As I drift towards releasing my new book, The Stink, I have to think about the book's website.
Since I am self publishing, I have to do my own (no money, you see), but thankfully I have a few skills. Design is one thing, but what do you put in it?
There is a ton of advice out there about how to plan your novel, develop your characters and generally get yourself organised.
But what if you are not just writing a book but an entire saga, a series, a trilogy on steroids? How the hell do you plan that? This is what I have learned....
A short comic tale about workers in a space station
I like writing the odd verse.
As I write a character tonight, I realise I have filled her with a memory from my youth, an opportunity that I, as a stupid youngster, threw away.
Writing can creep up on you sometimes.
I am wrestling with my teen characters, it appears. The book is set in 1976 in North London and involves a bunch of sixteen year olds starting a band.
Being a sensible fellow, I am basing it on me at sixteen in the 1970s. I swore, got angry, wrestled with contentious issues and was a pain. And I also swore. Did I say that? I REALLY SWORE!
Warning: Contains Swearing.
Writer's Block is one of those things that we love to talk about. It always comes up in author's interviews, it often a plot line in some corny US TV thriller, and it constant complaint all over Twitter.
But is it real? Has the entire concept of Writer's Block simply become a cult?
There is nothing better than sitting down and reading through your own writing, polishing it while revisiting the joys and the heartbreak, the intrigue and twists hand in hand with your characters
Creating a map for your fantasy world is far more than giving your readers a helpful, absorbing bit or artwork on the inside cover of your book, it is about making your world make sense and is a vital part of planning.
This tutorial is not trying to turn you into an artist, but talk through one way of creating maps that will help you bring life to your work
I hope I often write well and that my work reads well.
Just occasionally I am extra proud of a line or a phrase or a short section; it is not that it is especially beautiful or uses clever words, but it just works.
As I work my way to an important battle in my current book, I am pondering over how much build up I should have before swords are drawn and the blood-bath gets going.
It is an interesting puzzle because it brings home the emotional response to war and death in a way that just shouting "go" doesn't.
Well, I have already covered soup and stew, but in your crackling warm tavern in your fantasy world, one of the mainstays of the food offering is bread.
Not for us is that pappy cotton wool rubbish sold by supermarkets, but a fresh, crunchy, rippable, herb-filled wonder that you could almost dunk in your beer!
As much as I enjoyed Lord of the Rings and even Eddings' Belgariad, I was always puzzled by the fact that when the heroes won the war, what the people ended up with was an absolute monarchy with no votes and no say. It may have even been Feudal.
So, if we are lovers of democratic rights, should this appear in our writing?
One of the things we miss in the modern gastro pub is the big bowl of spicy soup, a hunk of bread and a big frothy beer.
In poor communities, as you get to pumpkin season, vegetable soups flavoured with a bit of fat and perhaps a bit of peppers and chilli were a warming treat that would be welcome in any tavern. Well, here is a recipe...
One of the problems with being a complete nobody is that no one ever asks nobodies for interviews.
That is not surprising really since who would want to read about a nobody? Still, I fancied being interviewed and since I have been in the media for years, I decided to do it myself. Thoroughly shameless.
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Girls of Dirt includes a recap of series one.
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North London, 1976. The longest, hottest summer on record. The water is running out and the kids hate their parents. Which bunch of idiots would think it is a good idea to start a band?