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review 2019-05-03 13:21
Horror, fantasy and a generous dash of Goth culture,
Splinters of Truth - Ian Whates,Storm Constantine

A wonderful anthology that not only presents us with 15 unique and compelling short tales but also answers the eternal question asked of authors – where do you get your ideas from? At the start of each story Storm Constantine tells us what inspired her to write it, often including some personal history or anecdotes.


All the stories are enjoyable and I found myself reading two each night, but my favourites in the collection were “Kiss Booties Night Night”, “Colin’s Cough”, and “The Fool’s Path”. Part horror, plenty of fantasy and a generous dash of Goth culture, it makes me want to revisit Constantine’s novels.

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review 2019-04-30 08:12
Beginners Guide to Writing Horror
Write Horror: Good Enough to Wake the Dead - Christina Escamilla

Christina Escamilla writes great horror. If you haven’t encountered it before “64 Deaths” is a superlative read.


I was looking forward to this short guide book and read it with enthusiasm. However, my two main problems with it are that it is poorly edited, some sentences simply do not make any sense, and the lack of quoted examples. Escamilla does use examples to illustrate her points but because she can only comment on rather than reproducing the cited work, it loses its power. I understand that permission to quote current works might be difficult and expensive to obtain, but then why not use out of copyright horror and her own work to quote?


Apart from these two niggles there are some gems of good advice and I am sure it would be very useful to someone starting out. Certainly the publishing section is something I’m likely to refer back to. In summary it isn’t written for established writers, but it’s likely to be of use to new writers planning to write horror.

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review 2019-04-21 11:32
An entertaining and easy read.
Good Omens: The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch - Terry Pratchett,Neil Gaiman

I am a fan of both Gaiman and Pratchett and Good Omens was an enjoyable read. My favourite parts were the end notes where the authors discuss working with each other. They inspired me to search for synergy with another. I have to admit though, and this may be unpopular, I found little synergy in the story. If anything it was less funny than books by Pratchett and less weird than books by Gaiman as if they had succeeded in toning each other down, rounding off the edges, until what was produced was more commercial but less uniquely theirs. Reading it, I imagined Aziraphale as Terry Pratchett and Crowley as Gaiman, and those images worked well for me.


Accessible and fun. An enjoyable read and perhaps a good entry point for both authors for a new generation.

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review 2019-02-10 18:52
or "People Susan Hill Has Met"
Howards End Is on the Landing: A Year of Reading from Home - Susan Hill

There were things I really liked about this book - the journey through a house full of bookcases, where many of the books Hill owns evoke memories of when and where she read them, or meeting the authors themselves. At times it feels like a who's who, but is enjoyable in spite of that. I have ordered three books on Hill's recommendations and I look forward to reading those soon. I appreciated her thoughts on reading and rereading books to get the most from them - slow reading as a skill to be relearned has much value and appeal.


There were things I liked less - Hill can be somewhat dismissive and derisive of certain writers, politics, social movements, people, books and technology. Many of her arguments seem somewhat circular or vague, and "the authors who I have met" parts got tiresome after a while. Some of the quotes used seemed to add little to the book and the section on "Reading for the Soul" just wasn't compelling, but perhaps that's me being equally dismissive.


Published at eighteen, invited to all the right parties, and mentored by very talented people it sounds as though Susan Hill's life has been rich and full. It was fascinating to get a glimpse of that. All in all I did enjoy the book. It took me years to take it off my shelf and it was worth the wait. 3.5/5*

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text 2019-01-20 11:00
A Step-by-Step Guide to Writing a Novel, Part One – Introduction

Whether you are starting a new novel, thinking about writing a novel, or stuck half way through the process, this series of articles is designed to offer help and new ways of looking at your craft.


Carmilla Voiez is a horror and fantasy author. Her novels have been published by indie publishing companies including Vamptasy Publishing, CHBB and Stone Circle Publishing and her short stories have been included in anthologies by Clash Books, Weird Punk Books, Stitched Smile, Siren Magazine, and Dragones Mecanicos. Her award-winning Starblood series is being adapted into a series of graphic novels illustrated by Anna Prashkovich. She has studied creative writing with the Open University and proof-reading with Chapterhouse. Carmilla also offers individually tailored editing packages for self-publishing authors.


This blog series will take you through the nine steps of writing and publishing your novel. It is designed for those of you planning your first adventure in writing, and those who feel they are missing something as they write but don’t know what. It may have some relevance to writers working on short stories, but it is designed to cover the challenges of longer pieces (50k words and over).


This introduction will set out the format of the course, and list the resources I will refer to throughout the articles. You may wish to add some of these books to your own reading list, but it is not obligatory.


Part Two – The Blank Page 

Includes: where to find inspiration for your - story, characters, and settings.

To plan or not to plan, that is one of many questions.

A cost-benefit analysis of NaNoWriMo.


Part Three – Content and Themes 

Character-based vs plot-based.

What do you want people to think about as and after they read the story?


Part Four – Style 

Perspective, language, tenses and chapter lengths.


Part Five – Writer's Block 

Keeping going when it gets tough.


Part Six – The End?

Rewriting, foregrounding the themes, deciding whose story this is.


Part Seven – Editing

Checking for consistency and avoiding unwanted repetition. Style sheets. Plugging the plot holes. Character arcs.


Part Eight – Proofreading

Understanding grammar. Use a dictionary. Common errors. The role of beta readers. Do you need to pay a professional editor?


Part Nine – Delivery

Traditional vs self publishing. How to find an agent. How to snag a publisher. The elevator pitch. The dreaded synopsis. Starting something new.


Part Ten – Promotion

Release parties. Paid adverts. Building connections. Book signings. Your Facebook page. Your website. Anthologies. Goodreads.


Join me on this journey through the writing process and feel free to comment on my blog if you have any specific questions related to the content or your own process. Learn the importance of a closed and an open door as you progress and start building a community of like-minded individuals who support each other’s efforts.


The resources I will be using while writing this course include:-


“Creative Writing” - Linda Anderson,

“On Writers and Writing” - Margaret Atwood,

“Becoming a writer” - Dorothea Brande,

“On Writing” - Stephen King,

“The Art of Fiction” - David Lodge,

“A Creative Writing Handbook” - Derek Neale,

“Story Structure Architect” - Victoria Lynn Schmidt,

“The Writer’s Journey” - Christopher Volger,

“Writing a Novel” - Nigel Watts,

and my own experiences.


Carmilla Voiez.


Check out my full bibliography on Amazon.

Follow me on Twitter.

Like my page on Facebook.

Connect with me on Goodreads

Subscribe to my newsletter.

Source: carmillavoiez.wixsite.com/carmillavoiez/single-post/2018/10/04/A-Step-by-Step-Guide-to-Writing-a-Novel-Part-One-%E2%80%93-Introduction
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