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Constrained Competition

June 23rd, 2015

typewriter-BlogSince we did the limerick competition back in May (click here to read the winning limericks) I’ve been looking into constrained writing – any kind of writing that has to fit a pattern or obey particular rules. We all know some of these: haiku; sonnet; iambic pentameter. Even if you don’t know the specific structures involved, most of us have an idea what they are. But what about univocalic poetry, where verses use only one of the eight available vowels, or chaterism, where the length of words in a phrase increase or decrease in a uniform way, like: “I am the best Greek bowler playing?” Read the rest of this entry »




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That’s The Way To Do It!

June 8th, 2015

R.Belligerence-BlogOur kids dragged us to the Manchester Film and Comic Con last weekend. Well, I say dragged … I was more excited than them. It was a huge event, packed with dealers, big screen TVs, an auditorium for talks, and rows of desks where celeb’s were signing graphic novels, DVDs, original artwork, baseball caps, etc.

My ten year old son was after ‘retro’ games, and we soon found some. So while he hummed and hahed over Pokemon and Donkey Kong I had a look round. I noticed one particular table which was quite simple (by comic con standards.) On a plain black cloth, it held just a few piles of books, all copies of four paperbacks that were neatly laid out on display – all clearly part of a series. Behind the table was a woman in a striking outfit – part Tolkien’s Rivendell, part Mos Eisley spaceport.

“Are you the author?” I said.

“Yes,” she said

And that’s how I came to meet the inspirational C. G. Hatton. Read the rest of this entry »




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You Pays Your Money And You Takes Your Choice

May 26th, 2015

WattBlog-BlogHave you come across Wattpad? I just discovered it a couple of days ago and … I’m in two minds. Where I can see there’s definitely something interesting going on, I’m not really sure it’s for me.

Wattpad is a Canadian based story-sharing website, like a Facebook or Youtube for writers. Stories and poems are shared in over fifty languages, and the stat’s for membership and reading are quite impressive: 40 million users per month with an average user session of thirty minutes. Readers are encouraged to post comments about work they’ve read, writers have profile pages where you can message them privately, and there are a number of Forums where both writers and readers join in extended conversations. Generally, from what I can see, people are serialising novels and putting them up one chapter at a time. Some attract thousands of readers, and one I noticed – Flawed by someone calling themselves bnflan has been read an enormous 2, 410, 414 times. Read the rest of this entry »




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How to Write a Best Selling Novel

February 3rd, 2015

shock_fallWe’d all like to know how to do that, wouldn’t we? But Nathan Filer, author of Shock of the Fall seems to have got it just right and in this clip he gives you tips on how to go about it. He was winner of the Costa Book of the Year, 2013; the Betty Trask Prize, 2014 and Popular Fiction Book of the Year at the National Book Awards, 2014. Not to mention the fact that the book has now been translated into 27 languages. Not bad for a first novel! Read the rest of this entry »




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A Story Plot is Like Life

January 23rd, 2015

Colin-Bulman-BookWhy 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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About The Author: Diana Nadin

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