Monthly Archives: January 2016

Prologues and Epilogues – passe and boring?

Increasingly amongst literary types (well, amongst agents and publishers at least) there seems to be a vogue for disliking prologues and epilogues in novels, purely on principle. Apparently they are passe and boring. I cannot understand why, beyond an essentially … Continue reading

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Film Review – Creed

Creed, essentially a Rocky spin-off/reboot, is actually not a bad piece of work. Yes, the Rocky sequels became increasingly ludicrous (with Rocky III being the only one to progress the story in an interesting way), but this film proves that … Continue reading

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Film Review – The Big Short

The financial crash of 2008 has been explored in a few films and documentaries, but with The Big Short, director Adam McKay no doubt intends to try and make the most accessible version of the story to date. Opting for … Continue reading

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One thing you should never do when writing a first draft

During the first draft of a novel, one thing I never do, no matter how strong the temptation, is go back and start rewriting earlier chapters. For anyone writing a novel for the first time, I cannot advise you strongly … Continue reading

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Film Review – Room

Every so often, I see a film that hits raw nerves to such a degree, causing me to be emotionally gripped to the point that I will essentially overlook any other flaws. This is definitely the case with Lenny Abrahamson’s … Continue reading

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Film Review – The Revenant

Last night, whilst leading a trapping expedition in the uncharted American wilderness circa 1823, I was attacked by a tribe of Arikara – a terrifying ambush that killed over half our party. Then I got mauled by a bear, betrayed … Continue reading

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Feedback: When to listen and when to disregard

Let’s be honest. No-one likes criticism, even when we know it is good for us. Even constructive criticism is like medicine that tastes disgusting but cures a horrible illness. The wisdom is to know when to take it. However, stretching … Continue reading

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Film Review – The Hateful Eight

If you are a fan of Quentin Tarantino, you will know what to expect from his films. Therefore, the warnings I normally give for potentially objectionable content seem somewhat futile, but let’s get that out of the way upfront. His … Continue reading

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The terror (or not?) of writing a new novel…

This week I started work on a new book. I have prepared plot outlines, chapter plans, character profiles and so forth, but there is nothing quite like the moment when the first word goes on the page. The beginning of … Continue reading

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Ten things I loved about The Force Awakens, and one thing I didn’t…

MAJOR SPOILER WARNING. Those who haven’t seen the film yet, look away now. I have seen The Force Awakens four times, and now the dust has settled a little, as a fully paid up Star Wars fanatic, I wanted to … Continue reading

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