So you’re an avid reader, and have been reading book blogs for a while now and have been thinking about starting your own… Well congrats, because you’re exactly where I was eight months ago! It took two years of extreme procrastination (my speciality!), extensive blogging research (basically more procrastination) and a lengthy internal debate about possible blog names before I finally took the plunge and started Boats Against The Current eight months ago, and I haven’t looked back since.
‘If you want to be a writer, you must do two things above all others: read a lot and write a lot.’ Recently, I finally got round to reading Stephen King’s famous book On Writing. The book is part memoir, with King describing the life events that made him the writer he is, and partly instructional, offering tips and advice about writing. After reading it, I can see why this is a book often considered to be essential reading for writers. It’s inspirational, informative, and infused with enough humour to make it entertaining as well as instructive (and that’s a lot… Read more »
Warning: This post contains some spoilers for later books in the A Song of Ice and Fire series – although any up-to-date Game of Thrones viewers should be fine! It’s no secret that I’m a huge fan of the A Song of Ice and Fire series by George R.R. Martin, and one of the things I love most about it is how well-developed, complex and believable the characters are, despite the series having one of the largest casts of characters of any other fantasy series. So here I decided to do a list of my ten favourites, complete with their… Read more »
In fiction writing, there are a few generally agreed rules that anyone who has ever done any kind of Creative Writing course will have probably had drilled into them. But are these ‘rules’ really set in stone? Or are they more like the Pirate Code (well, the one in Pirates of the Caribbean anyway), and more a set of guidelines really? Well here’s three writing rules that I personally think are more guidelines, and are fine to break sometimes (and I’d love to know what you think!): Write what you know. As much as I’m sure C.S. Lewis was forever… Read more »
Very few writers/bloggers/authors are lucky enough to be able to write full time: many have day jobs, or have kids or other responsibilities, and have to simply fit their writing in when they can. I, for example, have recently quit my second part time job and have gone full time at my first, meaning I have considerably less time to devote to my writing. Therefore, when I do write, I like to get the most done in that time possible! So here are just a few tips and tricks I have learnt whilst trying to work out how best to use… Read more »
A while ago I was tagged for the Ten Book Challenge by Fangirling Misses, and I’ve finally got round to it! These are the rules: ‘List 10 books that have stayed with you in some way. Do not take more than a few minutes and do not think too hard. They do not have to be the “right” books or great works of literature, just ones that have affected you in some way. Paste these instructions and tag 10 friends, including me, so I can see your list.’ So here goes!
The other day I realised that I have been blogging for two months! Whilst this is hardly a long time, it’s already starting to feel like I have always been dreaming up fresh blog posts and obsessively checking my blog comments and Twitter feed in my lunch break. It’s certainly been a learning curve, going from a person who is generally fairly inept with computers (I usually just shout my tech-savvy sister to help!) to someone who has successfully set up a blog, and whilst my design is pretty minimalist, it still seems like an achievement! So I decided to… Read more »
Last week I shared my Top 5 Classic Short Stories, so here are my top 5 contemporary stories (and by contemporary, I’m talking later than the 70s!): Tandolfo the Great by Richard Bausch Although nothing too tragic happens in Tandolfo the Great, there is something very sad and poignant about it, which considering its exuberant title and the fact its protagonist is a clown, comes as a surprise. It tells the story of child’s entertainer Rodney, aka Tandolfo, who planned to propose to the love of his life using a huge, multi-tiered wedding cake which he has in the back of his car…. Read more »
The short story is a form that has had its ups and downs. Whilst immensely popular during the early twentieth century – the likes of Joyce and Hemingway penning their masterpieces – it could be seen to have fallen out of fashion in later years. However, 2013 saw Alice Munro win the Nobel Prize in Literature, and was the first short story writer to do so. Perhaps because of this, there seems to be a renewed interest in shorter fiction, and I have seen more short story collections than ever before gracing the shelves of bookshops. So, in honour of the short… Read more »
– ‘What’s in a name? That which we call a rose, By any other name would smell as sweet.’ Romeo and Juliet – ‘This above all: to thine own self be true.’ Hamlet – ‘If we shadows have offended, Think but this, and all is mended, That you have but slumbered here, While these visions did appear.’ A Midsummer Night’s Dream -‘Once more unto the breach, dear friends, once more.’ Henry V – ‘To die, to sleep – To sleep, perchance to dream – ay, there’s the rub, For in this sleep of death what dreams may come…’ Hamlet – ‘All that… Read more »