Posts

Showing posts from May, 2013

Of Pathya Vats and Pigs: Bob Newman

Image
Poetry isn’t like fiction, even in the world of snail publishing (if that’s the phrase I’m looking for). It’s a form of writing that in recent times has flourished mainly in small magazines, whose editors dream, usually in vain, of finding a few subscribers who don’t want their own poems published - for poetry is a commodity for which supply massively exceeds demand. New poetry in book form is published mainly by a small number of specialist publishers, such as Bloodaxe, Carcanet and Enitharmon, with one or two general publishers continuing to do their bit, notably Faber.
          Few poets can have any realistic hope of being published by any of the big boys. Some years ago when I still had delusions I checked them out, and found that one - it may have been Bloodaxe - had announced that they would definitely not be taking on any new poets for at least three years. The others were little more encouraging. The number of living poets whose names are known to the public is tiny. Fifteen…

Our Top Writing Tips - Joint Post

Image
As we have 29 writers ready to hand, we thought we'd ask them to pass on their most valuable writing tips...

Dennis Hamley - visit website

Tip one:
An 80,000 word first draft means a 60,000 final draft. Draft, redraft ad re-redraft until there’s nothing left corpulent or flatulent in your prose: only lean sparseness in which every word matters.

Tip two:
A good way to approach that blessed state is to read your work aloud. Your written words will become alive and three-dimensional. You’ll home in on every tautology, repetition and indulgence (see below). Sometimes you’ll find, very embarrassingly, that what you were so proud of on paper is almost physically impossible to say.

Tip three:
If there’s something you’re really proud of, look at it especially carefully. It may deserve your pride - but equally it may be an indulgence, so don’t be afraid to lop it off. If it’s that good, you’ll find the right place for it one day. If it isn’t, you won’t.
_________________…

Ghosts of Old Wales and inspiration from Myths and Legends - by Hywela Lyn

Image
'Writers Block' strikes us all at times.  As a fantasy and Science Fiction writer, I often find reading old myths and legends will get the creative juices flowing again, and wake up the muse.  Reworking old legends to a modern setting is a good way to start, and I usually find a story will evolve in my mind which is completely different to the original idea that sparked it  and, while going off in a totally different direction, provides the 'starting point' and sometimes even a character, to build on.

My native Wales is a land full of myths and legends, with  its fair share of ghosts, and is a rich source of ideas.  Usually, it is the beautiful landscape itself, and the many pools, waterfalls and mountains that provide the settings for these stories, rather than old houses or castles.

Here are just a few tales of hauntings from various parts of the Principality. (Apologies in advance for some of the 'hard to pronounce Welsh names!)

THE HAUNTING OF LLANIDLOES

A lady …

Death, final and absolute - Enid Richemont

Image
During the morning of March 14th, David - my partner and husband of a very long time - was putting the final touches to our ebook version of The Magic Skateboard


          Before the end of that afternoon, he would be dead. Death had nosed at us, with its unpleasant breath, on a number of occasions before. There was the time we'd driven back from a long weekend in Cornwall when David had forgotten to bring his blood pressure pills, so when we came home late at night, he took some, along with a small whisky. We ended up in Casualty.

David raising a glass
          There were ominous happenings at the Bronze exhibition at the Royal Academy in October last year, when he complained of feeling unwell (the lighting at the exhibition seemed to disturb both of us, but David especially). Then, in one of the rooms, a man suddenly collapsed, and couldn't be revived. Neither of us could recall that exhibition without the image of the man falling.           In November, David had a…

Storytelling in Kingston - Andrew Crofts

“Kingston Connections” is a three year project about storytelling. It is a joint venture between KingstonUniversity, The Rose Theatre, Creative Youth and the local council. The reason I bring this up is that in amongst their extensive programme of talks, debates, projects and performances, I am appearing on a panel for a discussion entitled “Becoming Your Own Publisher”, which might well be of interest to readers of this site. My role on the panel is to talk about where ghostwriters can fit into the whole process. I was recruited for the project by the redoubtable Dr. Alison Baverstock, who not only runs an extremely well respected MA course on publishing at Kingston University but is also a prolific writer on matters pertaining to publishing and is the author of “The Naked Author”, by far the best book so far on self-publishing, (although ironically published in the traditional manner by Bloomsbury). The talk is happening on Monday 24th June at 5.30 p.m. in the Culture CafĂ© of the Ros…

Crazy Days: Editing and Inspiration - by Rosalie Warren

First of all, my apologies that this post will be short and somewhat hurried, although I will try not to destroy my proofreading credentials by leaving it full of mistakes.

My excuse for the rush is that I am currently working flat out to produce an e-book and a paperback for a client. No, I am not an expert in self-publishing - far from it. This particular client hired me several months ago to do editing work for him on a religious treatise he has been compiling for the past few years. The editing work has been somewhat challenging. There were rather a lot of files, including three versions of a full length book and a big pile of shorter pieces. From all these, I was asked to produce a condensed version that would distil the essence of the work, serve as an introduction to the rest (which will go on the website) and, of course, 'flow nicely'. Now I like a challenge and I'm not complaining, but the workload has proved even greater than I expected (thankfully I am being pai…