Tag:

fiction

Challenge Season Is About To Begin

I admit I’m rather reluctant to do NaNoWriMo this year. I’ve never found it useful and the daily word limit required to hit 50,000 words is simply out of my reach when I have a full time job that requires me to write. By the end of my professional day I am frequently out of the mental steam required to squeeze another 1000+ words out of my brain.

So this year I’m taking a more laid back approach to the challenge. I’m starting with my Norse Mythology project, something I’ve already written 6000 words on, and in the run up to NaNoWriMo I’m entering the ChapterBuzz 10k challenge. This challenge is much closer to my writing speed – 350 words a day rather than 1667 – and as the ChapterBuzz authors put it on their website,

“By focusing on a relatively small number of words—instead of, say, 50,000—you’ll be able to put more thought into what you’re writing, and end up with a solid foundation for a great novel that you can build on over time.”

Fingers crossed that means I’ll have 16,000 words, or more before NaNoWriMo even starts. Yes, I know that’s cheating, but with no real prospect of doing 50,000 words in a month, this year I’m using National Novel Writing Month more as an incentive to write than an actual goal. That way it won’t be too upsetting if I only manage to crawl up to November 30th with 30,000 words under my belt.

Norse Mythology: The Mother Of All Rabbit Holes

Way, way back in March I wrote a blog post talking about how a new plot idea had bubbled to the surface of my brain and I was intrigued by it’s possibilities. As part of this year’s Camp NaNoWriMo I immediately wrote the opening 6000 words of this new story, before a bout of writer’s block persuaded me that I needed a better understanding of my topic; Norse Mythology.

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A Surprise Plot Makes An Appearance

About a month ago I was in a bit of a rut with the story I was working on, a science fiction tale set on a distant planet. In order to head off an approaching case of writer’s block I decided to take part in a few Twitter challenges, which resulted in the micro stories you can see on this blog.

The one image that stuck with me the longest during that couple of weeks was of Lucien and Aldous, my vampiric characters. It was enormous fun to come up with little vignettes for them and it got me to thinking about vampire fiction in more detail.

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Microfiction: Lucien & Aldous #4

“I’ve always preferred the eighty-nines myself.” Aldous announced with a noticeable slur. “A more full-bodied vintage for the true sanguinarian.”

Lucien picked a shred of flesh from his teeth with a fingernail. The nail was long and scarlet and didn’t belong to him.

“Aldous, you are such a snob.” He muttered.

Flash Fiction: The Gluemn In God’s Eye

For years I’ve been fascinated by the idea that life may exist under the icy crust of Jupiter’s moon, Europa. In particular I wondered how an intelligent species might mythologise their landscape when the limit of their universe is a miles thick ceiling of ice. This is a glimpse in to life beneath a frozen ocean.

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Book Review: Wild Chamber by Christopher Fowler

Wild Chamber (Bryant & May, #14)Wild Chamber by Christopher Fowler
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I’m a huge fan of the Bryant & May novels by Christopher Fowler and have read them all with relish. They’re particularly fun for me as a Londoner and a history nerd. The author blends historical fact with fiction so well that on occasion I have found myself fact-checking several of the novels in order to distinguish between historical fact and flights of the author’s fancy.

Crime buffs will notice straight away that this story is a variation on a classic crime set up; the locked room mystery. A variation that could only really work in a London setting. The author does a great job of misleading the reader with several red herrings, and I didn’t start to zero in the the killer and his motive until the last few chapters. Even then it remained a rather nebulous notion until the denouement, when all was revealed.

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Microfiction: Lucien and Aldous #2

For the #writethurs challenge in Twitter.

Lucien slurped at his bloody fingers. Gobbets of crimson gore oozed down his chin. Aldous was appalled.

“Manners.” He hissed, proffering a napkin.

Lucien grimaced at the crisp white linen.

“Seriously?” he said, sucking a juicy clot from this thumb. “Who taught you how to be a vampire?”

Microfiction: A Walk In Whitechapel

In response to a one word writing prompt: liminal

Whitechapel is never silent. The ghosts of two millenia crowd the lanes, beckoning, with crimson allure from shadowed doorways, calling to you in brash Cockney from long dismantled stalls. They grasp at your feet as you stroll, oblivious over their plague-rotted remains.