I hate Christmas because it’s eye-twitchingly expensive. Mostly we spend it in the car or feeling bloated from greed. I don’t eat meat and honestly, I don’t really drink either, so the prospect of Christmas does not fill me with fluffy tinsel covered unicorns of joy. When I think of Christmas I think of the Grinch and smirk.
But Halloween, I don’t just like, I love it. And not for its real purpose of remembering the dead, or its meaningful roots derived from Irish mythology and Christianity, but because it’s filled with the weird and wonderful.
Halloween is the one time of the year when judgement stops and everyone is free. Ugly masks and unusual make up suddenly become acceptable, celebrated even. Fancy dress is no longer an oddity served with a raised bushy eyebrow, it’s compulsory.
Halloween has never been scary to me, but the writing business is and so is the publishing industry. 2017 is nearly upon us, and that means, that by hook or amputated butt cheek, I will be publishing next year.
So in a salute to Halloween, here’s 6 things I find terrifying about writing and the publishing industry (more…)
I know what I know about branding from trial and error and total cheese-covered fuck ups. This has become a delightfully twisted journey to publishing full of encounters with big bitches like hindsight and a bunch of lessons learned too late.
I am not a marketeer by profession, so don’t expect technical wordery, theoretical mumbojumbo or any other professorial nonsense. This post is just the culmination of my obsessive fascination of all things marketing and brand creation.
Do you know who you are as an author or what your brand is? Or even how the fuckins you’re meant to figure it out? No? Let me help… (more…)
Conflict – the foundation of every novel bled onto the page.
Without it, your book flatlines harder than the grim reaper. No self-respecting book doctor will even attempt to resuscitate it. And yet, you need to, because conflict is the god of novels.
If you’ve been a good little girl then conflict will dip its mighty hand into Santa’s sack and bestow heavenly book treasures on you, like: pace, tension, plot line and well-rounded characters with enough depth to drown a reindeer. But without it we’re talking dead Kipper slaps to the face.
And no body wants a stinky dead fish face mask.
But when you love your precious little bundle of baby hero joy more than life itself, torturing them with a bout of – villain/antagonist/insert other form of conflict shaped nappy rash can be rather more difficult than one expects.
Here are 10 tips for shaping your books conflict. (more…)
Can you help me? If you don’t know, I am in the process of writing a non-fiction book that aims to help writers create the best villains possible.
In order to make sure the book is as helpful as possible, I want it to capture everything that would be useful to a writer, so I’ve created a survey, if you have a few minutes I’d be super snog your face off grateful if you filled it in and if you have another moment, shared the survey with a fellow pen-rat to fill in.
Ta muchly, SB xx (more…)
Fairytale retellings are going through a big come back. They’re the latest trend, with books like Cinders, or the plethora of other books on this Goodreads list. I’ve read Cinders, it’s quite good, I liked the twist on it, although for me, the joy of writing is in creating something entirely new. And sure, no story is completely unique, but lets not bicker about trivialities.
This week your task is to write a fairytale, or a part of one, or a fairytale poem set in the photo. Maybe it’s a nightmare tale, or perhaps a happily ever after ending, or maybe a prince’s love monologue. Write a fairytale in less than 200 words. Leave it in the comments or use a pingback so I find it. Due by 23rd October.
If we’re honest, us writers tend to be a little on the obsessive side. We get an idea, a character forms, and before we know it, we’re tits deep in 30,000 words of wordish vomit. We swim in it like it’s a jacuzzi with naked waiters continuously handing out glasses of champagne. No one wants to get out of that jacuzzi, I know I sure as shit don’t.
But sometimes, after you’ve been chucking up the good kind of word vomit (the one that’s rough round the edges but makes pretty pictures in the middle) all of a sudden it stops. Then you’re pouring out illegible turds, minus the glitter and shine.
Something’s broke. Really broke. It’s not writers block, because the words still come. Only now they’re turd-words instead of smothered with genius literary butter.
Now, no matter what you do, the pretty word vomit won’t come back. So what do you do? If you’re anything like me, you either:
- Beat yourself with a pen chain and spiral bound notepad until your face is pitted with imprints or
- Fall into a deep pit of self-deprecating writerly hatred
Neither of which are particularly effective at producing anything other than obscure shaped bruises. Trust me.
I had to try something new… So today, is less of a crazy lesson with bookish explanations and crude examples, and instead a lesson I’ve learnt through experience on my writing journey. (more…)
This post is a cheat, partly because I’m exhausted after having thrown a surprise party for the wife’s 30th. But also because I happen to be in the midst of a significant bout of procrastination all because I am wallowing in a deep, deep pit of writerly self loathing.
So this week instead of my wordy bullshit, I bring you more writing competitions than you can shake a shakespearian cat at.
With any competition, it’s advisable to ensure you rake the rules of each one with your finest, slickest rule finding comb. I have not displayed the rules of any of these competitions, so if you don’t check, don’t expect to win. (more…)