The devil and the dictionary

In the play by Christopher Marlowe, Faust sells his soul to the devil [Spoiler, sorry]. But like any sensible commercial operative, Faust does have the sense to do a little bit of due diligence before completing the transaction.

The exchange, if memory and Google serve me correctly, goes something like:

FAUST: So, Mephy-baby. I thought you were supposed to be in hell? They, like, let you out and stuff?
MEPHISTOPHELES THE DEVIL: Why this is hell, nor am I out of it. Think’st thou that I who saw the face of God and tasted the eternal joys of Heaven, am not tormented with ten thousand hells in being depriv’d of everlasting bliss?
FAUST: Huh?
MEPHISTOPHELES THE DEVIL: O Faustus! Leave these frivolous demands, which strike a terror to my fainting soul.
FAUST: Man up, dude.

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Any resemblance to reality is purely coincidental

At the start of each of the Novel-in-a-Day books there is a disclaimer, not dissimilar to the one you see boilerplate to the credits at the end of (nearly) every movie you see: “All characters and events in this publication are fictitious and any resemblance to real persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.

I’ve been having a minor disagreement (all done very politely and respectfully, I might add!) with someone on the internet for a little while now about the value of first hand research in writing. The other person was advocating piggybacking on research done by other writers and, this being the internet, sensible points were made by several people on both side of the viewpoint. But a recent revival of the discussion got me thinking about that disclaimer. And when it comes down to it, I’m a little ashamed to have used it. After all, can there be any worse insult to someone’s writing to say that their characters and events bear no resemblance at all to reality? Or if it does, it must be a coincidence? Continue reading

Section7 (NiaD 2014)

<LOGLINE AND TEASER TO FOLLOW>

 

This book was written as a Novel-in-a-Day on October 25th, 2014. Two versions were produced (one called ‘Blue’ and one called ‘Red’), each with written in 24 hours by 24 authors.

 

 

 

 

Get a free copy of both versions here:
epub (Blue)
- mobi (Blue)
- PDF (Blue)

 

epub (Red)
mobi (Red)
PDF (Red)

8Qs: Zach Weinersmith

Eight Questions is an occasional series of interviews that I’m including on the site. Being a naturally gifted (read: lazy) interviewer, I will be using the same eight questions in every interview.

This time, the questions are being answered by web cartoonist, Zach Weinersmith. Zach is perhaps best known for his award winning (and my own personal favourite) web comic, Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal, which has provided a slice of keenly observed humour daily since 2002. Welcome, Zach! Continue reading

The Colour Of Magic

There was a  management fad a while ago that I’m sure is still alive and well in some corner of Corporateville to provide new recruits to grad schemes with fashion advice. No doubt this was designed to curb the wave of bright young things coming into the office in un-ironed shirts or the kind of body-con dresses that can play havoc with the blood pressure of the senior partners. The good consultants went beyond the condescending (“Wear a suit. No, not one from Topshop”) and started to provide advice on what colours best matched your skin tone… although I distinctly remember seeing pretty much everyone from one intake rush out and by purple shirts and ties after one session so I guess even fashion consultants get lazy? Continue reading

It was about twelve years ago now

PepperMouseIt was about twelve years ago now.

I was sitting in the café of a train station in Bristol staring out the window, ignoring the scalding hot cup of tea on the counter in front of me. I was already twenty minutes late to meet someone in the car park. They’d sent me a text message to say they’d arrived, but I ignored it. I couldn’t leave yet.

I couldn’t leave because I’d been crying.  Continue reading

What is a genre?

The first decision I have to make when starting the preparations for a Novel In A Day event(A) is about what kind of story I want to tell: The original NiaD (2011’s The Dark) was a cross between a horror and a detective novel; The one after that (2012’s Lunar520) was a science fiction thriller; Last year’s effort (2013’s Made Man) was a mafia tale set in 1962 Las Vegas(B). I’m a big believer that the story comes first and everything else follows from that, but I’m equally conscious that there is a moral obligation on me to make sure each successive NiaD does something different; another gangster tale is (sadly) not an option(C).

Which got me thinking: Do I know what different genres there are out there? Do I even know what a genre is?  Continue reading