Thursday 27 October 2011

Pic of the Week . . . Brian Froud . . . Plus WIP Update

I'm combining my two weekly posts into one today - a little unusual for me, I know, but hey! The reason, I never got round to posting on Tuesday, and I'm away this weekend so won't be able to tomorrow. Seemed like a good idea to me.

First up, Update on WIP: Son of Jack

For those who don't know, it IS being published. 27th November. Yeah, we're doing it ourselves through Amazon, but it was never destined for anything more. The whole point of writing Son of Jack to use it as an experiment to see how easy and how successful Amazon publishing is. If I make a fortune, yay! If it manages to go on to bigger and better things, yay!! But if it doesn't do too well I haven't lost anything, not a single penny; I'm a novel up on my list and I'm more the wiser how ebooks work. Plus, I still get to call myself a published author, yay!!! Nothing to lose really.

We're having a launch party on the 27th (to let you know there's one other novel that's being launched and possibly a collection of short stories courtesy of our writers' group - and this is just to begin with. There will be other novels in the future no doubt. The hotel where we're holding it have so far been great. They've allowed us to have the room for free as long as we can get the local press involved. This means advertising for both us and the hotel, so we really aren't spending any money, YAY!!!!

Anyway, more on that later.

Pic of the Week.

I decided to revisit Brian Froud (visit blog) this week. Why? Well, I'm off down to his part of the world this weekend - Devon - so I thought it an apt idea (and I do like his work).

Have a fab weekend everyone (I know I will) and enjoy!

Friday 21 October 2011

Pic of the Week - Linda Bergkvist . . .

Hi all, it's that time of the week again. Yep, Pic of the Week...

This week I've decided to remind us all of the works by Linda Bergkvist. I think I've posted about her once or twice in the past, but it's been a while and so thought she needed another appearence.

This piece is called 'Jeirehneen' and I love the dark, subtle feel to it. If you're able to zoom in, I love the detail of the face and the wings - and if you look even closer above the guy you can see a fairy sitting in the tree watching the flock of birds. Jeirehneen doesn't hold colours that jump out at you and catch the eye like many other pieces I've published, but it still has a stunning mystery to it that I'm loving.

Enjoy and have a grand weekend...

Wednesday 19 October 2011

Sentence Structure: Knowing When To Stop . . .

One of my biggest problems when writing back in the days of yore (god, I'm feeling old just by saying that) was my sentence structure. As they say, I could have waffled on until the cows come home.

When writing I didn't see the problem. When reading back, I didn't see the problem - but one sentence could last for an entire paragraph. Reading a piece full of long sentences like this can often leave you feeling out of breath, despite reading in your head. You can add as many commas as you like but that just makes for sloppy writing.

Commas are also a dangerous tool and if misused can turn a well needed piece of punctuation into something ugly. Some people opt to try and not use them at all but I like them in moderation. I've dramatically cut down my comma use over the years. They're like a drug, leaving you hungry for more. You just want to put one here and one there followed by another two words later - but there is a cure. It's called the fullstop. This is by far a more powerful writing tool and one that you should yield to.

Classic authors such as Bram Stoker and Jane Austen used such long sentences when they wrote, and even though they're works have gone down in history and aren't likely to be forgotten anytime soon, they make reading hard work because they loved their commas and their words, and the style of writing back then didn't give in that easily to the fullstop, instead replacing it with yet another beloved comma that made just one sentence, a sentence that could have been divided into six beautifully written lines to make reading flow so much smoother, last for an entire page, causing you to turn blue before you reach the end . . . (And BREEEEAAATH....)

Obviously the classic authors failed to have critique buddies. When mine so rightly pointed out how long my sentences were, I cringed. It was like a light had been switched on inside and I was suddenly very much aware. It made an awful read. Some one (I do believe it was Martin Willoughby) then said, merely in conversation, that if your sentence reaches the third line and looks like it's about to flow over to the forth, chances are it's too long. He probably doesn't remember saying this, but for someone who was eager to learn from their errors, it stuck like glue to my creative brain cells.

I always write to this rule now and I don't think I've had anymore problems with the length of my sentences. Occasionally I may get one or two drift over to a forth line, but these are few and far between, and a variety is good. Mix long sentences with short sentences - but yield to the almighty fullstop when you feel your sentence drifting. He is your friend.

This is my two pennies worth . . .

Friday 14 October 2011

Pic of the Week . . . Gambit and Rogue

I'm sorry. I told myself that I wasn't going to do this but I just can't help myself. God's honest truth!!

Ever since I drew that picture of the X-men for a friend of mine (it was huge! One of the biggest things I've drawn for a long long time) I've suddenly developed a little obsession. Not so much with the graphic novels - I haven't got that far - but with the characters themselves and the art behind them. When I first started the picture, I knew who Wolverine and Storm were from the films, I vaguely remembered Beast from childhood cartoons, but I had no idea who Gambit was. So I done a little research (it's always good to know what you're dealing with) and read this whole back story that was fantastic. I loved it. If they haven't already, someone should write a novel.

Anyway, it turns out that two of my favourite characters are Gambit and Rogue. They have this chemistry between the two, and Rogue is, well, Rogue, and Gambit is a swarve, charming thief that you just really want to trust. He's got that edge, you know, the bad boy that every girl wants (or some anyway).

I suppose, seeing as Marvel have been dealing with mutants since . . . 1965 ish, give or take a few, each of the main characters - even some of the secondary characters - are so well drawn out that every little detail about them is known. Wouldn't you just love to know your own characters that well. And wouldn't you just love that at some point in the future, someone would create a collection of art based on your work and your characters. I think that would be fantastic.

Anyway . . . despite the fact that I wasn't going to go down this route, I'm assuming you've already guessed what the theme is for this week's Pic of the Week . . .

Enjoy and have a Marvel-ous weekend (Ha! Boom boom!)

Tuesday 11 October 2011

How 'NOT' To Name Your Characters . . .

A friend of mine posted a link to an article on Facebook yesterday which did make me laugh. It was all about names and how some unfortunate people were given embarrassing forenames to match their embarrassing surnames.

We all (or rather the people I know anyway) make jokes about names such as Ben Dover or Wayne King (sorry) or even the famous Pussy Galore from James Bond, but did you know these are real names?

It seems many of our ancestors often imposed these humorous names on their offspring. Two hundred years ago there was nothing funny about them, but as society evolved so did language and slang. As the years went by people began to see the horror of what their name sounded like and many changed it. Women often refused to marry to avoid gaining a ridiculous name (Seymour Bust) or vice-versa to rid themselves of one (Kitty Litter), and slowly but surely many names have gone into decline or disappeared altogether.

Even though in real life, having a name like Mike Rotch can make your existence a miserable one, in writing it can be a completely different story. One genre that can use humorous names to its advantage is Comedy. Just by naming one character something like Sue Age can give the story an added sparkle (or not as the character is aptly named) and be a theme for a running joke. However, by using such a name in a Tragedy just won't work.

Anyway, I've decided, for those who see the humour in humorous names, to list a few that was listed in this article. I hope they bring a smile to your face like it did with mine. But before you start laughing, crying, reaching for your tissues or falling off your chair and rolling around the floor, give a thought to the poor people who actually had to live with these names (Tssss hssss hsss hssss....)

Sue Age

Ben Dover

John Anonymous

Love A. Duck

Golden Balls

Elle Fant

Lettuce Bedlam

Sue Flay

Alfred Ming Belcher

Ebenezer Flirt

Benjamin Blister

Adolph Fuhrer

One Too Many Gouldstone

Rogers Boys

Anice Bottom

Dicky Hart

Seymour Bust

Adeline Louisa Maria Horsey De Horsey

Ann Inch

Violet Corpse

Levi Jeans

Sidney Kidney

Al Dente

Annette Kirton

Basil Leaf

Jim Slip

Kitty Litter

Mary Slutty

John Mental

Constance Smell

Posthumous Mince

Min Speiss

Horase Jealous Pratt

Amorous Swain

Fartamalus Purdger

Pleasant Titty

Sensitive Redhead

Doris Topless

Mike Rotch

Batty Treasure

Lotta Rump

Gusty Sandbag

Fanny Warmer

Samuel Squelch Shakespear

Isla White

Mary Winkle Shufflebotham

Elizabeth Experience Withall

R. Sitch

Mary Xmas

Friday 7 October 2011

Pic of the Week . . . Libra

Monday is a very special day for WTF's. Why? It's his second birthday. That's right! WTF's - Writing Thrilling Fiction will be two years old on Monday. Time has flown by and they grow so quick (wipes sentimental tear from eye)...

Anyway, having a birthday on the 9th of October makes WTF's a Libra on the Zodiac calender. So, what I thought would be fun would be to compare WTF's with the typical traits and characteristics of a Libra (complimentary of this website) and see how he holds out.

1: Desires Popularity - Too true. With 51 followers and 9 NetworkedBlogs followers, he's pretty happy with that and he cherishes every single one of them, but his heart always flutters with excitement with the discovery of a new follower.

2: Loves Art - Friday's Pic of the Week should answer this clearly.

3: Neat - WTF's can spend ten minutes writing a blog post but spend the next hour playing with the layout and making sure his pictures are positioned just yeah, I think neatness plays a contributing factor.

4: Dresses Up For The Occasion - Any festive holiday and WTF's usually comes themed.

5: Slight Perfectionist - I'll refer you back to trait number 3.

6: Narcissism - Yeah...even I have to admit that WTF's does suffer with a slight case of Vanity. What can I say. He likes to look pretty and feel good about himself.

7: Charitable - Erm...he's willing to give advice and tips on writing if anyone wants it...

8: Bossy at Times - He did tell ya'll to go check out two other blogs last post. I think that's his bossy side peering through the exterior there.

9: Plans Ahead - 9 times out of 10 yeah. He always knows what he's going to blog about before hand.

10: Attention to Detail - ookay...again I'll refer to you to Trait number 3 and 5.

11: Loves Public Service - He wouldn't publish a post if he didn't think that someone somewhere out there wouldn't find it helpful (at least he hopes). Does that count as public service??

So there you go. Yep, WTF's definitely holds a few Libra traits. I don't know where he gets them from. I'm a Capricorn.

And now for Pic of the Week. A Libra Man by an unknown artist. I can't enlarge it clearly enough to make out the inscription at the bottom. Sorry.

Enjoy and have a grand weekend!

Tuesday 4 October 2011

Slacking With Blog Awards . . .

I must apologise. I've been slacking somewhat when it comes to blogging. I didn't write a post last Tuesday because . . . because . . . erm, I believe it had something to do with four little words that sounded very much like "I Can't Be Bothered!", but don't quote me on that one. It could have been "I'm hot and bothered" (affects writing moods) or "I have a Brotherhood" (social life can often get in the way of blogging - but I don't seem to have one ;D), or maybe even "That couch looks cosy" followed closely by "What's on TV tonight?"

Who knows what they were. It's been a whole week since they influenced me which resulted in no blog post.

Words like "I'll do that in a minute" or "I'll post that next time" can also be an influence when it comes to blogging (and I don't know about you guys, but it appears I'm rather easily influenced by the simplest things). This has resulted in my negligence to fully accept two blog awards which were kindly awarded to me.

The first, "The Versatile Blogger Award" was given to me by E.Arroyo (and I can't help but notice and point out the similarity between her name and one of my favourite artists Luis Royo) over at Chandara Writes.

The second "The Liebster Blog Award" given to me by Kelley over at Between the Bookends.

Now, I may not be following rules here and writing 7 things about myself (I've been blogging for a while now. Most of you will probably know these things anyway, especially when it comes to me being blonde both in hair colour and stupidity. Is it much of a surprise that nothing's changed?) or I may not be officially passing these on (truth is I follow so many wonderful blogs that it's hard to choose just a few to award) but I am adhering to one rule, even though I'm late in doing so.

I am officially thanking both Kelley and E.Arroyo (there's that name again ;D ) for believing that my blog is worthy of such awards. Now, if you haven't already done so, go check out their blogs . . .