Very few wars throughout history have followed the traditional literary three-act structure as well as the First World War did. It’s possible to divide it quite neatly into this most common of narrative structures, even if they are somewhat uneven – a short first Act between August 1914 and the First Battle of Ypres, a... Continue Reading →
Testament of Youth, AKA Why I can’t Watch Historical Films
Oh my God, she’s just found her brother and saved him from a squalid and messy death and this is one of the emotional high points of the movie… but Goddamn it, Etaples is supposed to be a seaside town and it’s taking me right out of the moment! Testament of Youth is the movie... Continue Reading →
When Writing Friend Fic…
So one of the Golden Rules of writing is that you never write about anyone you know. There are a whole host of good reasons not to. You can offend people, for starters, if you have them do something that they don’t think they’d ever do, or if they feel you’ve misrepresented something that they... Continue Reading →
Not another Ripper blog
‘They never caught Jack the Ripper, and now time and history have spirited his identity away.’ So says Ed Buchan, the Ripperologist from Whitechapel, ITV’s somewhat hit and miss gothic detective drama from a few years back (although when it hit, as it did in seasons 1 and 3, it was well worth a watch).... Continue Reading →
No one writes in a vacuum, and I am eternally thankful for my beta readers who get to suffer through the insurmountable piles of garbage that I call first drafts, correcting grammar, typos, enormous plotholes, and gaping in disbelief as I completely misrepresent their mountaineering experiences in a handful of throwaway lines. These guys rock,... Continue Reading →
Now You’re Like Me: How do I impact on my characters?
I write because I literally cannot not write. The characters in my head will not be silenced until I tell their stories. Their stories change (this is called redrafting), they have new stories, sometimes their stories contradict into a huge mess that I have to sort out, and then I give myself deadlines to tell... Continue Reading →
How to tell if you’re living in a crime novel…
It's a scary world out there. Anyone could be living through a crime thriller and not know it. Fortunately, I've pulled together this list of signs that you may, in fact, be the protagonist in somebody's gritty urban crime novel. If several or more of these apply, either see your doctor, or get yourself suspended... Continue Reading →
Broadchurch Season 2 – How to Spoil a Good Thing.
Change of plan, I’m going to do the blog posts more frequently than once a month. I could get so much hate for this one... This is a site and blog about crime fiction, so I’m assuming that if you’re British you’ll remember Broadchurch, Chris Chibnall’s Scandi-noir style thriller, only set in a small seaside... Continue Reading →
What makes a good fictional serial killer?
Mysteries fascinate me. Especially the unsolved ones – who did it? How did they do it? How did they get away with it? A book of the world’s greatest unsolved crimes used to keep me up at night when I was 11 and 12. To this day, I enjoy watching whodunnits and trying to work... Continue Reading →
Reviews, blogs, and some fiction of my very own…
Born and raised in North Wales, to Yorkshire parents (it can get confusing sometimes, but I always cheer for the team in red), I started writing crime fiction about my home when I was 15 and I haven't stopped since... So, on the last Friday of every month, I'm aiming to post a short story,... Continue Reading →