The Benefits of Creative Writing by Patrick Greene

Today I welcome new guest, Patrick Greene – from across the pond – to talk about why we keep going when the going gets tough.

Written compositions can be categorized in several genres. Primarily, we have fiction and non-fiction. These are then classified into other types of writing such as informative, journalistic, technical, professional, and much more. However, for me, the most challenging and yet the most fulfilling is creative writing.

Writers get involved in the genre of creative writing for several reasons. But, it becomes more challenging if it’s not your passion. Creative writers usually start off in their writing as a hobby. But, writing in the creative genre has more benefits than just fulfilling one’s passion. Creative writing has benefits in skills and personal development.

Skills

Communication and vocabulary

Writing in itself helps us improve our vocabulary. But, this is taken on a whole new level if you are writing creatively. In creative writing, an author communicates from the point of view of several persons through the characters in the story.

In addition, different characters have different personalities and would communicate differently. With this, a creative writer’s vocabulary should be wide enough. He or she would have to be knowledgeable even with colloquialisms and slang words.

Creativity and imagination

A creative writer needs to have a rich imagination. You create characters and scenarios and piece them all together to form a literary work. You imagine things that may have happened in real life or make modifications of the reality.

Problem-solving

Another benefit of creative writing is the honing of problem-solving skills. That’s right. When you write in the creative genre, you are like creating several pieces of puzzles such as the characters, situations, dilemma, and other elements in a story. You will have to bring them altogether avoiding any loose ends. With this, you need to think logically and solve problems to create a thorough written composition.

Organization

In bringing the puzzle pieces together, you develop your organizational skills. It will be difficult to find the perfect fit if the pieces are in chaos. This is also applicable when you are a creative writer. You need to logically organize the elements of your story to get your point across.

Persuasion

If you are a creative writer, you use vocabulary, creativity, problem-solving, and organization to convince your readers of the story you are telling. With this, you are able to improve your persuasive skills.

Personal

Self-expression

Creative writing also has its benefits at the personal level. One of the most important benefits is self-expression. Some writers even use creative writing to divert their struggles in life into a form of art. When a creative writer feels intense emotions, instead of acting it out in real life, they channel their emotions through creativity. Some would even represent themselves as characters in their stories.

Self-confidence

Creative writing is one of the most challenging genres, and accomplishing a literary piece takes a lot of hard work. However, all the troubles go away when your work gets published. In effect, it boosts the self-confidence of a writer. This is even heightened when you hear that people like your work.

Being open to accepting feedback

We cannot please everyone as your readers have varying preferences. With this, you will hear criticisms from other people, lots of them. In effect, a creative writer gets to learn to be more open in accepting feedback and criticism. Instead of getting mad about a negative feedback, a creative writer tries to understand and analyze the criticism and take it into consideration if necessary.

Developing interpersonal skills

As a creative writer, you will meet a lot of people. It could be avid readers, critiques, publishers, or other creative writers. Even if you are an introvert, you will have to go out there and talk to people. Because of this, you get to develop your interpersonal skills.

Engaging in creative writing has more benefits other than being able to unleash your ideas. Creative writing is a conversation between you and the readers. You write words with meaning, they read the words and create meaning. With this, creative writing becomes beneficial for you and your readers. You should continue your passion and dive into the world of creative writing. How does creative writing benefit you?

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Patrick works as a contributor at essaytwist.com. He is a former editor of a small town newspaper publishing.

He is an avid fan of social media, and runs his own page for writing enthusiasts for his college.

With the rising clamor for healthy living, Patrick immersed himself with water sports.

(stock photo above courtesy of www.pexels.com).

Guest post: A Change of Setting by Adrian Magson

Today’s guest blog post, on the topic of locations, welcomes back Adrian Magson, this time as part of his blog tour celebrating the release of his latest novel Rocco and the Nightingale. My review of Adrian’s novel will appear here (on my blog) tomorrow and you can read Adrian’s previous post on planning here.

A Change of Setting

After writing a series of five contemporary crime novels set in London, and the first of a spy thriller series, I thought the idea for the Inspector Lucas Rocco crime series, based in Picardie, France, in the 1960s, had come out of left field. But it was probably in there all the time – it simply had to find a way out.

Most of my writing begins as a punt, often based on little more than a nugget; it might work, it might not. Planning a crime series in rural northern France was certainly a punt, although the setting wasn’t. I went to school there, aged ten, in a tiny village that is the basis for Rocco’s home base of Poissons-les-Marais (I changed the real name because it doesn’t sound very French to English ears), so I know the area. I couldn’t speak French and nobody locally spoke English, which was a bit of a challenge, albeit useful for performing a quick learning curve!

I had a good reason for taking an experienced investigator out of Paris and dumping him in a rural setting, because I didn’t want to find myself simply exchanging London city streets for Paris. In any case, France was expanding its policing initiatives at the time, so the idea fitted quite well.

Part of my thinking for Rocco was being aware of the rising popularity in the UK of European-based crime fiction, rather than UK or US-based, and I wanted to tap into that market if I could.

Placing it in the sixties was a challenge technologically (how many times did I want Lucas reaching for his mobile or tapping into the internet!), but it made the research and fact-checking fascinating because France, like the UK, was going through very interesting changes at the time, and I wanted to use a backdrop of historic events of the time on which to hang the story.

In the case of the first in the series – Death on the Marais – that backdrop lay in echoes of France’s Indochina war, in which Rocco and his boss, Commissaire Massin had both served, and which brings to the books an atmosphere of tension between the two men, and similarly the connections between a WW2 resistance fighter and a now highly-placed industrial figure with secrets to hide. In Rocco and the Nightingale, the fifth and latest book, it was the re-emergence of a gangster figure from Algeria’s independence and the rise of a criminal empire based in Paris that formed the backbone, as well as being a revisit of an earlier Rocco title.

Although the area and people are based on personal knowledge, Rocco came fully formed. He’s tall, dark and wears a long coat out of habit, likes English brogues and drives a Citroen Traction Ariane. All this makes him stand out among the locals, where horses are still used for farming and he doesn’t (yet) have running water, but a garden pump that needs priming in cold weather. Part of his struggle from book one is coming to grips with being out ‘among the cowpats’, as a former colleague puts it, and his interaction with the local villagers and villains.

But that was also part of the pleasure in the writing. If it isn’t fun, it’s not worth doing.

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I love it when settings are so vivid and absolutely, writing should be fun. If it isn’t, the reader will know.

Thank you, Adrian.

Adrian is a freelance writer and reviewer, the author of twenty-two crime and spy thrillers, a writer’s help book (at the back of which I get a credit!), a young adult ghost novel and two collections of short fiction.

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Related articles:

If you would like to write a writing-related guest post for my blog then feel free to email me with an outline of what you would like to write about. Guidelines on guest-blogs. There are other options listed on opportunities-on-this-blog.

Reblogging & Tweeting

I often pick up and reblog great writing content here on WordPress. If you’d like yours reblogged, then I’ll gladly do this as a one-off for free if I feel that it’s suitable for my readership (over 1,200 followers with over 415,000 views). The post will appear automatically once on Facebook (1900+), Twitter (4,600+), LinkedIn (2,300+), Google+ (1,200+), Tumblr and Path.

If you want that post (or anything else, ideally writing-related as that’s my main audience) retweeting*, then I will charge for that depending up on how often you want it retweeting:

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If you want your writing posts regularly reblogging (on WordPress only, one reblog per post), then let me know and we’ll discuss the options.

Guest post: Flash Memoir: Writing Prompts to Get You Flashing by Jane Hertenstein

Today’s guest blog post, on the topic of the delightful short short, is brought to you by Jane Hertenstein.

Flash Memoir: Writing Prompts to Get You Flashing

My writing was languishing. After a number of brilliant early successes, I suddenly found myself remaindered. Hot dogs seemed to have a longer shelf life than the novel I had just slaved over for five years. I couldn’t face another long slog. Let alone the money—the deal I got was negligible. Smaller than the poo I scooped up on the sidewalk after the dog.

Back to the beginning.

I’d sit in front of the keyboard and daydream, or play Solitaire, my latest obsession. I needed some positive reinforcement and fast. But what did I know outside of my own existence. With that, I hit upon the idea of memoir, or at least using autobiographical details to enhance my fiction. I was also at the same time experimenting with flash.

I quickly typed up a flash inspired simply by a friend who likes to keep her cell phone handy, as in tucked inside her bra. My brain flashed back to my grandmother. Thus, I wrote “Granny’s Pockets.” After lunch I came back and edited it down to 100 words and submitted it to Friday Flash Fiction, (http://www.fridayflashfiction.com/100-word-stories/grannys-pockets-by-jane-hertenstein) where it was accepted and posted by the end of the afternoon.

Well, that was instant gratification!

At my blog Memoirous (http://memoirouswrite.blogspot.com), which I use as a platform to publicize my I started a column called Hot Flash, hoping to spark memories with my readers/writers. After compiling the best of these, I am launching an eBook, Flash Memoir: Writing Prompts to Get You Flashing (available shamelessly EVERYWHERE!).

Sometimes all it takes is a nudge to get the engine of memory to turn over. Once started memories, whether invited or not, continue to roll over us. What one needs to do is create a habit of acting upon these flashes by quickly jotting them down before they disappear. Using a process I call Write Right Now, I encourage readers to do just this: build a portfolio of small flash memories that will eventually be expanded upon or become the foundation for a scene. Memories are the building blocks to most everything we write.

For some of us sitting down to transcribe or pen a memoir can be an overwhelming task. I recommend approaching it in bite-size pieces or rather applying flash. By freeze framing a moment, a memory, like a camera snapshot, and dwelling there you are creating the foundation for longer memoir, a jumping off place to expand upon later. (see my other eBook, Freeze Frame: How to Write Flash Memoir)

The nice thing about flash is that it can be unresolved. There often isn’t enough space/word count to fully explore the memory. And, like so many of our memories, there is an undercurrent of lose threads, fuzzy blurred beginnings and endings with little or no significance. They simply are.

So set yourself the task to sit down and set down these memories. Perhaps, begin with a prompts from my book, Flash Memoir: Writing Prompts to Get You Flashing.

Taste is a huge trigger—recall Proust in In Search of Lost Time or also known as Remembrance of Things Past where he writes about involuntary memory instigated by a simple cookie. Dunking a tea biscuit can easily lead one on a journey into the past. Some call this nostalgia or déjà vu.

Write Right Now: Think about some unforgettable taste that still lingers in your mouth. I once wrote about my mother’s fruitcake, archival and unforgettable, also useful as a door stopper. Write right now.

Thank you, Jane. That was fascinating.

Jane Hertenstein’s current obsession is flash. She is the author of over 40 published stories, a combination of fiction, creative non-fiction, and blurred genre both micro and macro. Her latest book Freeze Frame: How to Write Flash Memoir is available through Amazon. Jane is a 2-time recipient of a grant from the Illinois Arts Council. She can be found blogging about Flash Memoir at http://memoirouswrite.blogspot.com.

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Related articles:

and from this blog, my guests who have written on this topic are… Alberta Ross, Helen M Hunt, Morgen Bailey, Roger Hurn, Sarah Grace Logan, and Warren Bull.

If you would like to write a writing-related guest post for my blog then feel free to email me with an outline of what you would like to write about. Guidelines on guest-blogs. There are other options listed on opportunities-on-this-blog.

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Have you written a brilliant post that you want to share with my audience?

If so, please complete the form below (click on the orange ‘read the rest of this entry’ link if viewing this on the home page).

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Poetry Writing Lessons for Children #guestpost by Robert Lynch

Today, I welcome a new guest, online writer Robert Lynch with poetry tips for children… of any age…

Many people love poetry but writing a poem is not simple. Students who are studying at school, college, or university used to attempt to poetry for various purposes. Children try to write poems for fun, to get away from their boredom, to contribute to school magazines, and so on. However, most of the time, they end up writing poor poems. Many students will have ideas but may not be able to write even a single line. It can happen if they are not familiar with writing poems based upon their lives.

Since writing poems seems to be difficult for them, they should ask poetry experts. Writing poems will aid the children to express their ideas, feelings, emotions, thoughts, etc. They can write amazing, stirring, thoughtful, and witty poetry that will astonish their friends, parents, and teachers. All you want to do is to understand how to prepare a poem, and know how to get started.

Here are some effective poetry writing lessons for children that will aid them to come up with good poems:

Read Poetry

Children who are interested in writing poetry should read some popular poetry so that they will understand how famous poets write. Reading poetry will help the children understand how these poets arrange their thoughts, ideas, and communicate their emotions to their readers. So, go to your school or college library, or search online in order to choose some books of poetry. You will be able to find a wide range of children’s poetry, and it will let you understand how to prepare poetry within your age range. Read some poems to realize how the lines of poems end, how they form rhythm, have an effect on the meaning of the poem, etc.

Recognize Your Goal

Children should primarily understand their goal of writing poetry. None of the students can write a good poem without knowing their goals. You cannot simply write a poem. You should have some ideas and thoughts with you to prepare a good poem. Children can write poetry for the reason that they would like to capture a feeling they have experienced. Your goal is to communicate with the readers and make them understand what you have to tell them. You can choose to write from experiences etched in your mind, some remarkable e achievements, an incident that you witnessed, and much more.

Avoid Clichés

When children are preparing to write a poem, they should think about something out of the box. They cannot make a good impression on people who read their poem if their it has no new elements. Readers need originality and freshness in poetry. If children love making their poetry interesting, they should keep away from common clichés. You have to keep in mind that people give importance to creative content and they will ignore your writing if it contains common clichés. When readers notice poetry without clichés, they will find that the writer has made a good effort to write original content.

Poem Structure

The poems that children write should have structure. If children desire to learn how to write poetry and how to become a successful poet, they should aim to understand the structure of a poem. If children write poems with no structure, none of the readers will be interested to read their poem. Hence, children should understand how should a poem be divided into lines, how to arrange their ideas into perfect lines, how to communicate their goals through ideal lines, etc. You have to find some superior ideas about selecting the exact structure for your poem.

Poetry Techniques

It can be observed that famous poets used to use poetry techniques in order to make their poetry excellent. They have the custom of adopting some poetry techniques that helps them to communicate their thoughts, ideas, knowledge, understanding and experiences. Poetry techniques will give children a good idea about how to write poetry, what to write about, how to get started, and pick the right words to add in the sentences. It will also lead you to identify how to get poetry ideas and convert them into poems.

Pick a Subject

Children can never write poetry without a proper subject. Hence, they should pick a subject before they write their poems. Picking a subject gives the children a perfect understanding about how to write poetry. There are many topics in the world to choose as your poetry subject such as death, love, nature, animals, friendship, politics, education, health, and much more. You can choose any topic but you have to come up with unique and original thoughts to make your writing authentic.

Choose a Pattern                                 

Children should know poetry patterns when they write poetry. It will aid the children to write in a manner to attract the attention of people with ease. Children should select free verse, rhyming couplets, or a usual poetry style. The ideas, thoughts, and words of your poetry should flow with the style that you have selected for your poetry, and you can also convert ideas into a completely new scheme if you choose a pattern to prepare your poem.

Other Tips

There are in fact many things that children should take care of while writing poetry. I recommend they stay away from sentimentality, but make use of images, bring into play metaphor and simile, exercise tangible words rather than abstract words, communicate a common theme, pass up ordinary ideas and thoughts, and finally, they should revise many times what is written. Children have to be creative so that they can create creative poetry. As poets always observe the world another way, children should also observe the world differently so that they can have a different point of view.

Author Bio

Robert Lynch is a freelance writer who enjoys his career as it offers opportunities to improve his writing, as well as every facet of his life. Presently, he works for a professional custom essay online writing service which allows him to aid students in making their assignments look simple. Robert also loves to write articles for blogs, online magazines, and content for a variety of websites.

Hourglass Literary Magazine – Writing Contest

Hello everyone. I have received the following information regarding an end-April contest. I will put the details on this blog’s Competitions page but in the meantime…

TITLE: Hourglass Literary Magazine – Writing Contest
FINAL CLOSING DATE: 11:59 P.M. April 30th 2017 (US Central time)
ENTRY FEE: $15
ENTRY FEE for submitting up to three pieces (Best Short Story and Best Essay categories), except for POETRY category where up to three submissions are accepted for $15.
GENERAL CRITERIA of the competition: https://hourglass.submittable.com/ .
OFFICIAL WEB SITE: www.hourglassonline.org
PAST CONTEST (results, etc.): https://hourglassonline.org/pastcontest/
CONTACT: contest {at} hourglassonline.org or editors {at} hourglassonline.org

At the confluence of the West and the East, Bosnian based, Hourglass Literary Magazine proudly announces its second international writing competition for:

Best Short Story
Best Poem
Best Essay

The jury: Sibelan Forrester, Jelena Lengold and John K. Cox.

AWARDS:
1. The Winning Entry in each category (short story, essay and poem) will receive US$1000 as prize money, apart from a symbolic artifact (clepsydra), digital stamp and diploma. Authors of winning entries will receive printed copy of the Hourglass Literary Magazine No. 2.

2. The jury has the right to give a special prize (US$ 500 for entry in each category).
3. Special prize of the Literature and Latte – Scrivener Award – consisting of the one licensed software solutions “Scrivener” and US$250.
4. Special prize of The Literary Encyclopedia – an online reference work for English-language readers interested in broad literary and cultural matters – consisting of one 2-year subscriptions and one 1-year subscriptions to LE for shortlisted authors.
5. Editorial staff and board members will take under consideration shortlisted works (not awarded a prize) for publication in the second issue of the Hourglass Literary Magazine. The selected works will be FINANCIALLY compensated.

The competition is international and is open to all authors writing in English or any of the BCMS languages (comprising Bosnian, Croatian, Serbian, Montenegrin.) There are no theme, or genre limitations and boundaries. Work must be original and unpublished. One author can compete in all categories, for all three awards respectively. Limited multiple submissions are allowed (as well as simultaneous submissions)

Short story: should not exceed 7000 words or be less than 700 words. Entry fee: $15 USD ($25 for submitting up to three pieces).

Poetry: Poems should not have more than 3500 words. WRITERS CAN SUBMIT UP TO THREE POEMS/SONGS. Entry fee: $15 USD.

Essays: Essays should not exceed 9000 words or be less than 1000 words. Entry fee: 15 USD ($25 for submitting up to three papers).

We accept submissions via online “submission tool”: http://hourglass.submittable.com/ .

To stay updated, please follow our Social Media pages: Facebook (www.facebook.com/hourglassliterarymagazine), Twitter (www.twitter.com/hourglasslm) and LinkedIn (http://linkedin.com/company/hourglass-literary-magazine/). Alternatively, subscribe to our monthly newsletter – http://hourglassonline.org/news-press/.

FIRST ISSUE AVAILABLE VIA: https://www.hourglassonline.org/store or via Amazon (https://www.amazon.com/Hourglass-Literary-Magazine-Various-Authors/dp/1542487072/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1487636662&sr=8-1&keywords=hourglass+literary+magazine)

(Important) Editors’ Note (optionally)

Hourglass Literary Magazine strives – and this is our manifesto’s core – to mix voices in one polyphonic structure, i.e. to connect writers who write in English, whether as native English speakers or international, with authors who write in what it used to be one language – Serbo-Croatian. With that being said, Hourglass Literary Magazine’s Issue No.1 featured authors are Philip Ó Ceallaigh, Irish short-story writer and David Albahari. Praised by many, academics, writers and (common) readers, Hourglass Literary Magazine – thanks to Ms Mirjana Miočinović and Pascale Delpech – gained exclusive rights to be the first to print Danilo Kiš’s unpublished works in English, including interviews, essays and short stories. After Mark Thompson’s (who is also contributor of the first issue), “Birth Certificate: The Story of Danilo Kiš” and book edited by Susan Sontag “Homo Poeticus: Essays and Interviews”, collection that introduced Danilo Kis to a wider, global audience, we are the third literary venture, and the first literary journal to continue rich saga about Danilo Kis.
For us – writing competition is essential! WE FEEL that our effort in scavenging works in three categories (Best Short Story, Best Essay and Best Poem) would be insufficient. That is exactly why we pursuit, why we solicit contributions from widely recognised authors and finally why we simultaneously challenge ourselves seeking and exploring various editorial methods and models. Hourglass Literary Magazine is staffed mostly by writers. Therefore, for us, publishing literary magazine is creative process – every syllable counts, every word counts.

Our “manifesto” can be found here: http://hourglassonline.org/about/.

Opportunities on this blog

Hello. Seeing as I’ll be busy with family today / tomorrow, then with friends on Boxing Day, I thought I’d spare a thought for anyone at their computer over the festivities (or those not celebrating!). There’s a lot you can do on my blog, some fun, some serious…

100-word comp: a free competition where you can write up to three 100-word stories (no more, no less) and submit them by the end of the month. There’s a different theme each month and December’s is ‘just what I never wanted’, used in any way you like. You can win free Editing and Critique or Online Courses, and the results are posted on the second Friday of the month.

6-word FFFs: with a deadline of the Wednesday before the last Friday of the month (not necessarily the last Wednesday of the month), I invite you to submit up to ten six-word stories. Think that’s impossible? Click on the link and see what others have done. These are posted on the last Friday of the month.

First Sentence Fridays *NEW*: started on 16th December, I invite you to submit the first sentence (not line, it’s where the first full stop goes, even if it’s one word) then your book’s purchase link in the comments section. Nothing more than that. You can post one per week and not just on Fridays, but whenever the relevant post goes up (and it’s at the top of the blog page).

Flash Fiction Fridays: on the Fridays that I’m not releasing the winners of the 100-word comp (second Friday) or 6-word FFFs, I can post your stories up to 500 words.

Poetry: I can post your poems on a Monday morning.

And if you’ve got a book to promote you can do an author spotlightguest blog or interview.

It just leaves me to say that I hope you have a wonderful break from work, or more relaxed shifts if you are working. See you next week!

Guest post: The Truth About Fiction by sff author Shirley Golden

Today’s guest blog post, on the topic of how believable our writing should be, is brought to you by sci-fi fantasy author Shirley Golden.

The Truth about Fiction

shirley-goldenThe first novel I ever wrote fell into the genre of historical fiction. I have to confess, it was driven by my characters and the excitement that I had embarked upon a book-length story. Later, I calmed down, and began to research, adding details and removing sections in a bid to make it more authentic. I worried it wasn’t “real” enough. But I needn’t have worried because after about fifty rejections from agents and a handful of publishers, it became clear that no one else was going to read it. Interestingly, an evaluation from a paid critique was more concerned that my protagonist was not likeable enough, rather than finding fault with the details of time and place.

As I continued to write, I read lots of advice about sticking to your preferred genre. I studied my book shelves. Yes, I certainly had a fair few historical fiction titles. But I loved the Otherworldly and fantasy in all of its forms, regardless of if it was set in the past, present or future. I experimented with other genres. I joined writers’ groups but became a little frustrated with the current trend of sticking to realism in fiction. Of course, I understand the need to suspend disbelief, and that in certain genres (e.g. mis lit, crime fiction) realism is expected. However, from my perspective, so long as I’m invested in psychologically believable characters, and the story has its own internal consistency, I’m prepared to stretch that disbelief far, far away.

When I embarked upon writing my novel, Skyjacked, a space fantasy, I began to research such things as how long it would take to travel to various planets, time-travel and teleportation. I realised my story fell beyond the parameters of what’s currently deemed theoretically possible.

I reminded myself that one of my favourite novels is set during the Napoleonic wars, the protagonist has webbed feet, can walk on water, and her heart is kept in a jar by an ex-lover. Not once during reading Jeanette Winterson’s, The Passion, did I question the credibility of these things. And why should I? I was reading fiction and loving it. Not that I’m comparing my work to hers, or indeed to any “literary” work. But I can’t help feeling that stories are often more fun when we’re prepared to loosen our hold on reality.

After watching the TV series, Sleepy Hollow, I went back to the original short story by Washington Irving. I remembered that some of the underlying themes related to veracity in storytelling. The narrator is unreliable, not privy to the defining moment of the piece, and some of what he relates cannot be known to him, unless one of the other characters told him or, horror of horrors, he made it up! In the postscript, one man says he doesn’t enjoy the story because he can’t believe it, and perhaps serves as a reminder that the joy of reading fiction can be lost if we become too critical.

I’d love to know what others think – do you prefer fiction that conforms to reality, or stories that leap into the fantastical?

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Thank you, Shirley. I think that as long as something is believable and doesn’t jar with the reader then anything goes. As Mark Twain is quoted as saying, “Truth is stranger than fiction” and there are often things that happen in real life that you couldn’t write about because no one would believe it… which is a real shame.

Shirley Golden spent ten years working in factories, where making up stories in her head saved her from terminal boredom. She returned to education in her late twenties, gained a degree in psychology, and worked in research for a few years before deciding to dedicate herself to writing fiction full time.

Many of her stories have found homes in the pages or websites of various magazines and anthologies; some have found their way on to competition long and short lists. She won the Exeter Writers Short Story Competition in 2013. She loves flash-fiction and is one of the editors for the FlashFlood Journal, created by Calum Kerr, to celebrate National Flash-Fiction Day.

She is door person and arbitrator to two wannabe tigers, and can sometimes be found on Twitter when she should be writing. She likes to bake jumbo chocolate and pecan cookies and goes for long bike rides to burn off the calories. You can find out more about Shirley from her website (http://www.shirleygolden.net/index.html) and her sci-fi/fantasy novel, Skyjacked, was published by Urbane Publications in May, 2016.

skyjackedcover1Separated from his son, only a galaxy stands between him and home …

The year is 2154, and Corvus Ranger, space pilot and captain of the Soliton, embarks on a penal run to Jupiter’s prison moon, Europa. It should be another routine drop, but a motley band of escaped convicts have other ideas. When Soliton is hijacked, Corvus is forced to set a new destination, one which is far from Earth and his son.

Unable to fight – or smooth talk – his way to freedom, Corvus finds himself tied to the plans of the escapees, including their leader Isidore and a gifted young boy who seems to possess strange abilities.

Desperate to return to Earth and the son he left behind, Corvus is thrown into the ultimate adventure, a star-strewn odyssey where the greatest enemy in the universe may very well be himself.

You can purchase Shirley’s book from…

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Related articles:

If you would like to write a writing-related guest post for my blog then feel free to email me with an outline of what you would like to write about. Guidelines on guest-blogs. There are other options listed on opportunities-on-this-blog.

BREAKING NEWS!!!

hitman-sam-cover-front-smallI wrote a crime lad lit novella (48,000 words) called Hitman Sam in 2008 and over the years, edited it, left it to marinate, re-edited it, put it back, then finally this year (2016), I edited it again and sent it to my beta readers who were kind enough to give me their feedback which led to more alterations and finally, on November 2nd, it was published!

It is available for 99c / 99p (or the equivalent in your country) via http://mybook.to/HitmanSam (links to Amazon in your country) or directly via Amazon.co.ukAmazon.com etc. but before you rush over to purchase this quirky novella, do read on to find out more about it…

Blurb: Newly-redundant software designer Sam Simpson is looking for a new adventure – a cryptic advert in his local paper gives him that, and more. With two women vying for his affection, going behind their backs isn’t the smartest things he’s ever done.

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This follows on just a month after my crime mystery novella, After Jessica, was published. Yay! Details below…

after-jessica-cover-front-smallThe second book I wrote, back in 2009, was After Jessica, a crime mystery novella published in October 2016. You can download this novella for just 99c / 99p via http://mybook.to/AfterJessica (which links to the Amazon page in your country) or directly from Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com etc.

Tagline: Wind up his late sister’s affairs, Simon gets more than he bargains for.

Blurb: Jessica is an ordinary girl who comes across extraordinary circumstances and pays for them with her life. As well as identifying her body, her brother Simon then has to wind up her affairs but gets more than he bargains for. Who is Alexis, and why are Veronica and Daniel searching for her? Why is there a roll of cash in Jessica’s house, and what’s the connection between Simon’s sister and Alexis?