Paul Debreckzeny’s Criticism of Pushkin’s Robber Novella ‘Dubrovsky’

I orginally wrote this post nearly five years ago, just before I published my spoof historical highwayman romance 'Ravensdale'. I am posting it again, as I am again writing a spoof historical novel that features highwaymen, and I have never lost my admiration for this uncompleted novella of Pushkin's. At that time,  I was reading … Continue reading Paul Debreckzeny’s Criticism of Pushkin’s Robber Novella ‘Dubrovsky’

Formulaic Writing: Romantic Melodrama and Charles Garvice, ‘The Great Bad Novelist’.

I have written before on this blog about the terrible allure of bad writing, both good bad writing, that is, writing that is so bad it’s good – like ‘Rinaldo Rinaldini: Captain of Bandetti’  and frankly terrible writing. Over the last couple of weeks, I’ve been reading another late Victorian best seller by that writer … Continue reading Formulaic Writing: Romantic Melodrama and Charles Garvice, ‘The Great Bad Novelist’.

‘Rhiannon’s Tomcats’: A free short story by Lucinda Elliot for Halloween

  I wrote the following short story  (approximately 2,500 words)  a long time ago, about ten years at least, for a short story writing course.  I believe it was the only one the tutor praised and told me was worthy of publication: he and I did not share the same sense of humour, that's for … Continue reading ‘Rhiannon’s Tomcats’: A free short story by Lucinda Elliot for Halloween

Christmas reading: ‘The Crown Derby Plate’ by Marjorie Bowen – An Excellent Classic Ghost Story as Comedy

I wanted to add a post about a ghost story at Christmas. Which of the many to choose as a seasonal ghost story? I am in fact recomending - again, but now as Christmas reading - a  ghost story that is about as light as could be. It is also written from a wholly conventional … Continue reading Christmas reading: ‘The Crown Derby Plate’ by Marjorie Bowen – An Excellent Classic Ghost Story as Comedy

Originality and Breaking the Rules in Writing

When I first started writing, it was in the days before the internet. The aspiring writer had to seek out and buy a ‘How To’ book, or borrow it from the library. The first of these that I read contained this helpful piece of advice from the male author, very successful, but you might say, … Continue reading Originality and Breaking the Rules in Writing

Genre Fiction, Romantic Novels and Escapism

One of the complaints often aired by romance readers is that the genre is despised as escapism, and yet this insult is not so often aimed at other forms of genre fiction. There is some justice in this complaint.   Yes, there are highly escapist elements  to romantic novels – but often they are ones … Continue reading Genre Fiction, Romantic Novels and Escapism

Strong and Sentimental Writing.

I'll take some time off from writing comedy to put up a slightly less facetious post than my recent spoofs. Surprisingly, a couple of years ago a teenager asked me to recommend some ‘strong writing’ (She even read them too, but that's irrelevant here). I assumed she meant writing that grips, and doesn’t pull punches, … Continue reading Strong and Sentimental Writing.

That Dreaded Manuscript in Your Drawer: join Jane Austen and Pushkin in having a Manuscript in That Drawer of Doom

First of all, I’d like to wish everyone Season’s Greetings. Then I'd like to thank Robert Wingfield of INCA for designing for me such a wonderful new cover for 'Alex Sager's Demon'.  Here it is, above. You can get it on: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00FDWD7BY?ref_=pe_2427780_160035660 http:/'www.amazon.com/Alex-Sagers-Demon-Pushkins-Nemesis-ebook/ or http://www.amazon.co.uk/Alex-Sagers-Demon-Pushkins-Nemesis-ebook I wanted to write a skit for a Christmas post, … Continue reading That Dreaded Manuscript in Your Drawer: join Jane Austen and Pushkin in having a Manuscript in That Drawer of Doom

Rules Writers Must Not Break and What Do J S Bach, Margaret Mitchell, Zane Grey and Louis L’amour Have in Common?

There’s a few things I’ve been wanting to say as part of some post, but I can’t think of any suitable one, so I’ll just mix them together in a miscellaneous post about market trends and rejections. The first thing is a story to encourage those who are trying to create something special, and meet … Continue reading Rules Writers Must Not Break and What Do J S Bach, Margaret Mitchell, Zane Grey and Louis L’amour Have in Common?