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.
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...
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.
The technology behind the TV show Quantum Leap is real, a black project run by the Pentagon in the 1980s to embed its spies directly into the minds of America's enemies. Shut down due to test subjects going out of control when inhabiting other bodies, the technology has been stolen by North Korea and the… Continue reading A Quantum Leap
Writing my sci-fi story Fool's Gambit got me wondering: what is science fiction? What is the definition? Where do the boundaries lie? What are the rules? I'm sure there are a lot of well-researched and philosophical articles out there that Clarke, Asimov and Heinlein* their way towards a perfectly serviceable definition, but frankly I can't… Continue reading Something something something aliens
I've written the theme music to three 1980s films that don't exist but which should. Blood Hack: Los Angeles, 1997. The near future. When a gang of cyberterrorists implants a computer virus into the president's cerebral cortex, a former hacker is forced to return to a past he thought he'd left behind--uploading himself into the… Continue reading Michael Ironside plays the chief of police
Face down, eyes down, the two of us lie side by side. Pawns in a game beyond our control.Our power lies in our anonymity, and once we’re out in the open the power’s lost. Case in point: even I don’t know who’s lying alongside me. Only one person knows that for sure. If they knew… Continue reading The Deuce – SmallTales
If you haven't heard of Clean Reader yet then allow me to enlighten you: it's an app that automatically changes swears and other types of "profane" words in ebooks into more acceptable language. I know! What kind of terrified baby would want or need something like that? Well, apparently some people do. Though what they make of the internet I have no idea. Here are my thoughts on why it's kind of OK in one way but mainly not OK in pretty much all other ways...
Image © David StewartHe’d arrived that morning in a blue Hyundai and skipped up the steps to the bandstand with breezy nonchalance. "Jerry's not well," he'd said, "I'll be conducting today."They played three songs straight through, and when they stopped he told them to keep going. When Earl raised a hand and said that they… Continue reading 100WC – The Replacement Conductor