creative writing

The Secret to Making Your Characters Memorable

memorableWe readers are fickle beasts.

If you have a shit book cover we won’t pick up your novel. Sloppy blurb and we chuck the book on the NBR (Never Be Read) pile. If we get past all that and find forgettable characters buried in your pages, well… fuck you author, here’s a one star review.

A couple of weeks ago, I was lording it up in Paris with the girls for a cocktail fuelled weekend… I still have a hangover!

The thing is, I wouldn’t be a writer if I didn’t take advantage of any and every opportunity to spew some more of my hyperbolae into the world, and Paris has provided me the perfect opportunity to do just that.

I have a terrible memory. Like ,really bad. But my substandard brain cells got me thinking about books and specifically, about characters.

Without memorable characters, your book is worthless. Why?

Because books are written about characters. If your characters are boring, your books boring. But how do you make them memorable without turning them into the equivalent of a glitter covered literary drag queen? (more…)

30 Flash Fiction Writing Competitions With Cash Prizes

30 Flash Fiction Competitions With Cash PrizesThere are more short story competitions than words I’ve written. And I’ve written a shit load of words. But finding a FLASH fiction comp (under 1000 words) is a bit of a rarity, so when I do find one, I get a bit giddy.

But lately, I’ve had to weep myself to sleep over the number of writers who have told me they never enter competitions because either: they don’t know how to find them or didn’t know so many existed.

*Tut*

Seriously?! Don’t make me use Caps. The fastest way to get recognition, more often than not is through competitions. The road to traditional publishing (if that’s where you want to go) is like the final fight in Lord of The Rings – fucking endless. Don’t take for granted the ease of entering competitions. Most of you enter weekly writing challenges, like my writespiration, or Esther’s or Charli’s. So there’s actually no excuse.

If you don’t can’t think of shorts or flash for comps then there are plenty of comps for novels too.

Before I give you the list of comps, here’s my top tips for finding competitions: (more…)

Lunar Waves and the Mystery of the Holographic Moon

Lunar Waves & The Mystery of the Holographic MoonI was going to write about the Hollow Moon theory in light of the post I wrote about Hollow Earth, but as a result of last weeks Flat Earth post, and a future post I am writing as a follow up to that, where I have a real life discussion with Mark Sergeant – creator of the Flat Earth Clue videos, I decided to focus instead on Lunar Waves, and the video footage that is going viral over YouTube.

Have you ever done a presentation in front of a projector screen? You know, the ones with a pull down plasticky screens that shoot up into its roll if you don’t secure it properly, then sending an endless ripple across your carefully crafted powerpoint presentation. Well hold on to that thought whilst you read and watch this:
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Where Are All The LGBT Characters?

Where Are All The LGBT Characters?

Can anyone tell me a blockbuster famous novel they have read with a main character that was either gay or lesbian? Don’t worry, I’ll wait whilst you scratch your head to think… still haven’t thought of one? No. Me neither. Anyone else got an issue with that? Because I really do. (more…)

#Writespiration 61 Death Row

Write about Death RowDeath row is a serious political topic, and not one I want to share my views on. What I will say is, no matter what side your view sits on, it shouldn’t be taken lightly.

This week, your challenge is to write a piece about death row. It can be from any perspective, and about anything, as long as it is linked to death row.

Here’s mine: (more…)

Writespiration #60 The List

Write About The ListThis week is all about the list. Write a story about a list. Any list you like, maybe its THE list, her list, or his, or both of theirs, maybe its a good list, or an evil list, or a list of chores. Can’t wait to see what you come up with.

Last week’s writespiration was all about fairy tales and what happened after, happily ever after. I owe you a story for that, I’ve cheated and loosely incorporated last weeks theme with this weeks. (more…)

4 Reasons Why Sprinting is the New Writing

4 Reasons Why Sprinting Is the New WritingI am struggling for time again. I missed my writespiration by a day last week, and I am writing this post far too late on Sunday night. Time is a constant problem for me. How do I balance, full time employment, with being a mum, wife, keeping a house, trying to stay fit and healthy so I don’t have a heart attack, write novels, and keep a blog? Basically I can’t, much as I like to think it, I am not actually super woman.

I’ve written before about being more efficient as a writer, 10 Life Hacks For The Efficient Writer. But with the onset of some sleepless nights with our toddler I am waning more than somewhat. Posts are late or, non existent and so is my motivation. So my writing BFF Ali and I have been trying something new together. Sprint writing. (more…)

Adultland Part 3

Adultland Part III - Sacha Black

A few weeks ago I wrote a piece of flash fiction which I called Adultland, the story continued in Part II, but today, I bring part III. You can catch up on all the past instalments here.

We left Lou, pacing outside her parents flat building, waiting for the mist and Hunters to come and kidnap her parents. Can she save them? Read on to find out. (more…)

Just Keep Writing…One Day You Will Win…

Just Keep Writing, One Day You Will Win

I woke up this morning to an email titled ‘Congratulations’, obviously it was junk. Except… I read on, just to be sure. I’ve been entering so many competitions there was just the tiniest iney weeny slither of hope that maybe, possibly, I could have won??

I did. I won a writing competition. An actual, real life writing competition. (more…)