Inspired Endings – That State of Transendence

I have written before about the inspired ending to Patrick Hamilton’s ‘The Slaves of Solitude’, which is, along with ‘Hangover Square’ considered to be his masterpiece. I won’t do it justice here,  unless I explain something of the story, which is essentially a dark comedy. It concerns the grim – and often ludicrous – experiences … Continue reading Inspired Endings – That State of Transendence

Structure in Novel Writing, James Scott Bell’s ‘Write Your Novel From the Middle’ and a Certain Way to a Unique Writing Voice – Joy In Writing.

I read something the other day that made me think (unaccustomed exercise: new pathways created, and all that). It was actually in an intriguing book about how useful the novel (excuse that Freudian slip) approach of ‘writing a book from the middle’ is, in giving a clear, effortless structure. This is, in fact, a book … Continue reading Structure in Novel Writing, James Scott Bell’s ‘Write Your Novel From the Middle’ and a Certain Way to a Unique Writing Voice – Joy In Writing.

Albert Zuckerman: ‘What counts in judging a character for the reader is limited to what we actually see the character do, as opposed to what is said about him.’

The quote is, of course, from Zuckerman's book 'Writing the Block Buster Novel'. It is made with reference to a certain Don Corleone. Zuckerman is showing how Puzo makes him sympathetic. That general advice is very good, but I was particularly fascinated by this quote in particular, as it is so astute, and explains an … Continue reading Albert Zuckerman: ‘What counts in judging a character for the reader is limited to what we actually see the character do, as opposed to what is said about him.’

Re-reading Mario Puzo’s 1969 ‘The Godfather’

I first read this at seventeen, longer ago than I care to admit. I thought the writing style was poor in places even then. I re-read it because Albert Zukerman recommends studying the techniques the author uses as a writer of popular fiction. He is all admiration of Puzo's ability to create a larger than … Continue reading Re-reading Mario Puzo’s 1969 ‘The Godfather’

New Year Resolutions: How Original…

On environmental issues, a few centuries ago, the age and significance of Stonehenge was wholly unappreciated and it thad been neglected for thousands of years. it was assumed to date from slightly before the Romans came... It being the first of January 2020 today, it is of course, the time for New Year’s resolutions. In … Continue reading New Year Resolutions: How Original…

Review of Jordan Rosenfeld’s ‘How to Write a Page Turner’

I have just finished reading Jordan Rosenfeld’s ‘How to Write a Page Turner’. I thought the advice in it was invaluable. Not only that, but it is detailed; too many ‘how to’ books for writers are not sufficiently specific. You might be told to ‘infuse the pages with tension’ and to ‘keep raising the conflict’ … Continue reading Review of Jordan Rosenfeld’s ‘How to Write a Page Turner’

Authors Basing Characters on Real People: Some Examples from Classic Novels

I don’t know how much most authors base their characters on people they have known. I would guess that most combine various characteristics taken from numerous people in real life with some from those they have encountered in fiction to create something original. A writer observes on this website https://litreactor.com/columns/keeping-it-real-a-rough-guide-to-using-real-people-as-fictional-characters 'Fictional characters, especially main characters, … Continue reading Authors Basing Characters on Real People: Some Examples from Classic Novels

Indie Authors: Don’t Give Up On Your Original Voice When Sales Are Bad

https://www.amazon.com/Longbourn-Jo-Baker-ebook/dp/B00CQ1D3BYFive years ago, when I started writing online, I was lucky enough to meet some outstanding writers on Goodreads (I’ve met others since, on Authonomy before it packed up and elsewhere, but here I’m talking about that original base of writer friends). They were mostly women, varying in age. Some came from my native England, … Continue reading Indie Authors: Don’t Give Up On Your Original Voice When Sales Are Bad

Writing Resolutions for the New Year: Why Writers Might Take a Look at That Unfinished Manuscript in the Drawer

I wonder what people’s writing resolutions for 2017 are? My personal writing resolution is to finish the sequel to ‘That Scoundrel Émile Dubois’ and then, if there is time, to get a novella out which commemorates the St Peter’s Field Massacre of 1818. I had already written the first third of that sequel in the … Continue reading Writing Resolutions for the New Year: Why Writers Might Take a Look at That Unfinished Manuscript in the Drawer

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