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Posts tagged “novel

Walsall author on the radio

You might remember that I mentioned Martin Webb’s novel last month when he gave away Kindle copies of one of his novels from the Jake West trilogy. You can now hear Martin on the radio talking about writing and publishing his novels. That will be on radio WM tomorrow about 11am. You can listen to that on-line tomorrow. (more…)


How to write a novel | English Countryside

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If you are following this series of blog about writing fiction. You will know the story so far. Nick’s parents were killed in America and he now hates all things American. He is going to sell everything and travel around the English countryside, until me meets an American woman and forms a love-hate relationship with her. I think that gives us a basis for a romantic adventure with lots of twists and turns. I still need a name for the woman and I need a starting point for this journey. (more…)

How to write a novel | perceptions


We all have different perceptions of our environment and of others. You write from your own particular viewpoint. I’ve given you another picture today, that might inspire you to be creative. Creativity can be a solitary pursuit, but it’s important to realise that you create for other people as well as yourself. You write, take photographs, create art, sing or dance. Others will have a perception of you based upon what you create, because it’s part of you; part of your personality. (more…)

How to write a novel | Planning


Before you start writing a novel, you need to plan a little. Who will be your narrator? It can be anyone. The narrator can be omnipotent, all knowing and even know what your characters are thinking. You have to be careful with your narrator, a neutral narrator who describes what is happening is one option. Your narrator could be a ghost, a neighbour, a pirate who says, ‘Ar’ a lot… Your narrator can be anyone. I thought about this when I was planning a story and considered having the narrator as a neighbour of the protagonist who observes him. It would be different… (more…)

How to write a novel | names

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When you’re beginning a novel, you have to decide on names for characters and maybe a name for the novel. You also have to decide on a place. It could be a mysterious place. I have started today’s blog with a mysterious wall. There is some white at the bottom of the wall and a little graffiti, the door also has graffiti and that leads me to believe that it’s been cleaned recently and all the graffiti didn’t come off. The balcony and the dark line of bricks level with it, makes me think that there is a walkway on the other side, level with that little balcony. The reason for this wall and it’s unusual design? I don’t know. It seems to be designed so people can look out. Perhaps there is a secret garden at the other side of the wall? (more…)

How to write a novel | People and Places

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I think a photograph can inspire us to write about a place, but you need people in that place.  In this photo is  the ruins of a priory, would that inspire you to write? In the novel I wrote in 2009 I had the main character travel from England where he complained constantly about the weather to a Mediterranean island where he hoped to enjoy beer, babes and sand.  The contrast between the two places made it more interesting. We go through life going through a chain of events and we constantly make comparisons; so it can be useful to make comparisons between extremes in a story. (more…)

How to write a novel | Narration


Using a photograph to inspire you with an idea of where you story is taking place can be helpful. I used a woodland picture last week and this week I’m using another photograph from Moorcroft Wood. Your narrator would describe the woodland as your protagonist walked through. The narrator is your story teller and is usually like a newsreader; no slang or dialect. The narrator as I was reminded this week can be omnipotent, all knowing and all seeing. He not only sees the woodland, but knows what your protagonist is thinking and feeling. (more…)

How to write a novel

Moorcroft Wood

Many people think they can write a novel and intend to ‘do it one day’. Then they never get around to it. Making a start is often difficult and then you find all sorts of problems. First you have to decide who the novel is about; your protagonist. The protagonist in a play is the first character to appear on stage; the main character. So you decide on your main character and have some idea what he or she is like and then you need to set the stage for the story. Where is your main character? (more…)

Hypnosis, collective psychology and social networking.

Hypnosis, collective psychology and social networking

It is difficult to explain how hypnosis works in a blog but I can at least explain the basics and how it can be useful to understand it in the context of collective psychology and social networking. You may already know that blind people have more sensitive hearing as a result; because their other senses become more sensitive to compensate for their loss of sight. People close their eyes when they kiss to block out the sense of sight and make the sense of touch more sensual! People are more sensitive in a darkened room only lit by candle light or the flames of a log fire and that is considered romantic.  People make love in a dark room for the same reason. You can of course try putting a brown paper bag over your lovers head to enhance this effect. Please don’t use plastic; the heavy breathing is quite sexy but it can be dangerous. I also had problems with a brown paper bag; I could still remember what she looked like! 🙂  Anyway, to do hypnotherapy a darkened room and a comfortable chair or couch is a good idea. If the subject is still and can’t see or feel very much then their hearing will be much more sensitive. They will hear the slightest change in the therapist’s voice and so it’s important for the therapist to be relaxed and in giving the suggestions must be very honest. The subject will detect lies very easily as the vocal chords tense up with the anxiety. The therapist has to be careful what he or she says. If you have watched the Mentalist on television, they say he hypnotises people when he is just talking to them. Is this possible? In a way it is because what the therapist does is not tell the subject what to do or believe; they suggest things. It is the difference between a boss giving orders or suggesting to employees what they should do; the latter is done in a relaxed way and is more acceptable. The suggestions have to be acceptable and better still desirable. This can lead to problems. It is fine to help someone believe that they can be more confident if they lack confidence; but what is they have homicidal tendencies? You don’t have to hypnotise to suggest that they can be more confident and in turn make them more confident. If you suggest it in an honest way and you believe what you are saying then the suggestion is more likely to work.

Now how do you suggest things online? How do you suggest things to a large number of people? Let us look at the car salesman who shouts at us from the television. “Come on down,” he shouts, “and I’ll do you a great deal; I’m honest Fred!” We tend to think we have heard it all before. The psychological device of repetition may work, particularly on people who are as honest as ‘honest Fred’ who would take you to the cleaners for a quid. So influencing people means relaxing and being honest, certainly don’t shout like those awful salesmen. It means gentle suggestions and they should be an after thought sometimes. ‘You may like this car, isn’t it a nice colour?’ There are two suggestions in that sentence and the second one is the effective suggestion. They tend to think, ‘yes, it is a nice colour’ then they think ‘yes, I do like that.’

To use a cliché, ‘honesty is the best policy’. If you say ‘can I help you,’ have the intention of helping them and not yourself. This is of course offline suggestion and they can’t hear you online if you are blogging or tweeting. Then it gets harder and you have to be repetitive without being boring. You have to be consistent and a good liar needs a good memory and so it’s better to be honest. Never use upper case it’s considered SHOUTING! The car salesman shouts to cover his dishonesty. If you are writing a blog then it should be clear and it should flow with a natural flow. It should read like a relaxed conversation. You shouldn’t attempt to tell the reader anything but suggest things; perhaps changes in what they believe. They may have fixed views about social networking and you want to sell them on the idea of a fan page on Facebook. Don’t try to sell the idea, suggest it is worth considering and then try to add weight to your idea. You may be able to add weight to you idea by giving an example. Her Majesty the Queen of the United Kingdom and Commonwealth started a Fan Page last week; is that weighty enough? The same applies of course to LinkedIn profiles with one of the most visited profiles being the very weighty one of the President of the United States. I read the other day that you should keep a blog concise and use bullets and numbering – that will kill the flow dead. That is also a mistake in a resume or CV which also needs honesty, integrity and a nice flow to the writing. I start CV’s with a short story, very short less than 100 words. I do the education, past experience and end with a short story. The ending is usually about interests that invariably include caring for the community and the environment. Being socially responsible is not only a good thing, it’s quite fashionable and if there is a band wagon going your way; why not hitch a ride?

Remember not to try too hard, you will get tense and it will show when you speak and it may show in your writing. We tend to be less afraid when we are relaxed or relaxed when we are less afraid! We joke more when we are less afraid because it takes courage to joke about things. All jokes are at someone’s expense and can offend and so they are risky. Tweets will be more effective if they are funny and people will be more likely to click a short URL to your blog. This is a good way to get people to read your blogs!

Thanks for reading, please leave a comment. I am thinking of serialising a novel in a blog and I will answer questions and blog about things I am asked about.


Be afraid, be very afraid…


I wrote this as a guest blog, but I like it and so I will post it here as a warning to everyone!

Be afraid, be very afraid…

Halloween has come and gone and yet things get spookier. Yesterday, Shari said I was a genius and today I make an amazing, earth shattering discovery. If I can explain this to the world I could win the Nobel Prize. I’ll make a start I’ll try to explain my discovery to you; both of you…

We will begin with my recent thoughts on the dreamless, this stuff is scary, be warned. If you are a regular reader you will know there are predators and prey. Predators can sleep deeply, and go into REM sleep (rapid eye movement) when their minds work quickly and they dream. We are the dreamers and I’m not the only one… Then there are people that in a more primitive era were the prey, these are genetically linked to the Neanderthals. It was quite simple, or so I thought. It is really more complex than I thought and far more scary. Be afraid; be very afraid – the dreamless ones are not to be trusted… The dreamless ones are stupid…

I was reading long articles by a woman who writes about a mathematician and about science. She cannot be dreamless can she? It is impossible? I analysed her writing, there were lots of long words and some of them I had never read before. I looked them up and some didn’t even exist – spooky. I analysed sentences and made an interesting discovery – they were dreamless! They made no sense! I know; it’s hard to believe but true! I read a few articles on finance and they are dreamless and the writer is a millionaire. I know, dreamless millionaires; what next? It gets worse. I was reading fiction and I was suspicious, was this author a dreamless one? How do they do it? I thought perhaps I was getting obsessed, just because her initials were HR doesn’t mean she is a dreamless one… I looked at her online profile… just because she has worked for years in HR and her initials are HR doesn’t mean she is a dreamless one…  This doesn’t bear thinking about and so yesterday I made a decision. I was not going to think about the dreamless ones any more, cast them from my mind. I wrote my blog as usual, read it; I didn’t use the word dreamless once!

I finished my blog, you may remember I had a cough. Did I mention I had a cough? It seems better, but my back hurts. I’m still coughing a little. I checked out a website, Shari told me about and some cleansing things. I searched the site for the ingredients of this cleansing things, I couldn’t find the page. My mind started to wander, is this site run by dreamless ones? The dreamless ones were everywhere. I updated my friend’s website and tried not to read anything in case it was written by these freaky dreamless ones…  This was getting way too spooky.

My Chinese student friends came online and needed help with their homework. The smart one I helped with her grammar and kept switching between the two of them and then my friend in California came online and was chatting to me as well. The smart student was no problem really, I just helped with her grammar and research then she did send me the next assignment – now it gets spooky! I read a little of the next question – this looked difficult. I was sent the assignment of the not quite so smart student. It was midnight in China and so she left me to edit it and went to bed; the smart student stayed up another hour and a half working on her assignment herself. I worked on the other one for over 2 hours. I now get disturbed… Does this assignment make no sense because of her poor English or is she a dreamless one in disguise? I had to guess and rewrite it and email it back.

I took pills for my cold, cough and chest pains and went to bed. To sleep, perchance to dream…

It was too early to sleep and so after my shower which made me feel much better, it was that or catch pneumonia. I decided to read the question for the next Chinese assignment. It was on leadership and management, no worries; I know about that! Why was it spooky? My friends have to get an A, B, C or a D to pass. I read about getting a D, you would have to be really dreamless to fail this… Spooky… It gets spookier; the question was set by a professor here in England at my local university. Who is this guy? I search the internet. I find a paper written by him and his Emeritus professor – jackpot; all the information we need and we can quote this for the bibliography. No worries, we’re cooking now. I read several thousands of words. It is spooky. There are long words, there are acronyms and many of these have no explanation. It appears to be dreamless… I’m losing it, I’m imagining things.

I then get to the part where I realise they have written a paper about the research others have done and I think I understand one of the acronyms – HRD; could this be the Human Remains Department? I know some of these people! They are dreamless ones! The dreamless ones are writing about leadership and management and re-organising things!

I tried to sleep, I couldn’t; part of me was on Greenwich Mean Time and part of me was still on dreamless time. I finally went to sleep in the early hours of this morning, dreams; I had bloody nightmares. The dreamless ones are taking over! Arggh!

I woke up early, I was on dreamless time and so was my cell phone. It rang to wake me up and hour early. I was too tired, I lay there thinking… What did it all mean? How did dreamless ones become professors at my local university? How do they write and use such long words? How do they remember all those acronyms? How do they get in to politics? How do they take over whole HR departments? How did the dreamless one become a millionaire? Is it possible for dreamless people to achieve all these things? How do they do it?

I had my revelation...  It was terrifying. Those two professors, the people in HR, the writer, the finance writer they all had things in common. The use of the acronym HR to start with, long words that made no sense, the over use of acronyms, the dreamless avoidance of ever answering questions. There was only one explanation for this phenomenon. There is a breed of dreamless ones that have photographic memories. They can remember long words, even write them and read them, they have minds full of acronyms and they are taking over. Help!

I’m going to lie down…

There will be more blogs to come and I intend at some point to serialise one of my novels. I need comments and encouragement to write more. I such a reticent writer! 🙂