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New York Gets Daunted

New York Gets Daunted

Usually, on Thursday afternoon or so, I start pondering what I’m going to write about on Friday.This week: no pondering. There’s only one thing I could possibly write about.The biggest book-related newsflash this week – or this year – is that Barnes and Noble is changing ownership. The ins and outs are a little complex (and everything is not quite settled), but if all goes according to plan:An investment firm, Elliott Advisers, is to buy Barnes and Noble, in a deal which values that business (including its debts) at about $700 million.That sounds like a lot of money, but given that B&N’s sales are $3.6 billion, the pricing actually feels pretty cheap – reflecting the dismal state of B&am
Fractals, scenes and the bones of the fallen

Fractals, scenes and the bones of the fallen

I’ve been reading a terrific guest post on our blog by our Craig Taylor. (And actually, “guest post” doesn’t feel like quite the right term, if I’m honest. Craig’s a buddy, not a guest.)The post is on how to write a scene and, in it, Craig asks:“If the theme of your work, say, is unrequited love, does your scene angle in to that theme? Does it demonstrate a circumstance or a feeling which is associated with unrequited love? Or does it demonstrate a circumstance or a feeling about requited love, so as to throw into relief the experience that one of your characters will have about unrequited love?”And those are interesting questions, aren’t they?I, for one, don’t write a book thinking that eve

Today's inspiration...

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Research

Research

Hello everyone! I have been ridiculously busy with study for my exam (I'll be done soon!!), but I thought I would pop in to say that research can be one of the most fun and enjoyable things you can do as a historical fiction writer. For example: I watched the movie El Cid recently (yes, the epic, the wonderful, amazing, one of a kind film that Hollywood just doesn't seem to make anymore) and as always it was excellent and remains one of my favourite films of all time. But... (as usual) Hollywood gets it wrong. And I know that. But then, I read somewhere on someone's novel blurb something that totally messed with the history in my head. I thought, 'That's not right.' So... I set off on a long
Late nights and leakages

Late nights and leakages

I had plans for today, plans that involved some interesting and actually useful work.But –Our boiler sprang a leak. Even with the mains water turned off, it went on leaking through the night. Finding an engineer who could come out today (for a non-insane price) took the first half hour this morning. The engineer is coming at 3.30, and that’ll eat the last part of the day.And –I have a vast number of kids: four, in theory, but most days it seems like a lot more than that. And one of them, Lulu, spent most of the last couple of nights with, uh, a stomach upset. Of the intermittent but highly projectile variety.So –Not masses of sleep. And today’s interesting work plans have been kicked into ne
The Secret of Style

The Secret of Style

Voice.It’s the secret sauce of writing. The magical herb that transforms your stew. It’s the leaf of gold in a martini. The lemony brightness.It’s also, no surprise, the single thing that agents most often look for in a debut work. A distinctive voice. The key to success.Although agents are most vocal in wanting this, I’d say that the same issue matters almost as much to self-published debuts. After all, if you’re writing just another romance, the reader can buy any old romance to meet their needs. They don’t have to buy your #2 in the series. But if you write something so distinctive that there’s just no adequate substitute out there, they have to buy your #2, and then your #3, and then … N
Prose-Ode to Waterstones Café, York Minster and a Couple of Streets

Prose-Ode to Waterstones Café, York Minster and a Couple of Streets

I’m sitting upstairs in Waterstones café and trying to switch myself on – slot into gear, slide into alignment – but the dear old brain is too full of mush.I’ve already chatted with the cheery folk behind the counter, bantered about their tattoos, bought an overly virtuous falafel-and-hummus wrap, swept crumbs from a table, sat down with my tray, stared with brain-clenching determination at the cappuccino. But no gear has yet been slotted into, no alignment arrived at.I could try checking my phone for sports news, always good for a semi-irritated time-waste. But that would take me away from – what? – the big slow Okay; the great All-is-Well; the Nugget at the Centre; in a word, Oomph.So what
How to get published in 2019

How to get published in 2019

Here's the place to chat about my Friday May 17 email on the routes to publishing in 2019. The blog post I referenced can be found here:https://jerichowriters.com/how-to-get-published/ Have I missed anything out? Is there anything where you violently disagree? What has your experience been? Here's the place to tell me ...
Do You Keep A Notebook?

Do You Keep A Notebook?

The way I see it, blogs are for having a good, general chat. Raise a topic, kick it around, let it take its own momentum. That’s how it used to work on the late lamented Word Cloud, though I don’t know if it’ll work that way on Jericho Townhouse. If it does, though, Coffee and Cake might be a suitable location. Let’s see. Here’s something I wrote about ten years ago, very much in silly mode, but based around a worthwhile topic. Let’s start by repeating the title:*****Do You Keep A Notebook?Thing is, I don’t like t-shirts because they lack a pocket for notebook and pen. Is this a bad thing? Of course: an idea might come at any time.You’re on the loo – what’ll you do?You’re in your bed – what’
The days that say no

The days that say no

Here's the place to talk about today's email - "The days that say no" - in which I talk about that feeling of reluctance to grapple with your current draft. We've all been there. What's your solution? What's worked, what hasn't, what's your advice?And here's a picture of apple blossom to make us feel happy.

Hello - I'm new here.

Although I have been a semi-active member of Litopia for several years, this is my fist time here. I've just finished revisions on my novel LUCAS AND THE GIRL FROM THE SEA following a full paid Jericho Writers review. Would anyone be willing to read the (I hope) final result and comment? I am happy to do a reciprocal review. Should I post a synopsis?

Voices

Just uploaded one of my unpublished short stories to the Files section on my profile page, just in case anyone's interested in taking a look.