Month: October 2015

‘Storm Ring’ by Stephen J Carter

Storm Ring Stephen J Carter’s “Storm Ring” is the 1st volume in the “Zero Point Light” Sci-Fi series. The story opens on the starship Arcturus 4 when the ship’s computer wakes up its human cargo. Rather unhelpfully, the initial scenes reminded me of ‘Alien’, but this feeling quickly passed as the story progressed. The six-strong…

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Night Shift by Stephen King

Night Shift Though some of the short stories in Stephen King’s first collection were familiar to me, I’m amazed I haven’t read this book before. Some (like ‘Strawberry Spring’), were first published in the late Sixties, but most appeared between 1971 and 1978. Only four, including ‘Jerusalem’s Lot’ and ‘Quitters Inc’ were previously unpublished. While…

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The Loneliness of the Long-Distance Writer

Asked for her 10 top tips on writing, British crime writer PD James talked about the ‘necessary loneliness’ that many writers endure. But how does that work in practice? “I’ve never felt lonely as a writer, not really, but I know people do.” PD James   In the Mode If you’re in it for the long…

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Hitting the Blyton Target

Continuing my ramblings about deadlines (and strange references to Enid Blyton), I decided to try something new today – setting a daily target. This radical idea was also prompted by a couple of points I saw in a list of writers’ tips on Book Baby’s Blog. Two of them got me thinking: Don’t edit as…

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Deadlines, Schmedlines…

“I love deadlines. I love the whooshing noise they make as they go by.” Douglas Adams There was a time when I considered deadlines to be a bit of a hindrance. Having to produce a piece of work by a certain time can be a great way of motivating yourself to actually get on with…

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Writery Adventures in the Land of Not-Planning

If you’re already a subscriber to the idea of writing without an actual plan (plot, backstory, synopsis etc), you won’t need me to tell you that it can be a little scary. However, embarking on an expedition to the Land of Not-Planning, doesn’t mean riding totally naked into the metaphorical wasteland, since there are several…

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How to Scare the Kids at Hallowe’en

These days Hallowe’en seems to be more about commercial gain than anything else: fancy costumes, masks, fireworks and pumpkins are all deemed essential in order for us to have a good time on that particular day in October. It’s a shame that many parents go along with the hype and buy into all the commercial…

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How to Write Like a Guitarist

While re-stringing my guitar the other day, I was reminded of something I read many years ago about the classical guitarist Francisco Tarrega. Coming from a musical family (his father was a talented flamenco guitarist), it was hardly surprising that the young Tarrega soon took an interest in learning an instrument. However, after some years…

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