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Author Blogs

Syndicated blogs on AUTHORSdb

Character Interview

One site, "The Protagonist Speaks" has the fantastic idea of interviewing the character instead of the author. Yes, my characters do have more to say... https://theprotagonistspeaks.com/2019/05/24/bridget-etheridge-of-mystic-evermore-by-cecelia-hopkins-drewer/ Original link
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Terminal Transit – Irish, Apocalyptic, Science Fiction, Horror Novel

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Synopsis A brilliant research student discovers a plot fulminated by demons from another dimension and kills himself in the process. The fate of the world is left in the hands of an elderly academic and a mysterious orphan. Using the facts surrounding Ireland’s economic collapse in 2008 as it’s starting point, Terminal Transit is an apocalyptic adventure dealing with death and destruction in a Dublin slowly devastated by demonic intervention. Can the end of the world be avoided? Or is this planet simply scheduled for Terminal Transit? Terminal Transit, ‘Chapter I ‘The Song of the NotBeSpeak’’ Verse 2. It was Professor Mac an Bhaird who woke one rainy night from his lonely dreams to hear sobb...
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Writing Dialogue – What To Do.


In my last post I talked about three things you SHOULD NOTdo when writing dialogue. I.e.: Don’t go overboard using alternatives to the verb – to say.Don’t overdo accents, slang and cursing.Don’t let a character’s speech slide into too much explanation as a way of moving the plot forward. Here are three things you SHOULD do. Do use your dialogue to reveal important things about a character – their social class, their prejudices, their self-confidence (or lack of it), their differing relationship with the other characters.Do ensure each character speaks differently, sothe reader can easily differentiate between them. After all, no two people inreal life speak in exactly the same way.Always rea...
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Writing Dialogue – What Not To Do.


Most novels include dialogue. It helps to reveal character; move the plot forward, break up the wordy bits of exposition, and a lot more. What it isn’t is an exact exposition of how people actually speak. Done well, it’s an illusion of how people speak that sounds completely authentic. Here are three tips from the experts for what NOT to do when trying to create this realistic illusion. Don’t use any other verb than ‘says’ or ‘said.’You may have swallowed a Thesaurus and want to ‘expostulate’  ‘extrapolate’ or ‘explain’ etc. but more thana couple of clever alternatives to ‘said’ and the reader will start to find ittiresome.Don’t sink into parody. Your character may be a crafty Cockney, a tou...
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Barnaby Taylor, Terminal Transit – Irish, Apocalyptic, Science Fiction Novel

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Synopsis A brilliant research student discovers a plot fulminated by demons from another dimension and kills himself in the process. The fate of the world is left in the hands of an elderly academic and a mysterious orphan. Using the facts surrounding Ireland’s economic collapse in 2008 as it’s starting point, Terminal Transit is an apocalyptic adventure dealing with death and destruction in a Dublin slowly devastated by demonic intervention. Can the end of the world be avoided? Or is this planet simply scheduled for Terminal Transit? Terminal Transit, ‘Chapter I ‘The Song of the NotBeSpeak’’ Verse 1 Professor Amhalgaidh Mac an Bhaird is elderly now, almost ancient. He is an Honorary Fellow ...
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Artful Cursing?


When I wrote my YA novel Girl Friends several years ago, I used my experience of working inthe Probation Service and in child protection / safeguarding to ensure thestoryline rang true. I also used a lot of the language used by many of thechildren and adults I had worked with. This again rang true, but a moreexperienced writer pointed out to me that too many swear words per line got abit boring for the reader. Also, although we all know children, especiallyteenagers, use bad language, many publishers of YA novels don’t like it. Theyhave the parents in mind as potential customers as much as the young peoplethemselves. So the final version of GirlFriends went out several hundred words shorter ...
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What is a Poet Laureate?


Poet Laureates originated with the ancient Greeks and Romans when poetic achievement was honoured by a crown of laurels (the laurel tree being sacred to the god Apollo, the patron of poets. The title was first granted in England in the seventeenth century. James the First gave the playwright and poet, Ben Jonson, a pension from 1616, but the first poet to hold the title was John Dryden who was granted the position for life, as were all his successors until Andrew Motion. He took the post in 1999 for a set time of ten years. He was followed by Carol Ann Duffy (the first woman laureate) in 2009, and her replacement, Simon Armitage, has just been appointed to replace her. Famous poets from the ...
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The Eleventh Film – Horror/Science Fiction Flash Fiction Series

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The Eleventh Film XVIII With her comrades gone, the lexicographer felt it was as if the world now hung useless in its orbit. Not spinning any more. Limp. Cernuous. Nutant. Forever. Unlimited. That final word took her back. Darkness. She was a child in her father’s car. There was a sign overhead. She saw the word. Then she was too young to understand what the word meant. Now she knew that the endlessness of this word really was the end. For thirteen nights she resisted but on the fourteenth morning she suffered a crisis in language and was no longer able to compute. She lay curled on her side as the last of her brain’s charge emptied itself out through her right ear and onto the floor of the ...
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Putting Your Word(s) in Order.


Legal documents are dry, precise, pedantic – and consequently make for rather a dull read for those of us who are not solicitors. They are written that way because their meaning has to be crystal clear – ‘for the avoidance of doubt’ – as they often state. Fiction writers are not so hide-bound. They may want to convey a mood, an atmosphere, a feeling, an impression … Metaphors, hyperbole, humor, irony and, not least, word order, will help with this more than the unvarnished truth. That said, a novelist needs to take care with the order their words are written in, so that they get the meaning they intend across to the reader. There are subtle (and not so subtle) differences between ‘I only bou...
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Exciting upcoming anthology inclusion


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Nipper – NIGHTMARE, MONSTER, HORROR, SURVIVAL SERIES – Book One

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Once a week the monsters come. They hunt all night. In the morning they’re gone. That gives me six days to get ready. Then they come back again. Hi Everyone Here’s the opening chapter of the first book in my latest series. Nipper tells the story of a girl and her dad who have to defend their house from a weekly invasion of monsters. When her dad is badly injured, Nipper has to try and get him to safety before it’s too late. If you like what you read then why not download Nipper from Amazon? The links are here and here . Scream The first thing you hear is the scream. One of them starts and the rest join in. They get louder and louder. It sounds like the night is crying angry tears of pain. It...
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Writing: making Your Mark.


The British Library in London has a new exhibition, all about writing, that sounds like it is well worth a visit. It is on until August 27th. Writing is a lot younger than language; the earliest recorded writing is a mere 5,000 years old, but scholars reckon the spoken word is anything from 50,000 to more than 200,000 years old. The exhibition traces the development of writing from its origins in the Levant, China and the Americas. It looks at the earliest examples, through to hieroglyphs, calligraphy, printing, typewriters (a Chinese typewriter is one of the exhibits), and modern text speak and emojis. There a several personal artifacts, such as Florence Nightingale’s notebooks, and Lord Te...
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Is Storytelling a Science?


Will Storr is a journalist and bestselling ghost-writer. He also runs workshops on how to write narrative, and has written a book based on these workshops – The Science of Storytelling. His theory is that the key to a good narrative is not the plot or structure, but character, preferably flawed. He isn’t the first to be fascinated by this (Aristotle was also keen on ‘tragic flaws’). But Storr believes that our evolution has depended on our ability to ‘read’ other people. Hence a misreading – or unexpected changes – in character is, in his words, ‘the single secret in storytelling.’ He offers a helpful process to achieve this to the aspiringwriter: Locate your character’s ‘sacred flaw.’Imagin...
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The Eleventh Film – Horror/Science Fiction Flash Fiction Series


The Eleventh Film XVII This was the world’s last great expedition. The territory was not uncharted. All was familiar. But it was just no longer feasible. She reached the Library and spent her days and nights exploring texts, poring over cuneiform – desperately trying to decipher long-lost languages without so much as a phrase book. She probed and pondered. For a while she was certain of making progress. A letter here. A symbol there. Sometime a sentence promised to offer up a partial truth. Other times that same sentence became devoid of anything. The process became so arduous that one by one the lexicographer’s party fell prey to unknown ailments. One person fell asleep awake forever. Anoth...
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The Queen’s (or her heir’s) English?


The Prince of Wales was in the news last week. As he isoften written about, that fact is not, in itself, newsworthy – at least not fora blog about writing and writers. What drew literary minded people’s interestwas his letter to President Macron after the fire at Notre Dame Cathedral inwhich he used a number of Americanised spellings, namely –ize instead of –ise. Theprince’s fuddy-duddy reputation as a traditionalist was under threat – had he fallenunder the influence of his new American daughter-in-law? Was he trying too hardto be ‘down with the kidz? Was ‘Westerncivilization’ (as he wrote) under threat from his expressions of sympathyfor the French in this ‘most agonizing oftimes’? As one ...
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Writing – a solitary occupation that brings people together?


Whilst on holiday last week I read I’m the King of the Castle by Susan Hill. This is her grimlycompelling novel about the relationship between two small boys; one a bully,the other his victim. In a postscript she summarised the origins of the story. She had rented a remote cottage where she could work uninterrupted on finishing another novel. Her tranquil surroundings inspired her – the beautiful surrounding countryside including a nearby wood, the unusually hot weather, and two small boys who she often spotted when out on her daily walks. These boys seemed like great friends, unlike the two in her novel. But they provided the germ of an idea for a new story. By the end of her sojourn, she h...
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The Eleventh Film – Horror/Science Fiction Flash Fiction Series

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The Eleventh Film XVI It was a four month voyage and nothing was seen on the way. The world was as it had always been. Only it was empty now. Devoid. Great swathes of white pinned to the planet’s surface by the heaviest silence the world had ever known. She passed the time by finding words for the views that she saw. Gelid. Hiemal. Spoliate. Each entry in her notebook brought her closer to the source. Unbearing. Boreal. Forever. Unlimited. She knew that final word from before. Original link
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The Eleventh Film – Horror/Science Fiction Flash Fiction Series

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  The Eleventh Film XV In previous times of doubt and despair the world has always sought solace in the written word, hoping to discern a truth among the millions of symbols and ciphers and syllables. And so slumberous stories emerged through dreams about a library long-lost to the world. A place where the answers to the world’s final question might still be found. She was the world’s last lexicographist and so she was chosen to lead the expedition. The hunt for the site began. There was nothing to lose and there was the possibility, however small, that there still might be a way out of all this. As the years passed the world lost hope that the library would ever be found. The lexicographer ...
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The Land of Meow - free story available on Wattpad.


https://www.wattpad.com/story/184035889-the-land-of-meow I have been working on  series of children's stories to release on Wattpad to increase my readership and build a following. These stories have been written for fun, mostly by me, but with the occasional input from others. The stories fit the genre of human/animal fantasy, and feature an eight year old boy who dreams that he roams the urban landscape with his cat. I haven't kept the words "easy" the tales are for fluent readers, parents, reading to children, and anyone who generally loves animals. Original link
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VIRO – Infecting Imaginations One Zombie at a Time

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Hi Everyone It has been 13 months since Book One in the VIRO was published. I thought it would be useful to compile a list of notable things that have happened since.   1. NUMBER ONE With very occasional variations, Book One has been Number One in the Teen & Young Adult Monster Fiction eBooks chart since April 2018. This is very exciting and I have to say a big thank you to everyone who has read the book. You can get your copy of Book One here . 2. BOOK TWO The apocalyptic adventures of Jake and his friends continued in May 2018 when Book Two was published. This time the friends find themselves caught between the rampaging viros and the Tall Man, a local militia leader recruiting the able-bo...
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