Tuesday, 26 July 2011

Writing courses


Image by cienpies

We can always learn more. It is one of the joys and responsibilities of being a sentient being - an ability to improve right until the day when an eco-shroud is pulled up over our faces, our bodies are placed in a hole, and a noble tree or bush planted on top. (So much greener than the stupid and wasteful stone-hewn epitaphs). Do not abuse the powers of intellect, letting them rot and stagnate in a fog of unquestioning consumption!

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Monday, 18 July 2011

Some more positive feedback

In a previous post I mentioned some competitions, including one hosted by Writers' Village. I generally enter most competitions that seem like they fit with some of my work, and this was no exception. The bad news is that I didn't win (though the excellent winning entries can be read here). The good news is that one of the judges, Dr John Yeoman, gave some incredibly useful feedback, a rarity when submitting material (either to publishers, agents or competitions). He also pointed out that "Overall, your work is excellent [...] 42 points out of 45 ranks a story in the top league: you failed to win a cash prize only by a whisker." So my confidence is restored! Here is an extract from the competition feedback I received for my stories Waiting and Just A Little Bit Of Freedom, then the full text of one of the stories so you can see if you agree with the description by the judges.

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Tuesday, 12 July 2011

Moving stories

Lykke Li is incredibly watchable and charismatic. This video, directed by Tarik Saleh, stars Lykke Li and Stellan Skarsgård. The visual style, deft and unexpected portrayals of emotion, expressive dancing and music all combine to concoct something that is familiar to us all, a feeling universally recognisable whether we have experienced it or not, archetypal reactions employed as part of the universal interplay of relationships. Another way in - to stop being pompous for second - is to ask "What is the story?" There are more interpretations than you might first think.

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Monday, 11 July 2011

Monday, 4 July 2011

Turner - an exercise in suspense

Cover used for my Authonomy draft

I haven't yet done a blog post about my novel Turner. It is time to make up for that oversight.

Turner is a tense rural thriller which follows a single night in the lives of a small group of people trying to survive an apparent outbreak of insanity on a remote island which has a history of disappearances. The suspense builds up until terror bursts out, from which point onwards it is a non-stop thrill ride. However, the subtext of the novel is about the power of words and names (the novel's title being tied into this), and issues of cultural invasion and control. Or, as the blurb says:
An isolated Welsh island seems the ideal place for four unconnected individuals to seek refuge from their own demons and to escape from the rat race. However, on Ynys Diawl they face a night of horror and madness. If they don't work together none of them will see the light of day.

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