A short time ago, I was invited by a friend to write a short piece for an upcoming anthology, published online, called The Darwin Murders. Participants were asked to write a 250 word piece in which they could kill of a character of their choosing, provided the poor unfortunate didn’t/doesn’t exist in real life. (No killing Hitler or Stalin, okay?)
I choose the bane of modern-day small screen viewing, the horror that is the television licence inspector. The editors liked my story so much that I was one of two authors who had their pieces put aside for special mention.
If you want to find out how and why I murdered a television licence inspector, pop over to Amazon and see for yourself. And don’t stop at me, either. Other writers in the anthology harbour secret desires to bump off their nemeses. At the end of the day, we each have our dark sides.
Don’t forget to look behind you – you could be next.
Posted in Uncategorized, writing
Tagged Adolf Hitler, Arts, Charles Darwin, Joseph Stalin, Murder, Online Writing, Stalin, Television, Writers Resources, writing
I found out about WOOL from a Facebook friend, who recommended it highly. And boy am I glad she did! Post-apocalyptic and dystopian literature doesn’t come much better than Hugh Howey’s five novel series(with more to follow, as well as the prequels FIRST/SECOND SHIFT).
From WOOL’s ominous beginning – a recently widowed sheriff volunteers for “cleaning” – to its revealing conclusion, the author fills each page with characters that grow from accepting the status quo to questioning everything they’ve been led to believe about how and why they live the way they do. Even the ‘villain’ of the piece is motivated by what he thinks is right – and a part of me understood why he acted the way he did.
Mr. Howey’s writing is superb; his descriptions of life underground are both real and affecting, and his action scenes gripped me with their authenticity and pace. In WOOL, mankind’s future is as bleak as Cormac McCarthy’s THE ROAD, but the hope Hugh Howey offers at the end makes following Juliette’s journey a sign that maybe, just maybe, we can make amends for our mistakes.
Read WOOL. Please.
Posted in Books, Reviews
Tagged Books, Cormac McCarthy, dystopian literature, Facebook, Howey, Hugh Howey, Juliette, Post-apocalyptic literature, Self-publishing, SHIFT Communications, WOOL, writing
A friend posted this on my Facebook page yesterday. All I can say is Amen!
I missed out on writing yesterday because of the inconvenience of work. But I intend to put this to right today, when I hit five figures. 10,000 words, here I come.
Lots done, lots more to do. The first day of NaNoWriMo has come and gone. At the stroke of midnight, I got writing. In a little over an hour and a half I had just under 1700 words in the bank. When I got home this evening I added another 1300 to bring my day one total to 3000 words.
As is usual for me, my inner editor and critic was shouting No! and Is this the best you can do? My answer to them is Yes! and No! If NaNoWriMo was all about quality rather than quality, it would be called NaNoWriYear.
It’s the eve of National Novel Writing Month 2011. Thirty days of literary abandon start at midnight. I’m as ready as I’ll ever be. I’m stoked, but I’m nervous. Already I’m wondering if I’m good enough to complete the task of writing a minimum of 50,ooo words in November. Already I’m concerned that outside distractions (work, family, friends, life’s problems in general) will cause me to fall at any of the fences in front of me.
I can’t let that happen, though. I won’t let that happen. Barring serious injury and personal catastrophe I shall pass the post with days and words to spare. Okay, if I’m to be more realistic about this, I’ll be equally as content if I pass the 50,ooo word mark at 11:59pm on 30 November.
My preference is to write at least 2,000 words a day: 1,ooo in the morning, 1,000 in the evening. Two hours’ work, tops. Seeing it written down like this makes it a far less tortuous prospect, don’t you think?
Image c/o Hugh Macleod: gapingvoid.com
It may look easy, but blogging on a daily basis, be it in 100 words or otherwise, requires persistence and discipline. There is a world full of material from which to write about; all the writer and blogger has to do is sit down and write, goddamnit.
For the last 100 days, that’s what I did. Fighting back the odd case of I don’t wanna, I have completed what has been by and large an enjoyable exercise. But the journey is far from over. I will continue to post daily, but won’t hamper myself with word counts. Let the blogging continue forthwith.
I pity those who say they’ve never read a book and don’t feel the need to. Sure isn’t it a waste of time? they say. We have bills to pay, mouths to feed, and work to be done. Who needs sparkly vampires anyway? We have cinemas and DVDs for that. To them I say, you’re missing the point. Movies and television shows provide the images for you. With reading you have to do the work yourself.
And yes, my non-reading friends (who are more than likely not reading this), reading is work, and it rewards better than most cash-paying jobs.
Theorizing that one could write a 50,000 word novel in 30 days, Writer James McShane turned on this laptop and typed.
He wrote until he found himself stuck in the zone, facing words and images that he had created, and driven by an Unknown Force to change plot points for the better.
His only guide on his journey is You, a reader that James can neither see nor hear. And so, Writer McShane finds himself leaping from chapter to chapter, from character to character, striving to put down one word after another, hoping each time that the next word will be the last.
Posted in 100 Days, 100 Words, Blogging, writing
Tagged Arts, NaNoWriMo, National Novel Writing Month, Online Writing, Quantum Leap, Uphill Writing, Word count, Writer Resources, writing, Writing Exercises
James Patterson was a writer for whom I had a lot of time. His earlier Alex Cross novels, up to an including Violets Are Blue, were outstanding pieces of entertainment: fast-paced, relentless thrillers. I could read a book a day if I had the time.
Then they got stupid. But worse than that, they became predictable. Even worse than that, I wished Patterson would kill off Cross once and for all. Then Patterson became a cash cow; so much so, he farmed his writing off (in my opinion) to anyone who had their hands out.
Have you been similarly disappointed?
No, not the emoticon but the character: John Le Carre’s famous spymaster, George Smiley. Coming out of a screening of the recent adaptation of Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, I thought about fictional characters authors are most famous for. Fleming has Bond, Lee Child has Jack Reacher, Conan Doyle had Sherlock Holmes.
For people of a certain age, Sir Alec Guinness’s portrayal of Smiley was the benchmark by which Gary Oldman would be judged. But now Le Carre’s creation has a new lease of life, and I would love to see him return for another adventure.
Classic characters will live forever.
Posted in 100 Days, 100 Words, Books, Movies, Television, writing
Tagged Adaptation, Books, Conan Doyle, Film, George Smiley, Jack Reacher, James Bond, John le Carré, Lee Child, Movies, Sherlock Holmes, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, writing