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Creative writing

British & Irish authors’ organisations: who should I join?

Joining an authors’ trade organisation has been on my to-do list since I decided to take this gig seriously. I’ve put it off because there are as surprising number of British and Irish authors’ organisations. Now that I’ve done the research, I thought I’d put it out there for other writers to use. Why do […]

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book reviews Creative writing

Book vs film: The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold

The Book Corner season 5: Book vs film. Episode 6: The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold. Alice Sebold’s 2002 debut novel delivered a bold and uplifting take on a brutal child murder story. In 2009, The Lovely Bones became a film by Peter Jackson, but neither the critics nor the box office warmed to his […]

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Metaposts

2023: a year in posts

In January 2023 I set a goal of posting every week, which isn’t easy when you’re diverted as readily as I am. I managed about three posts a month and I’ll take that for a win. Nerd that I am, I thought I’d start the new year with my top five posts of 2023. Most […]

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book reviews Creative writing

Secrets of the Book Corner

Most book reviewers do it to share their opinions. As a writer, I want to discover what I think about the craft so that I can improve. That’s where the Book Corner comes in. Book reviewers usually cover new releases and classics (because the algorithms love a classic). My selections are governed by the whims […]

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book reviews Creative writing Horror Science Fiction

Book vs film: Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro

The Book Corner season 5: Book vs film. Episode 5: Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro Ishiguro’s sixth novel was published in 2005 and its film adaptation, scripted by Alex Garland, was released in 2010. Read on, and I’ll explain why the novel is a great example of bad storytelling that the film fails […]

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Creative writing Science Fiction

Space archaeology: how to make the future look alive

Space archaeology is a real job, but how did it combine with the sci-fi classic Alien to help me write better characters? Next time you’re watching a film or TV show set in the future, see how many personal items you can find. I’ll wager it’s very few. Real life isn’t like that. Our cars, […]

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book reviews Creative writing

Book vs film: A Wizard of Earthsea by Ursula Le Guin

The Book Corner season 5: Book vs film. Episode 4: A Wizard of Earthsea by Ursula Le Guin vs Tales from Earthsea by Goro Miyazaki A Wizard of Earthsea became an instant classic of children’s fantasy when it arrived in 1968. It launched six novels exploring the wizards, peoples, lands and creatures of the Earthsea […]

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book reviews Creative writing

Book vs film: The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan

The Book Corner season 5: Book vs film. Episode 3: The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan The Percy Jackson heroverse is a middle grade mega-brand today, but 2005’s The Lightning Thief was cast firmly in the role of Harry Potter wannabee by its 2010 movie adaptation. Does the plucky young demigod deserve his reputation, and […]

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Creative writing writing tools

Six ways to prep for Nanowrimo 2023

With only three weeks left until Nanowrimo 2023 kicks off, there’s still time to prepare your story so you can hit the keyboard hard on November 1st. More importantly, a little prep will give you something to fall back on when the words run dry on November 21st. I won’t be on board the Nano […]

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book reviews Creative writing Horror Science Fiction

Book vs film: The Dark Tower vol 1 — The Gunslinger by Stephen King

Season 5 episode 2: The Dark Tower vol 1 — The Gunslinger, by Stephen King The original concept for this season was “great book, shit film”. The Gunslinger certainly qualifies for the latter half and while The Dark Tower series has a passionate fanbase, “great” has to do a lot of heavy lifting for the […]