Wednesday, 26 March 2014

Horror Bites: A Bag of Heads

Lovely Scottish writer Laura James is hosting a brand new flash fiction challenge , Horror Bites, and it's all about HORROR. Now, I'm not much of a horror writer. Or reader. Or watcher. I had to leave the cinema three times during Dawn of the Dead and then sleep curled up on my flat mate's floor to keep away the nightmares.

I do not do horror. But inspired by writer Ruth Long's example, I wanted to join the party. So here's my effort. The prompt?  "A Bag of heads."

A Bag of Heads

Tuesday, 25 March 2014

The Pantsing Time Traveller or Ways to Stay Sane

I'm a reformed character. No really. All future novels will be planned, carefully and tightly plotted (with thanks to Sophie Moss and Ruth Long for their inspirational example).

Unfortunately that doesn't help me with the existing ones. Like the one I thought was pretty damn good, until I reread it and saw that the plot needed just a little tweak.

Have you ever tried to do just a little tweak to the plot of a novel? It's the literary equivalent of being Marty McFly going back in time and practically scoring with his own mom. Do you remember that sickening moment when poor Marty pulls out the photo of his family and sees his siblings disappearing?

Sunday, 2 March 2014

3 Ways Gaming Can Help us Write Better Novels

I haven't touched a computer game since the days when you'd load 'em up via a tape cassette and then play on a greenish coloured screen with a joy stick.  

A State of the Art bit of kit in the 80s... 

We're talking a long time ago. A long, long time ago. 

However, the quest for geekdom continues and this month Searching for SuperWomen leader Emmie Mears, issued a summons to Come All Ye Gamers. As a contributor to SfS I could hardly say no. You can find out what happened on The Day I Learned To Game

It's fair to say this was something of a revelation. Like living in the Truman Show and suddenly realising you could burst through the sky and find a whole new universe. Untrammelled creativity. Whether, Scribblenauts when a simple word can conjure any object you desire, or Skyrim, where you build yourself and your quest from the outside in. 

The more I thought about it, the more I think gaming and writing go together like apple pie and custard. For writers, they provide valuable lessons in how to immerse someone in the story you're creating.  So what lessons have I learnt in the 24 hours since I first disposed of my gaming virginity?