Monthly Archives: February 2015

How long should a chapter be?

  How long should a chapter be? Like so many writing related questions, my answer is: it depends. Many contemporary thrillers seem to consist of literally hundreds of chapters, with each lasting no more than two pages. I am Pilgrim … Continue reading

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Film Review – A Most Violent Year

A Most Violent Year, the latest from writer/director JC Chandor, is an interesting if muted and slow moving drama/thriller, featuring a couple of very good performances from Oscar Isaac and Jessica Chastain. Isaac is rapidly becoming one of my favourite … Continue reading

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Oscar winners 2015 – my reaction

Surprised, delighted and disappointed. That pretty much sums up my general response to this year’s Oscars, in which I got my predictions spectacularly wrong in almost every one of the main categories (in stark contrast to last year, which I … Continue reading

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Film Review – Shaun the Sheep Movie

Another day, another terrific family film. After Big Hero 6, the half term fun continues with the latest Aardman animation, Shaun the Sheep Movie. It’s another bull’s eye for producer Nick Park and writer/directors Mark Burton and Richard Starzak. For … Continue reading

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Writing horror for children

The term “horror for children” might appear to be an oxymoron. However, I am personally of the opinion that no subject matter or level of scariness should be off limits to children, provided the treatment is appropriate. I am currently … Continue reading

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Film Review – Big Hero 6

(VAGUE THEMATIC SPOILERS BELOW) I am aware that some parents are unhappy that the latest Disney animation adventure, Big Hero 6, contains scenes of a potentially upsetting nature to wee members of the audience. After all, how dare Disney include … Continue reading

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Film Review – Selma

The Reverend Martin Luther King is one of my heroes, and he deserves a truly great film to honour his memory. Unfortunately, Selma is merely a good film, albeit one with an outstanding performance from David Oyelowo that bizarrely failed … Continue reading

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Slow isn’t necessarily boring

A slow pace doesn’t necessarily mean a story is boring. For some, this is an anathema. But should all stories zip by at a relentless pace; twisting, turning and generally behaving as if the audience or reader has the attention … Continue reading

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Choosing an ending

I always know how a story ends before I write it. Only when I have that ending do I then work backwards, trying to find the best and most dramatic way to arrive there. When endings are very clear cut … Continue reading

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