Saturday, December 31, 2011

Coming Soon

My 997 word story 'There You Are, My Love' was accepted today by Every Day Fiction, sneaking in one last acceptance for both December and 2011.  Yay for going out on a high note!

EDF is one of my favourite flash venues -- you get fantastic editorial feedback and the site is renowned for plentiful reader comments.  It gets no better, for me: knowing that people read your story and were engaged enough to say something about it.  That's what it's all about.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

New story available - One Free Go

My Halloween horror story 'One Free Go' is up today at Wily Writers
- you can hear the podcast here and read the text version here.
I've never had a story podcasted before, and it's a strange thing to hear your words read aloud by someone else.  Especially someone with an American accent.  Strange, but awesome!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011


From an article by Jane Rogers in Mslexia #49 - things readers are looking for in a first paragraph include:

Suspense: a hook.

Character: someone intriguing, someone to root for.

Setting: a believable world, a place we want to know about.

Atmosphere: menacing, humorous, fantastical, different.

Voice: an attitude to life, generated by the narrator's language.

Style: confidence and aptness in the language and punctuation.

Sense impressions: touch, taste, smell, sight, hearing.

Dialogue: to draw us into characters' lives.

Foreshadowing: a glimpse towards the story's ending.

Crumbs. As Jane goes on to say: no pressure, then.

No wonder they say the first paragraph is often the one that a) gets rewritten the most times and b) gets written last. You're not really going to *know* all of that stuff when you're actually beginning the story.



Saturday, December 17, 2011

-- Yesterday was a Sick Day (I'm blaming the oysters I had for my birthday dinner. As Sam said, the moral of the story is clearly not to eat anything that looks like snot) so I spent the entire day either laying on the sofa reading or laying on the sofa snoozing. Still, as bad days go, that's a pretty good one.

-- I did very well for my birthday; some painless shopping for boots (knew what I wanted and found it in the very first shop, for half price), a lovely dinner at Loch Fyne (with the caveat regarding oysters above) and some great presents (next books in the Charlie Parker, Merry Gentry and Dexter series, the Misfits boxset, Sherlock S1, Wolverine, brilliant iPhone gloves, Ritual by White Lies, the final volume in Buffy S8 and the Legacy of the Divine Tarot). I think I'm going to enjoy being 45.

-- I'm watching Die Hard 4.0, which is one of my favourite films ever. John McClane is seriously bad-ass (as is Lucy. Lucy is awesome). Some of my most-loved characters are Heroic Bad-asses: John McClane, Jack Bauer, Alex Mahone, Mal Reynolds. It's clearly a Thing. Yippee Ki Yay, Mofo.

-- Writing Things To Do: Final polish on Meredith & Louisa and submit. Edit Isobel. Finish Abby. Rewrite Bert. Rewrite Kerri. Draft The Shining Wire. Outline Regan. Outline/mindmap for Prompt Fic #3. Write a new Weekend Flash.

-- Thought of the Day from the Legacy of the Divine: The Hanging Man/Two of Swords. Perfect equilibrium leads to freedom from the terrorism of choice.