Research or Write? That is the Question.

How much research should a novelist undertake before setting out on the creative journey? How much should be done before editing to produce the final work? These are questions that probably occur to most of us at some time during the writing process. I was inspired to visit these questions this week when I finally …

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Searching for the Right Words? Tip #7

Hoping to inspire readers with joy, arouse their fear, romance them with love? Or, perhaps your story needs the reader to sink into despair along with your protagonist? This set of posts looks at ways of influencing mood by selecting the ‘right’ words for the job. Example: “I watched the road as it took us …

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Publisher’s Trailer for The Methuselah Strain

My publisher, Fantastic Books Publishing, has just released this great little video to promote my SciFi novella, The Methuselah Strain. Please take a look, 'Like' it and, if you're looking for some exciting reading, buy a copy. It's available in both ebook and hardback versions by clicking those links. You can also find a synopsis …

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30 Flash Fiction Writing Competitions With Cash Prizes

Someone who agrees with me about Writing Contests.

Sacha Black

30 Flash Fiction Competitions With Cash PrizesThere are more short story competitions than words I’ve written. And I’ve written a shit load of words. But finding a FLASH fiction comp (under 1000 words) is a bit of a rarity, so when I do find one, I get a bit giddy.

But lately, I’ve had to weep myself to sleep over the number of writers who have told me they never enter competitions because either: they don’t know how to find them or didn’t know so many existed.

*Tut*

Seriously?! Don’t make me use Caps. The fastest way to get recognition, more often than not is through competitions. The road to traditional publishing (if that’s where you want to go) is like the final fight in Lord of The Rings – fucking endless. Don’t take for granted the ease of entering competitions. Most of you enter weekly writing challenges, like my writespiration, or Esther’s or Charli’s. So…

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Synthesis, Fantastic SciFi Anthology Now in Print.

The science fiction anthology from Fantastic Books Publishing is now available in print form. I’ve already reviewed this when it first appeared as an ebook. You’ll find the review by clicking this link. I have a story in this excellent collection of imagination and future speculation mixed with fantasy scifi. Great stories, now available for …

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Searching for the Right Words? Tip #6

Want to inspire readers with joy, arouse their fear, romance them with love, or does your story need the reader to sink into despair along with your protagonist? This set of posts looks at ways of influencing mood by selecting the ‘right’ words for the job. Example: “I had only ever seen a television briefly …

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The Case for Mars, by Robert Zubrin, Reviewed

Subtitled, The Plan to Settle the Red Planet and Why We Must, this extraordinary work by Robert Zubrin, with Richard Wagner, is an invaluable resource for anyone interested in Mars either as an observer or as, in my case, a writer of science fiction. In researching for my novel about Mars, I’ve read a great …

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The Bridport Prize Anthology 2015, Reviewed.

I bought a copy of this paperback to see what sort of work might win the prizes in this much respected annual contest for writers. I’m intending to enter this year, so I wanted to discover what quality and style of work is considered good enough. Each year, the judges for the three categories of …

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Searching for the Right Words? Tip #5

Want to inspire readers with joy, arouse their fear, romance them with love, or does your story need the reader to sink into despair along with your protagonist? This set of posts looks at ways of influencing mood by selecting the ‘right’ words for the job. “I woke up on my back, looking up at …

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Fear of Dying, by Erica Jong, Reviewed.

I was introduced to Fear of Dying by a friend after I’d read and reviewed Erica Jong’s Fear of Flying. Inevitably, there’s a temptation to compare, which I’ll attempt to resist. I’m of the same generation as the author, though a few years younger, so I’ve lived through the years she’s experienced and understand many …

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