Thursday, 28 February 2013

David Tallerman's writing

I love well-written fiction that gives you something to think about after the words run out. One of my favourite stories from my last post was It’s Easier to Pretend in the Dark by David Tallerman. His site includes links to more recent works and I've just read two of them. Really impressive in their conciseness, not a word wasted; emotional impact slotted between the lines rather than splashed on a wall in melodrama red. Dancing in the Winter Rooms made me think of stories such as The Lottery by Shirley Jackson; isolated societies with rules which cannot be broken, frozen into rigidity. Whereas Jenny's Sick is a different kind of haunting, an undercutting of perfection. The first paragraphs made me think it might be a horrifying gorefest but it is much cleverer than that - no gore, no nasty descriptions, just a clever story that captures the complexity of human relationships. I think David Tallerman is an impressive writer, please consider reading his work.

Monday, 25 February 2013

Review: Escape Velocity: The Anthology

Escape Velocity: The Anthology
Escape Velocity: The Anthology by Geoff Nelder

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This was certainly a good value collection - more than 45 stories, which lasted a good while. As with any anthology there is a mix of styles, moods (some serious, some humorous), quality, viewpoints, themes and so on. As such it is difficult to summarise the overall collection, and easier to give examples of the stories I enjoyed most (in the order in which they appear), along with a quote that I liked from each story.


Monday, 18 February 2013

Getting feedback on your stories

[Note: Although this blog post is old, all the sites apart from Authonomy are still active, so I have left it up. If you have used any of the sites feel free to leave your thoughts in the comments. Oh, some people suggested Wattpad or Royal Road Legends and as other sites. Also, you might want to look into some tools for help with editing, or using an editor. Karl/10 Jan 2017]

It's vital to get feedback on your writing unless you are an absolute master of your craft, a black belt in pensmithery. One way is writing groups or courses (as I mentioned here and here). Another is by working with editors or proofreaders, whether you've got a talented friend or are using a paid service - it is really beneficial, and I always learn a lot from working with professionals. Yet another way is to keep entering Writers' Village competitions...

Another option worth looking into is online writing groups. There are all sorts of online critiquing communities that act as a form of peer review. And they are all free. The payment is in terms of reciprocity: you critique other people's work, and they do the same for you. Some of them have measures built in to facilitate this. Although it doesn't cost money, to get the most out of these sites you have to treat them as a community and put time in. That’s fine with me, since whenever I read novels or short stories downloaded from sites like Smashwords I always leave reviews there and on Goodreads, plus I usually send the author an email with my thoughts, comments, and any typos spotted.

What are some of the main sites you could use? Give me your hand, and let's go for a walk down Critique Lane.


Thursday, 7 February 2013

Join me on LibraryThing and Shelfari

I've been on Goodreads for a while now, and decided to sample some other book-loving communities. You'll now also find me on LibraryThing (personal profile / author profile) and Shelfari (personal profile / author profile) - feel free to contact me via those sites. I've updated the covers and metadata for my books on both sites. If you've never used book-based social networking sites before then maybe try one. They all work in the same way - basically you rate or list books you have read, write reviews, make friends with similar reading interests etc.