I started reading a novel the other day and choked on the first three paragraphs, which were a kind of double-flashback sequence filled with ‘had beens’. I paraphrase: “…it was now…there had been…had been…had abruptly…had been…had they…had… had been…had they…he would…he had not…had grown…had happened…had summoned…” It didn’t get going with the immediate action for… More How not to write scene-setters in your novel
Reports of the death of the print book seem to have been considerably exaggerated of late. It’s been the usual thing: we suppose the ‘new’ – in this case, digital distribution – will totally replace the ‘old’. Actually, and as usual, they simply complement each other and print books have been rebounding. One difference, though,… More Digital print on demand – what it is and how to avoid stepping in it
I am always vaguely amused and disappointed by the way some people feel obligated to respond to a minor and obvious typo they’ve found in published work by treating it as literally correct, then going on at length about what the author might possibly have meant by it. The fact that it’s actually a typo… More When people pontificate about typos as if they weren’t
Frank Zappa once made the point that he and his 1960s band – The Mothers – probably couldn’t have got a recording contract in a different decade. This wasn’t the quintessential view his generation had of their formative years – you know ‘not-the-sixties, not-the-sixties – – – THE SIXTIES!- – – not-the-sixties,’ etc. Zappa’s point… More Writers have to be like mothers of invention to get ahead these days
One of the reasons people often decide to write is for the joy of it. There is a good deal of fun in being able to sit down and create something that wasn’t there before. It’s a joy that, I suspect, soon gets lost amidst the heavy learning curve that constitutes writing. You know –… More Writing for the joy of it
I caught up with a few episodes of Shadow Hunters the other week. OK, well, I binge-watched them. Urban fantasy, as a broad genre, has been growing on me of late. It’s an intriguing juxtaposition: modern life and technology strapped up against old-style magic. And to me, it’s not really a juxtaposition. After all, the… More Does magic trump tech in urban fantasy?
I don’t know if it’s just me, but I can’t help thinking that book covers these days – the ones that appear on Amazon and elsewhere – are all rather homogenised. Literally, in a pixel sense – they all seem to use one or another Photoshop layer-and-blend technique to float words, ghost-like, amidst artwork which… More Why Photoshop artistry makes boring book covers, even when they’re mine…