Monday 31 August 2015

Winter is Coming

by Addy Farmer

About two minutes ago, the Summer Holidays stretched out like this ...

not a computer in sight
There were delicious plans afoot: After a suitable number of days lolling in bed followed by jumping about in the garden, me and my family would go on holiday, read masses, get into all sorts of scrapes, rescue anything that stood in the way and actually climb a mountain. Not only that but I would have loads and loads of time to WRITE.

Moominpapa could write whenever he wanted to
Inevitably, it didn't turn out like that. I will not bore you, dear reader, with the list of what got in the way of my perfectly reasonable expectations but it was mostly to do with not living in the 1950s. I did write, in snatches, but it was mostly editing and revising. It's good to have the quiet head-space for that full-on flowing and original story writing.

Never mind because in the end reading is the stuff of writing.

Monday 24 August 2015

What We Authors Can Learn from Jackie Chan

By Candy Gourlay

One lazy evening, while googling Jackie Chan fight scenes (as one does), I found myself watching this video by Tony Zhou (of the Every Frame a Painting YouTube channel):

In his video, Tony points out that Hong Kong director and action hero Jackie Chan blends comedy and action in a way that Western directors do not. The film lists ways by which Jackie Chan manages to create action with a comic twist.

As I listened to Tony's pointers and watched Jackie Chan twirling gracefully through fight scene after fight scene, I found myself having little epiphanies - not about action comedy, but about writing.

Monday 17 August 2015

Notes from the Critique Group

By Maureen Lynas

When Candy said - Would you like to start blogging on the slushpile again? - I said yes immediately. Then spent two months thinking – what about?

The size of my slushpile? Done. It’s even bigger than when I first blogged about it. It wobbles now. Sometimes it sways. It may topple.

The seven steps to pacing and plotting? Done. But I could talk about the steps for ever. So that theme was a possible.

The five bricks of story? Done.  I think I'm up to seven now.

Show not tell? Done, said Maureen as she exhibited frustration, annoyance and desperation through her body language.

To procrastinate I read Jennie Nash's excellent post on writing groups (on Jane Friedman’s blog) because our SCBWI BI York group was about to meet.

Monday 10 August 2015

Surviving the Slushpile

A note from Candy Gourlay: Dear Slushpile Readers, we are so pleased to introduce you to our latest acquisition on Notes from the Slushpile, the swashbuckling and most divine, soon to be bestselling YA author, Kathryn Evans aka @mrsbung. Kathy has long been a fellow journeywoman on the rocky road to publication and we are thrilled that her novel More of Me is going to be published next year by Usborne. Kathy likes to say she's a farmer's wife but she does a lot more than wifery on that farm, I can tell you. The KidLit world doesn't know what's about to hit it ... we're all going to be hearing a lot about Kathy very soon.  

Monday 3 August 2015

How to Self-Promote Without Losing Yourself in the Process

By Nick Cross

Whether you’re traditionally published, self-published or still trying, the pressure to promote yourself has never been greater. We’re exhorted to “get out there and build a platform” via social media and word of mouth. But while some authors manage this transition gracefully, there are others who undergo a Jekyll and Hyde transformation, turning into publicity-hungry monsters.

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