Backstory

Imagination by Mauricio Abril

Imagination by Mauricio Abril

After my mother read Henny Penny to me when I was little I spent the next few weeks sleeping with an umbrella over my head*. I’m not entirely sure how I thought that flimsy pink thing was going to protect me from the sky falling down; but I guess it was better than nothing. I was also so convinced that my teddys would come to life during the night, that I made sure there was always enough room for all of them on my bed. I think I used to worry that if I left one or two of them on the floor that they would feel left out. I hosted tea parties for imaginary aliens; I guess because I figured they’d have more interesting things to talk about than my dolls, who I knew didn’t get out much. Continue reading

The First Line

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Today’s blog post is brought to you by massive amounts of excitement as one of my short stories, ‘History’ has been published in The First Line by BlueCubiclePublications!

The story is a science fiction short about a young woman making her way through the ruins of her old home city, which suffered a catastrophic event. It’s a piece that came out of my CampNaNo project and I’m really proud of it.

If you’ve enjoyed the stories on this blog, I think you’ll like this one, so why not head over here and grab yourself a copy of the magazine!

Happy Sunday everyone!

Reinventing Reality

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Very quick post today just to direct you to one of my short stories, Expendable, which I entered into a writing competition over on Inkitt! You can find it under the science fiction section or by clicking this link!

An unnamed mall mechanic faces the harsh realities of the far future when he’s falsely accused of bioterrorism…

The story is a quick read (about 1000 words) and it would be fantastic if you could spare a minute to vote for it as well. Thanks guys! :D

EDIT (8/9/15)

Thank you so much to anyone who took an interest in Expendable, but I’ve taken it off the Inkitt website. You can still read it here on my blog though!

My Literary Confessions

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  • My favourite first lines are not ones that you’ll find on top ten lists:

“When a day that you happen to know is a Wednesday starts off by sounding like a Sunday, there is something seriously wrong somewhere.” – John Wyndham, The Day of the Triffids

“It was a dazzling four-sun afternoon.” – Issac Asmiov and Robert Silverberg, Nightfall

“In defense of Althalus, it should be noted that he was in very tight financial circumstances and more than a little tipsy when he agreed to undertake the theft of the Book.” – David and Leigh Eddings, The Redemption of Althalus Continue reading

Self-Editing Tricks to Tuck up Your Sleeve

Whether you’re writing a short story, blog post, poem or working on a novel, at some point you’re going to have to look back over your own words. This comes at different stages in the process for many of us, but we all have to do it eventually. And its a buggering nightmare, most of the time. Mainly because deep down you know you’re never going to catch it all. There’ll be the odd spelling error, a mistyped phrase, an unnecessary adverb or heaven forbid – a misused semi colon.

To be honest, I’ve been caught out so many times now I tend to laugh it off. Discovering all these things and more days or even weeks after some of my work has gone live is always rather  embarrassing. Fortunately, I’ve only ever found myself in the most gentile company of fellow readers and writers, and most of them are very forgiving about obvious mistakes.

But when it comes to my more serious ventures – the ones I intend to make money from, I do everything I can to make sure the text is as polished as possible. And while line and copy editors are a service I think all writers should take advantage of, it never hurts to do as much as you can before handing it off. So here are a few tips and tricks I use to help me weed out even the most easily overlooked mistakes in my prose. Continue reading

Hidden Below

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In response to the Weekly Photo Challenge over on the Daily Post, here’s a piece by photographer Andrew Brooks.

It’s a part of his ‘Hidden Cities’ collection, and was taken during an exploration of Manchester.

I have a lot of his worked saved and hidden away, because it has often served to inspire and save me from more than one bought of writer’s block.

The reason I love this particular picture so much is because I found it when trying to research locations for Underground, back when it was still a short that took place almost entirely inside a series of abandoned tunnels.

Whenever I’m having trouble writing that story, taking a look at Brooks’ work often helps me get back on track.

Be sure to click-through for the full-sized image and check out the rest of his site too!

Camp NaNo: Victory Lap

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Please excuse me while I collapse into a pitiful heap, surrounded by empty wine bottles and snapped pencils, scattered between piles of paperbacks and notebooks. I’m here! I did it!

I think I became some weird form of literary zombie during the month though… But don’t worry, I probably won’t try to eat your brains*.

And you’ll have to forgive me for being so utterly, unabashedly pleased with myself. I’ve been dipping in and out of the NaNoWriMo scene since I was at uni over a decade ago, and I’ve never once managed to cross the finish line.

Until today!

Continue reading