ‘kind and gentle’.

I agree that reading is a form of escapism. But I also suspect that there is a degree of schadenfreude among the reading public. We sit comfortably with our book of choice and enjoy the fact that we’re safe while the protagonists are undergoing all sorts of perils and problems. And it’s not a new thing. You only need to go back to the Bronte sisters. Wuthering Heights…Jane Eyre… very romantic but also very gothic. They must have sent an enjoyable shudder up the spines of many a well-brought-up young lady.

And certainly the latest releases on film and TV don’t seem to back up his view. I went to see Armando Iannucci’s  Death of Stalin this week – films don’t come much bloodier (or funnier) than that. Plus Peaky Blinders is back on TV for a much-heralded fourth series with its mix of violence, sex and brilliant background music.

So, despite Mr. Rankin’s comments I suspect there is still a great appetite out there for well-crafted fiction, no matter how disturbing its content.

Next, two things to remind you about. If you feel you would like to try your hand at writing non-fiction (articles or a book) then we’re offering £25 off our Non-Fiction Course if you enrol before Sunday (19th November). Just click this link for details and how to enrol at the reduced price. Producing articles is a great place to start your career as a writer, as you’re often using knowledge (and skills) that you already have. All you need to do is craft them into a form that will interest others. And, certainly in Britain, the number of non-fiction books published each year is far higher than the number of novels – so there’s a huge market for your work out there.

Also note that our Flash Fiction Competition will be closing on 30th November – so you do still have time to enter. But to be in with a chance of winning you need to let us have a gripping, original 500-word story. And in return the three lucky (or I should really say ‘talented’) winners will receive £300, £200 or £100. Plus they will each also receive a Writers Bureau course of their choice (worth over £374). Nothing ventured, nothing gained; so why not get your creative hat on, start working on that plot and then distilling it down to a perfectly formed 500-word masterpiece!

I’ve still not had any response to my request for guest bloggers. I don’t mind writing every week, but I’m sure our readers would love to have the writing world presented to them from a different angle occasionally; so if anyone feels tempted please get in touch.

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About The Author: Diana Nadin

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