story progress and poems

Posted: January 26, 2013 in Uncategorized

Well i’m three months into writing my first book. I must admit it took a while to get started, just thinking about the whole project was daunting, I’d use any excuse to get out of starting. Eventually I got going, it was slow at first, not knowing the characters very well and still unsure of where the story was going. Now i’m thirteen chapters in, just over half way i’m beginning to pick up the pace. I finished writing two chapters last week and on schedule for another two this week. now the characters are growing, it gets easier to get the words down. I don’t have to think as much about how they would react or what they would say. when i’m finished the first draft I will post up a chapter to give you a taste. Until then you can check out my short stories and I’ve also added two poems I wrote a few years ago when I was just starting to get more serious with my writing.

Despair was written when I was in a bit of a dark place. It just started out as practice exercise, as i was on a writing course at the time.  its a bit depressing, it just kind of happened that the exercise was to find words to describe an emotion and at the time I was stressed out at work.

Despair

The well is dry there are no tears

Has always been for years and years

We’re all alone my wounded child

There’s nothing left but you inside

Adrift together in this plight

While everyone else can see the light

What’s the point, why are we here

Did god create to taunt and sneer?

To tarnish all I hold so dear

To bury it in a grave of fear

We need to grow we need to heal

We need to think we need to feel

I see the love we need to share

But feel nothing but despair

Please hold me now my child within

To save our soul from eternal sin.

The tomb of the unknown soldier was written for a poetry competition (which I didn’t win) the theme was living on the streets. so being an ex serviceman myself i decided to write about the thousands of ex servicemen living on the streets. People who had served their queen and country. Over ten per cent of the homeless living in London are ex servicemen, shameless really. anyway enjoy and let me know what you think.

Tomb of the unknown soldier.

Where is England’s pleasant land?

The one he swore to serve,

Just memories of war torn streets

And cold damp pavements where he sleeps.

 

The scarlet storm of conflict fades,

Decayed by needle and scotch.

A prisoner of war inside

He cannot run, nowhere to hide.

 

Some passersby give change for valour

Some swear and spit and curse.

The fear inside him lingers on,

His shell remains, but he has gone.

 

Another hero falls alone,

There is no battle cry.

No bugle plays beside his grave,

Remember him, the truly brave.

 

 

 

 

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Too many zombies?

Posted: January 5, 2013 in Uncategorized

After getting a short story published last year I decided to take the plunge and write a full on novel. I sat having a beer one night with a good friend who is a film maker discussing the zombie genre and the idea’s I had for my book. As the beer flowed we starting talking about making a zombie film, but in the cold light of day a few days later he said to me there is no point, the zombie genre is saturated with too much stuff and that we would never get a look in.

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I sat and contemplated what my friend said and started to have doubts about writing my book. Its true that with the popularity of the walking dead zombies are in the limelight at the moment and there are lots of books and movies being made so how would  get a look in. I put my book on the back burner for a while, not sure whether it would be worth the effort spending my time reading other peoples books instead.

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I started thinking, my story would stand up against a lot of these books and is it such a bad thing that the genre is so popular at the moment. Competition is a good thing, it gives people a wider choice and more choice gives readers more to compare with. It also keeps the writers on their toes, with so much competition writers have to raise their game if they want to ensure people read their books. but with the popularity of the genre, more people will want to jump on the bandwagon and try and cash in but with the amount of social media word soon gets around about whats good and whats bad. So after all this contemplation i’m back on writing and hopefully will be publishing my first novel in the summer. So do too many zombies spoil the apocalypse? not in my book.

The fear Factor

Posted: December 8, 2012 in Uncategorized

I am in the process of writing a zombie horror story and want it to be as good as it can be, so for it to work as a horror story it has to be scary. So how do you make a horror story scary? well I’ve done some research and here is what I’ve found.

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Writing a horror story is basically the same as writing any story, the main difference is the emotions you target. In any story the reader needs to connect with the main characters so they can feel what the character feels, the world they exist in has to be believable. You need to connect with the readers imagination, feed it just enough so it can create the right setting. Show not tell is a phrase all writers are familiar with and is a fantastic tool for getting the reader in the place you want them to be. Getting your characters right is essential, if a reader doesn’t connect with the characters then they are not going feel the fear when the shit hits the fan. Although writing a horror story is very similar to writing any story there are a couple of areas the horror writer can use to scare the reader, Shock and suspense. Shock can be the spark that sets the scene for a scary moment, suspense carries the reader to the conclusion. Whilst you dangle your reader in suspense the tension builds then bam! the shock.

Familiarity is also another tool the horror writers uses, a lot of zombie stories i have read recently  have one way or another used the increasing paranoia that a deadly disease will wipe out the human race. With the increasing tensions with the middle east a terrorist attack with a “dirty bomb” is perfectly plausible and worries a lot of people these days. This could go someway in the recent popularity of zombie movies and the success of the walking dead. Image

Turning things on their head is another good way to freak out your readers, things that people normally find cute or funny can be disturbing if done convincingly. The cute little girl who is possessed, the killer clown, the cute doll that comes to life sends a shiver down most peoples spine. I have just finished reading Frankenstein a brilliantly written story which has remained a horror classic for two hundred years, obviously times have changed a lot since then and stories these days are far more gory and sick but it still holds its own as a good horror story. A man pursuing his dream of saving the world and discovering wonderful things to help mankind ends up creating a monster which destroys his family and his life. some of the scenes still sent a shiver down my spine. The fear of the dark, the fear of being alone and the fear of the supernatural make the story a timeless classic. I would love to know what you think makes a great horror story. read one of my short stories maybe and let me know if you think they have the elements or what story you think has it all.

Hoping for an Apocolypse

Posted: December 1, 2012 in Uncategorized

When I mention to people that I like to read (among other books) stories of the world being taken over by zombies, I’m even in the process of writing one, I tend to get a similar reaction. A lot of people don’t understand how I can enjoy a genre that is just full of gruesome violence, gore and people turning into monsters in order to survive or how i can think up such horror

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Well to be honest I don’t really need to make it up, it goes on all around us all the time. take away the zombies and some of the stories I read could be based on fact. Yes there are images of people being eaten, the dead being brutally smashed up, humans torturing and killing each other to survive but Minus the zombies, I see this going on in the world daily.

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The truth is we are already in an apocalypse, a slow evolving apocalypse of our own making, instead of mindless zombies hungry for brains its selfish greedy humans hungry for power and wealth. The planet is running out of resources, large areas of forest are being turned into wastelands in order to feed the massively growing population, the earth is not big enough to sustain its population of humans. Not in my lifetime but in the near future people, countries, will become more extreme in the way they secure enough resources to sustain their populations.

In one of the many stories I have read the onset of the apocalypse is usually fairly swift. within days society has broken down, the intensity of fear of a sudden outbreak starts to subside over time as people get used to living in the new world, they become detached at having to kill the dead to keep safe, realizing they are not like them anymore. But the apocalypse we are living in now is slowly getting worse, the fear is building slowly, more and more people are concerned about global warming more and more people are starving, more and more wars are being fought. The fear is different, in this apocalypse its chipping away slowly at society breaking it down piece by piece. So for the people that think a zombie apocalypse is a dark and scary world to live in, just remember at least with the zombies we’d have a chance of survival, against ourselves we have none.

Why is the Walking Dead so popular

Posted: November 25, 2012 in Uncategorized

Why is the Walking Dead so popular.

The Road To Woodbury

Posted: November 24, 2012 in Uncategorized

The road to Woodbury is the second book following the journey of an ordinary man and his transformation into an evil dictator. The book is split into two parts, the first part follows a small group of survivors on their journey to Woodbury and to be honest it came across as just another zombie survival story. Don’t get me wrong it is a fairly well written story but if I didn’t know that the governor would be appearing at some point I would have been tempted to stop reading. Luckily part two came just in time and didn’t disappoint.

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In the second part the Governor has just taken over the running of woodbury and our small band of survivors struggle to get used to his style of leadership. We also get to see the side of him no one else see’s, the torment his journey has inflicted on him and how it affects him is shown in the touching scenes with the Penny zombie. I have to admit I kind of feel sorry for the guy now and in a strange way admire him for keeping going. The first book The rise of the governor would stand alone as a great zombie story even without The Walking Dead connection but I feel that the second books saving grace is the connection with the walking dead. Having said all that The Road to woodbury is a must for all Walking Dead fans and zombie fans alike (as long as you read The Rise of the Governor first)

Why is the Walking Dead so popular

Posted: November 14, 2012 in Uncategorized

Horror like Sci Fi has stepped from the sidelines and into the mainstream, illustrated by the recent success of the twilight saga, the walking dead series and the release of world war z next year. With technology making our world smaller and smaller and more accessible it has made us all more aware of how fragile our planet and society are. Global warming and the realization that resources are running low plays at the back of everyone’s minds. Back when I was growing up in the seventies and eighties we were blissfully unaware of what was going on around us and horror films with the exception of a couple were mainly something you saw on TV until video was invented. Stories of Apocalypse were futuristic tales of things that didn’t seem possible. But today the Apocalypse story has disturbing similarities to modern life, reminding us all that it could all be gone in the blink of an eye. As a child me and my siblings and cousins would watch the old Romero classics, waiting for the gory parts and not really paying much attention to the story. twenty odd years later I find myself engrossed in a comic of the same genre, The Walking Dead.Image

For me the attraction is seeing how people cope with the loss of society, kind of like an Apocalyptic soap opera which makes it very important to have good believable characters. This is for me where The Walking Dead hits the mark, I read a lot of zombie comics and books, recently I read a novel that was very well written and had great action and suspense but the characters were all special forces, I couldn’t really relate to them. I couldn’t imagine knowing them and sympathizing with them and I wasn’t that upset when one of them died. But when I read The Walking Dead 100 I was devastated when Glenn was killed, it felt like someone I had known for years had died and that for me is the difference. So if I can get across the characters in my stories half as well I will be a happy man.

Let me know your thoughts on why you think The Walking Dead is so popular