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Baby Suet by John Stone

We’ve a new contributor to the blog.  Let’s welcome Jonathan Stone, who’s written the following short story for critiquing.  This is the first time John has had his work read and, as we know, that’s a fragile and scary moment, so lots of encouragement, please! Baby Suet was motionless in shock. She had not expected…

Keeping fear at bay

Fear of Writing – 3 secrets of writer’s block

So I’ve been suffering from writer’s block for a few months now. Draft 3 of my WIP was heading towards a brick wall and then came to a complete standstill, when really what I need to do is just write. Once you lose momentum, it’s hard to get going again. But if you stop altogether,…

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And Then They Were Gone…

Abandoned places are intriguing. Kids are always trying to slip through fences to play on derelict plots of land or explore disused factories and empty houses. These spaces have a sense of decay and also an air of lawlessness. They are outside the norm, making them the perfect places for adventures and stories. Even now,…

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Winchester Festival by Chip Tolson

Day long workshops, hour-long lectures and a flurry of ‘One to Ones’ were the order of the day aided by fine weather enhancing the chance to mingle al fresco to chat, commiserate, encourage and enjoy a not inexpensive weekend. The Festival, in previous years The Winchester Writers Conference, stems from the University of Winchester’s Creative…

Twin Peaks

It’s All In the Shoes

They say that you can tell a lot about a person by the shoes they wear. It can also tell you a lot about your characters. The key to creating characters with depth, is knowing what makes them tick. Otherwise they’re just cardboard cutouts and their actions serve the plot, rather than feeling organic and…

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Cold White Light

 This week’s writing prompt is based on the post-apocalyptic situation, one of the staples of genre fiction. I like these stories concerning the ‘what next’ and the ‘how do we rebuild and would it even be possible?’ perhaps the nature of the apocalypse is not even important? Post apocalyptic world Groups of survivors Many cities…

geekfest2014

Calling All Genre Fic Writers

I was offered a press pass to a new kind of sci fi convention, last year, called Nine Worlds Geek Fest. I couldn’t make it, but promised myself I’d save the date for 2014, so with my press pass confirmed, I’m looking forward to the convention and thought I’d share. Nine Worlds aims to be…

train-track

Writers Anon Keeping Me on Track

Deadlines can be real motivators. I’ve been stuck on my latest WIP book for several months now. After the initial splurge of creation (16,000 words in six weeks) I suddenly ran out of steam. I’ve only managed around 4,000 words in the last 3 or so months. Not great. Very not great, in fact. Despite…

sea gypsy

Fact is Stranger than Fiction

Finding inspiration for stories can sometimes feel like looking for a needle in a haystack, while banging your head against a brick wall. The inspiration for my WIP was a BBC Horizon documentary about a man who woke up with no memory. That story stayed with me and fascinated me, until one day it trickled…