Blogging

Reblog: 6 signs your novel may be pretty damn good

This week’s reblog (the first in quite awhile) comes from Damien Walter, and has some advice on what makes a story attractive to readers – while this advice probably won’t let you write a best seller, it’s definitely something to keep in mind when you plan your story (and maybe more importantly – pitch and blurb it!)

Damien Walter

Why do readers love some novels, but not others? Often we do hand wavy gestures at this kind of question, while intoning the magic word “subjective subjective subjective”. Yes, different people like different things. But there are a few qualities which many, many popular stories have in common.

There are six core qualities for a strong commercial novel, which I use as signs that a novel might be pretty damn good! I can’t guarantee that every writer, editor or publishing professional knows these, but I can say that if your aim is to create popular stories that reach a wide readership, hitting these markers certainly won’t hurt.

If you find these useful, take a look at The Rhetoric of Story, a short course exploring the 7 foundations of powerful immersive storytelling. Turn to Page 2 below to see the first 3 signs.

High Concept – the whole concept of…

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Reblog: In defense of my adopted country

My reblog for this week is on a current hot topic – the one of my homeland, crime and immigration – from a foreign national who have adopted Sweden as his new country.
I do not know Neil, but I have at least a dozen friends and acquaintances from abroad who have come to call Sweden their home, and almost every single one of them have expressed views and opinion that mirror what Neil writes here:

Watching the Swedes


Sweden’s reputation is currently under attack and I feel I must respond, however unpopular this might be. I feel angry, frustrated and saddened about recent events. This is my angle….
I am proud to live in Sweden and I am proud, and fortunate, to have received Swedish citizenship. This is a country that, in my mind, builds on equality and solidarity. This a country that tries to do the best for its people. This is a country that stands up and does the humane thing, even in difficult circumstances. I wouldn’t want to live anywhere else.

In some foreign media, Sweden is currently being dragged through the dirt. Stories based on lies and fabrication are spreading. Sweden is falsely being depicted as a failing country on the edge of collapse. This is total and utter bullshit. It is nothing more than the poisoned school gossip trying to bring down the…

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Reblog: “The Nameless Robot”

Check out this flash fiction story from the eminent Brett Savory, written explicitly for yours truly as part of a campaign promotion for his new book – A Perfect Machine:

brettsavory.com

Here’s the second story I’ve written to promote A Perfect Machine, this one for R. Thomas Allwin, who pre-ordered the book, and so won the luxury of being murdered by a robot at my hands!


THE NAMELESS ROBOT

The best day of fifteen-year-old R. Thomas Allwin’s life was the day his mom bought him the robot. It was also the best day of the robot’s life. They became fast friends because everything Thomas needed, the robot provided: friendship, support, encouragement.

Even love.

But that’s where the problems began, and Thomas would come to realize that the day the robot came into his life was actually the worst day. The robot became clingy, was constantly pressuring Thomas for hugs, to open up, be candid about his feelings. The robot loved him, and was just here to help, it would say. Why wouldn’t Thomas just let it help him—all the time?

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Reblog: How to write 52 short stories a year

My first Reblog in awhile – and perhaps something I should consider, since my writing has fallen to the wayside…

Chris The Story Reading Ape's Blog

short-story

It was the great Ray Bradbury who said: “Write a short story every week. It’s not possible to write 52 bad stories in a row.”

Chris White at A Writers Den posted a lovely picture quoting him.

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I’ve been writing a short story each week, posted on my blog on Fridays, since May 2013. I was going to say two years, but it’s three and a half already! I started taking it easier last summer, reblogging an earlier story at the end of the month with the Flashback Friday meme.

I couldn’t have done those stories without without a prompt.

I found a guy called Chuck Wendig, who has been posting prompts for around 1400 followers each week, who then added links to their efforts the next week.

Chuck’s blog is not for those that shy away from rants and bad language, but his take on all sorts of…

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Blog Tour: Hopeless Things

Welcome back to Hopeless, Dear Reader! This, my third installment about the brilliance of Nimue and Tom Brown, is part of a blog tour  to celebrate the release of Hopeless, Maine – The Gathering. So hop on and get a glimpse of what Hopeless has to offer!


Hopeless Things

Hopeless is a strange, gothic island off the coast of Maine, cut off from the rest of reality for the greater part. Hopeless Maine is also a graphic novel series, the peculiar child of Tom and Nimue Brown. Here’s a little taste of island life:

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Agents of Change

Residents of the island Hopeless Maine call these creatures ‘creepy and annoying’ when they notice them at all. Agents of Change is more a description of what they are, than anything they’ve ever had said to their ominous absence of faces. The Agents tend to gather in flocks, and mob other life forms. They don’t kill their victims, but anything in contact with them will be affected in some way. They may be the cause of the island’s many oddities.

Cooking instructions: Don’t. Cooking does not cause them to cease being agents of change, you really don’t want to risk what that might do to your innards. A popular ingredient in food for unloved relatives.


15555088_10154834440427959_1443610978_nHopeless, Maine – The Gathering

Collecting the first two volumes of Hopeless, Maine as well as The Blind Fisherman, this is one graphic novel you don’t want to miss out on! You can order it at your local book store or comics shop, or buy it online here (with free shipping to most civilized, uncivilized and not-civilized-at-all places around the globe:

http://www.bookdepository.com/Hopeless-Maine-Volume-1-Nimue-Brown-Tom-Brown/9781908830128

I just received word yesterday that my copy is on it’s way, and with a bit of luck I will be spending Christmas on the island of Hopeless this year!

If you missed it, here’s the interview I did with the creative couple behind Hopeless:
Interview: Tom and Nimue Brown

 


 

Reblog: What Now?

Some insightful thoughts from Sean Patrick Hughes about the human psyche, the state of America and what is needed for the future:

Chartwell West

I’m not a liberal. I’m not a safe space, social crusader. I’m not a sore loser who can’t get over the fact that Hillary Clinton wasn’t elected president. The notion that I had to put what lukewarm support I had for a candidate behind her was a source of great frustration for me. I am, at my very core, someone with conservative foundations. I believe that men and women, whenever possible, should be free to live their lives without government intervention. My family and my Christian faith are the center of my life. I like my guns. Chances are, I’m better than you at using them. I’ve worked with and for the toughest most dangerous men on the planet-men you’ve read books about, men you’ve seen movies about. I’ll never claim to be one. But I’ve proven myself useful in their presence. I share this with you so you understand…

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