Every writer knows about the dreaded writer's block. Whether you're working on flash fiction, a short story or a novel, there are times when you just hit a wall. Those words just. Will. Not. Come. Well, that's not a problem for me. Not any more, anyway. Because I've come up with a way to beat it that has been 100% effective for me. But don't worry, there's no need to hate me - I'm going to share it with you.
I was reading a book at the weekend that described someone as wearing "a nondescript hat", and it reminded me of how the word "nondescript" should have no place in fiction writing.
Anatoly Meliakoff was the greatest magician of his age. Crowds would flock from miles around to see him, trudge through mud and rain and snow to see him, and when a theatre booked him for a show word of his coming would race before him like fire until all the hotels were full and the whole town was ablaze with anticipation. They queued around the block to buy tickets before the theatre even opened, huddled inside their coats beneath woollen hats and scarves, stamped their feet to drive out the cold as the lucky ones ran from the box office like lottery winners, holding aloft bright orange tickets, waving them at the gleeful crowd before hurrying off into the wind or the rain or the whirling snow. He arrived out of nowhere. Just walked into Budapest one fierce summer noon, him and that dwarf of his, both of them dressed in bow tie and tails, dust on their shoes and sweat clouding their high, starched collars. He walked straight to the theatre and asked to be allowed to perform there that very evening, as though nothing could have seemed more natural.
They started renovating the Broadwell Steps on the day we met. The old steps had been as smooth as glass, and when it rained they were like ice. Eventually an old woman slipped and broke her hip. Turned out she was the mayor's aunt. I swear, less than a week later they were out there pouring concrete.
I write horror fiction from time to time, and one thing I've learned is that there are only really three possible horror book endings...
It was only once we were airborne that we learned that our pilot was a horse.
One man's obsession with the restoration of a near-mythical car is thrown into sharp perspective following the death of his wife. "A beautifully crafted story and well worth the read."
I recently published a horror story called Greenteeth, which was inspired and heavily influenced by the folklore of Jenny Greenteeth. Jenny Greenteeth is a monstrous creature from the English folklore of Lancashire, Cheshire and Shropshire, though she also appears in other parts of the British Isles under different names such as Peg Powler, Kelpie or Grindylow.
One day, long ago, when the Earth was younger and the heavens held fewer stars, the great god Ehu brought forth two sons. One he named Isham, and to him he gave dominion over the world of the living, and the other he named Azamat, and to him he gave dominion over the world of… Continue reading The Pélissier Scroll
When three university friends travel to an isolated lake to investigate reported sightings of an alien big cat they expect yet another hoax, but when footage from their remote cameras appears to show someone emerging from the water in the dead of night they realise that the lake may hold stranger secrets than a phantom… Continue reading Greenteeth