World Building with Gillian Polack

Last night I spent two fabulous hours with author and academic Gillian Polack. Although our time was brief, Gillian quickly demonstrated why she is a renowned authority on the subject of world building. Here are the three lessons that most resonated with me (with my own little comments and extrapolations added): Start with the rocks…

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Independence Day: Resurgence is downright crazy

Wow. Independence Day: Resurgence was certainly something. I’m just not sure what that something was. As a student of writing, I was completely flummoxed by this movie. It wasn’t that the dialogue was horrible (though mostly it was) or that the plot was poor (because it wasn’t, if considered only in the broadest terms), it…

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A writing class with Jack Heath

I was fortunate enough to attend a brief writing class with Jack Heath last night. According to his website, Jack Heath is the author of sixteen action-packed novels for young children. From my own experience I can add that he is also a clear and engaging presenter who is well-versed in his craft. It was…

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An excerpt from a book review written by Lee Child

I came across this review of Hunters in the Dark by Lawrence Osborne, written by none other than Lee Child, author of the Jack Reacher novels. I’ve pulled out his intro below, which contains an uncomplicated and practical definition of ‘literary’ as opposed to ‘suspense’ writing. A valuable distinction for genre writers wanting to move…

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The secrets of Parks and Recreation

I just finished watching the seventh and final season of Parks and Recreation. It is a brilliant show: funny and endearing, playful characterisation. If you haven’t seen it, I highly recommend it. This post is about two interesting elements of the show you may not have noticed. They made a drastic change after the first…

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My final CAPITAL LETTERS post… Keeping the Dream Alive

My final post as blogger-in-residence for the ACT Writers Centre can be found here (or below, as usual). Thanks for coming along for the ride, and prepare for the brutal honesty… Keeping the Dream Alive I want to be a writer. For the longest time I found this difficult to admit. I guess I thought…

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The Top Four Sporting Stories of My Lifetime

At its best, sport may be the pinnacle of story-telling. All the key ingredients are there: larger than life heroes, egotistical villains, a grand stage, the weight of history and expectation. But it also has something fiction does not: reality. The story hasn’t been made up by some overstimulated Hollywood boffin, it has been written…

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A Game Developer’s Advice on Genre Writing

[Edit: Link and tags removed due to the volume of spam this article generated. Why this one, I wonder?] If you want twenty crisp, insightful lessons on writing genre fiction, I strongly recommend watching this video. [Copy and paste this link into your browser: https://youtu.be/QHHg99hwQGY]   It’s not what you think. Mark Rosewater is a…

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IT’S ALIVE!!!

I am very pleased to announce that the first draft of my third novel, Blood Artist, is complete! It has been a total blast to write this crime thriller, and I know you are going to love it. As a special treat, here is the first chapter. I hope you enjoy! There is, of course,…

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