Posts Tagged ‘Writing’

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Simon Prichard’s well written account of his half year touring the fiestas of Spain provides a unique perspective of this colourful country. From the pub lined lanes of Benidorm to the solemn streets of San Vincente de la Sonsierra, he sought out the most interesting examples of the nation’s local festivities. Almost always religiously inspired but seldom formal, the fiestas he discovered were as varied as the landscape. The Spain he visited was not one constrained by the concerns of health and safety, he witnessed a horde of inebriated lumberjacks fell and drag an enormous tree through the streets of Pollenca and had his clothes singed by men wielding flaming witches brooms as they chased him through the streets of Jarandilla. Prichard’s style of writing is lively, engaging and a pleasure to read. I would strongly recommend this to anyone who is on the look out for their next book.

You can click here to buy it.

I’ve watched fondly as my lead characters have blossomed and grown into beautifully rounded people. I’ve laughed at their jokes, admired their bravery but all the time something has been gnawing away at me. Deep down I know that sooner or later they are going to want to do it.

That’s right. Sometime soon they are going to want to have sex with each other.

Personally I find this terrifying. Not the sex of course but the fact that it’s me who’s going to have to arrange it. This problem has been keeping me awake at nights, not just the thought of writing the scene but also the fact that people I know are going to read it. People like my mother-in-law and my next door neighbour.

I know that for some writers this comes as easily to them as falling off a bike. Erotic Fiction authors seem to be able to do it without so much as a blink. However I have noticed one thing; most Erotic Fiction writers are women whereas six out of eight of last year’s nominees for the Bad Sex Awards awards, a competition held by the Literary Review in the UK, were men. Is this more than a coincidence I wonder?

Maybe I’ll just let them have a little privacy and come back to see how they are getting along on in the morning.

Twenty years from now nobody will remember the iPhone. Take it from me I know.

So if you write them into your novel pretty soon it’s gonna sound dated.  No matter how good it is, there’ll be this tiny voice in your reader’s mind saying: ‘Isn’t that a bit naff?’ It’ll be a bit like watching one of those awful 80s movies. You know the ones. They go shopping and start doing a stupid dance routine while they try on embarrassing clothes.

If you are writing fiction set in the present day it’s hard not to have your peeps checking their text messages, looking up stuff on the web or playing angry birds; but do they have to do it with a Macbook Air?  What’s wrong with using a laptop?

Okay, I’m being a bit didactic. It’s not that simple is it? The way I see it some things are acceptable and some things aren’t. Brett Easton Ellis used Patrick’s obsession with label and brand as a theatrical device and it worked. It got on my nerves but it worked; and some technology brands have woven themselves so deftly into the fabric of our lives that they are indistinguishable from other nouns or verbs: hoover, tweet or google anyone? But iPhone 4? I don’t think so. What’s that going to sound like when Apple are bought out by some small start-up from San Salvador and are renamed Paw Paw?

Harry Potter was absolutely fine zooming around on his Nimbus 2000 cos no-one’s making them anyway so they can’t go obsolete but Lisbeth Salander’s iBook 600 with 420 megs of ram was dated before the book even came out. She might as well have been wearing shoulder pads underneath that perm. You see when a character does anything else, like wears a suit or walks into a bar it’s timeless. You can either update it in your mind’s eye or you can project it back to the time it was set. But old technology? In my book that’s a bit naff.

What do you think?

The smoke seeping in from under the diary room door was making the atmosphere more and more acrid with each rasping breath. It wouldn’t be long before I blacked out. It was action now or curtains for me.  I took a run and smashed the door off its hinges and dived out into the room as a salvo of bullets from a plasma rifle annihilated the wall that had been my refuge. I rolled across the floor until I reached the sofa where I hid.

From where I lay panting, I could if I wanted to look up the skirt of one of the two half-naked female contestants who were seemingly unaware of the pitched battle raging around them. They talked about their breast implants and hair extensions as burning fragments of the ceiling tiles rained down onto them. I was more concerned with the trail of bullet holes inching its way across the floor towards me as one half of the push-me-pull-you pop hydra Jedward got its range in. I stuck my head up and let off a couple of volleys from my chaingun but all it did was ruffle a few hairs at the tip of its quiff. It taunted me from behind a pillar, every time I got close the haircut would disappear and another one just the same would appear on the other side along with more plasma bullets heading my way.

Ammo was running short, from now on I had to make every shot count. I was momentarily distracted by a beeping sound and a bolt of searing plasma just missed my head.

I was just killing time on the internet, searching for images for a book cover when I saw her.  She’d been lurking in my peripheral vision for the last couple of years but then all of a sudden she was right there, standing right before me.  She’s a bit taller than I imagined and so much more striking than I would have ever guessed.  The question is: now that I have seen her will she ever be the same?

I’m a novice writer you see, so when I started to write my main character I sought help from a wide range of teach-yourself-to-write books.  You know the type, they said things like:

Why not write a potted biography of each character?  – Do what? That’s all very well and good if you’ve got the time but I’m writing a book you know, when am I supposed to do fancy things like that?

Well, they said, how about interviewing them? You never know they might give you some really witty answers. It’ll be a fun learning experience for both of you.  –  Yeah right! Who do you think I am? Piers Morgan? I’m too busy trying to get my character to walk across the kitchen and open the fridge without them, me and my readers dying of boredom on the on the way.

Anyway I ignored all that advice and I just carried on writing instead, which I suppose was a good thing because up until now my character has grown up nicely.  The thing is though, I only had a vague idea of what she looked like, but I do now and its causing me all sorts of worries, things like: Is the life I plotted out for her going to fit her image? Does her name fit her face? In some ways I wish I’d never seen her.