Tag Archives: Writing

Charle’s Bukowski’s ‘so, you want to be a writer?’ is a must read for budding wordsmiths

In many ways, writing is a lone pursuit, and as such, you have to remain inspired, remain motivated and put pen to paper for all the right reasons.

Writing because you feel you have to is a must and scribing sentences should be for you first and foremost, before anyone else.

Some may disagree, but whether you’re looking to write advertising content, novels, poems, motivational speeches, jokes or film scripts, you should read or listen to Charles Bukowski’s ‘so, you want to be a writer?’ first. Continue reading

The evolution of digital publishing

Much like the music industry, digital consumption has had a huge impact on the way in which books are written, delivered, packaged, and sold.

In today’s world, more than 26% of consumers prefer the tablet version of a magazine over its print counterpart.

But, while digital publishing is a sign of progress, and in some ways evolution, we should never discount the joy of getting lost in a physical book. Nor should we overlook the role of the marketing paper or the print publication. And, tangible books aren’t dead like some people will have you believe. And, if vinyl is making a mainstream comeback, surely that’s a sign that physical publishing has its place in the future too? Continue reading

How to conjure up the perfect setting for your story

The author must know his countryside, whether real or imaginary, like his hand – Robert Louis Stevenson

Imagine you’ve created the most heroic, heart melting, courage-perspiring hero plus a snarling, devious, and downright dirty nemesis for said hero to battle (or similar, depending on what your story is all about). Now imagine the setting your story is as dull as a dry cracker or simply doesn’t fit around your characters and their various plights.

Your story will fall flat – flat as the proverbial pancake. Continue reading

Creative interlude: Writer’s Block starring Bryan Cranston

Writer’s block is something that plagues all of us from time to time – but there are ways to overcome it.

If you’re currently staring at your screen in disbelief wondering where the next flurry of words is going to come from, forget what you’re doing for a moment and watch this short called Writer’s Block starring the one and only Bryan Cranston. Continue reading

compelling characters

5 quick fire ways to create a compelling character

It’s a Monday morning (or afternoon) and your mind is muddled from the weekend’s events.

You’re on your third coffee and you’ve been staring at that same page of text for the past two hours wondering how to bring the characters in your story to life.

Never fear, here are five quick fire ways to create a compelling character for your reading pleasure… Continue reading

George Orwell

A literary interlude: Down and Out in Paris and London

Famous for literary classics including Animal Farm and the dystopian thriller 1984, George Orwell is arguably one the world’s finest ever word smiths.

The first ever novel Orwell wrote was called Down and Out in Paris in London, for which he exchanged his upper-class roots and tweed jacket for the impoverished life of a bottom feeder in two of Europe’s most cut-throat cities. Continue reading

flash fiction

Flash Corner: Eternal Scribblings

Jim pushed his paperwork around the table like a child does their peas around the plate. He recounted the phrase in his head, over and over again like clockwork. The syllables clasped his brain as he studied the sentence inside his head; words of wisdom served to him from beyond the grave.

‘You’re never too old to learn something new and never too young to teach’ was the phrase that had changed his life in ways he couldn’t quite explain, ways which were far less tangible; they were floating in the air around him. Continue reading

Flash Fiction

Flash Corner: Hit the Road

In this second instalment of Flash Corner, I’d like to present my Hit the Road mini series.

This consists of two pieces of Flash Fiction loosely based around one of my own travelling experiences. Essentially, both tell the same tale but from two different perspectives:

Hitching South

It was rocky on the road to Dunedin.

I sat cramped in the rear corner of the campervan amongst two American tourists, two travel companions, six bags, three guitars and one overzealous German Shepherd; it was getting warm.

The day was bright and prosperous, as were the blue and emerald blurs of the South Island buzzing by the window. We had been chatting and singing, but as the temperature grew and our thoughts became our own, an exhausted, almost paranoid atmosphere began to linger in the air – we were no longer a bunch of happy campers.

Before long, the Americans were dropped off on their merry way, leaving myself and my two friends at the mercy of the German Shepherd’s sloppy embrace. Twilight set in above us and we were heading for the sticks. The friendly man with the bushy beard driving us became less jovial and more subdued as we trawled along barren land which showed no sign of the city lights.

Nerves grew; sweat steamed the passenger windows and our fists began to tighten as we looked at each other in disbelief.

Someone had to do something. We had to find out where this hill dweller was taking us.

“Excuse me friend, how far are we from Dunedin?”

“Far enough not to see it” replied our bearded driver as he grinned and showed tombstone teeth.

……………………………………………………………

Driving Back

I like company on the way back from the North Island, even with the dog it gets lonely.

It’s not even so much being able to prod and probe someone for information, it’s just the ambient sound of crowd noise and sing songs in the background that keeps me entertained; you know like when you leave the telly on to do the dishes.

That’s why I pick ‘em up and cram ‘em in. There are lots of backpackers hustling for a free ride on the road from Christchurch to Dunedin so I’m rarely ride on my own these days – the wife tells me not to trust people and their unpredictable ways, but she’s one to talk.

Occasionally they’re chatty, sometimes they’re silent and other times they just talk and joke amongst themselves as if I’m not even there; they’re the best ones.

Last week I picked up a bunch like that. When the two American guys went on their merry way it went a bit quiet, so I cranked up the radio and ploughed on into evening. After some rustling and bustling in the back one of them asked me how far we were from their destination, to which I replied “far enough not to see it”.

They didn’t like that too much and firmly requested that I pull them over on the most desolate country road they’d probably ever seen. They even tried to take Shep hostage: I couldn’t help but chuckle.

Just as things started to get real heated, we pulled into my driveway where my full beams glistened on the faces of my wife and children and things were instantly diffused.

Hours prior to our little funny little face-off, I overheard them saying that they’d blown most of their dosh in Wellington and hadn’t eaten properly for a while, which was plainly obvious due to their pale complexions and the tent-like sweaters that swayed from their coat hanger shoulders.

That’s why I took a detour: to invite them in to for a feed and allow them to book accommodation with my internet facilities. Yes, even a hill-billy like me surfs the web sometimes!

After a hearty meal, a few smiles and some friendly banter I dropped them at the pub up the road so they could grab a pint and pick up a local connection into the city.

They returned to my doorstep beaten, bloody and potless less than an hour later. The three of them had been turned over by the locals, so I let them to stay the night and then drove them to the British Embassy in Dunedin the following morning.

I went down that pub today and collected one third of their bags, coats, passports and wallets. Well, there’s no such thing as a free ride, is there?

………………………………………………………………………….

Next year I’ll be relocating the blog, and launching my literary publication. In the meantime, if you’re a keen writer of fiction and would like to be published as part of Flash Corner, please drop me a line.