Monday, November 27, 2006


6. Shatner-style punctuation: Okay, I'm really, bloody, guilty, of...this. William Shatner (May God Bless this wonderful, powerful man. May he live long and prosper) mainly in his role as Captain Kirk, did tend to have a habit of over delivering his lines, pausing...between spurts of if each...clusterof words...held such profound importance.

I tend to shove loads of those three-periods-in-a-row thingies, in my dialog, only to have to bloody well delete them all out again when I'm editing. It's an annoying habit I've got.

But, I notice lots of other writers do it too, using either commas or hyphens instead of the triple periods. I can only presume, like me - they must be hearing - William Shatner reading out their dialog - as if - it's - Shakespeare.

On a side note, did you know someone has actually put together an algorythm for doing a James T Kirk impersonation? Yup, it can be summed up as a simple mathematical formula. Something like:

Pronoun x3 (protracted in length) Rest of sentence /4 (compacted in length)

So, let's give it a test drive shall we?


Thursday, November 23, 2006


I did a post on another blog a while back about the fun you can have with telesales calls. You know, I work from home, it can get a little lonely, so it's become something of a pleasant diversion playing around with these calls. At some point soon, I'll list the various games I play, they're all pretty harmless and something you can easily have fun doing yourself...that is, if you want to mess around with the mind of a hapless telesales person.

Anyway, thought I'd post this linky :

Absolutely bloody hilarious....I'm still chortling to myself as I'm typing this now. The man's a true genius.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006


A-a-a-nndd here it is.

Alright, it's just a little cobbled together trailer, and not some big movie deal. Oh well, who knows? Maybe some Hollywood suit might catch a glimpse of it and...?


I could carry on refining and tweaking this sucker indefinately. For example the still of the B-17 is an obvious candidate for some more footage. But time is limited, and I'm busy editing my second novel which I need done by the end of November.

So hopefully whilst not giving too much of the story away, this teaser will get casual YouTubers curious enough to follow the web link at the end.

If anyone's interested, all the movie footage was made from scratch using 3D MAX, which is a modelling and rendering package I used to use for work in the games business. It takes years to get up to a professional level on MAX, it's just such a huge piece of software.

It's reassuring to know that since I quit my job and stopped using it daily...I haven't forgotten my way around it. Anyway, I'll be using it some more. I'm planning on doing a similar teaser for my brother's book UNDER THE EAGLES. That is....when the editing on LAST LIGHT has been done, the first draft of the XXXXXXXX (sorry, keeping this under wraps) screenplay has been written, and Xmas is out of the way.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006


Been working on a teaser video for my debut novel. It seems YoutTube/GoogleVideo are proving to be a pretty good way to get some coverage.

Anyway, the top image is the ol' Dr Strangelove shot - Nazi atom bomb hurtling down towards Manhattan. Rendered in 3d MAX with some post video fx (eg: film grain and motion blur) to make it feel like actual footage.

The second image is part of a montage sequence. This image shows one of the main characters, a Luftwaffe pilot tasked with flying the German atom bomb across the atlantic.

The last piccy is from the title animation sequence...the lettering flies in, and the eagle 'burns' itself into the skyline. Quite effective technique that, and quite...sort of ghostly, in a way. Which is exactly what I was hoping for.

I quite like this one in motion.

Anyway, should hopefully edit this and the other bits and pieces together sometime next week then upload it to YouTube and see if it piques anyone's interest


(in a 'top ten' format...we all love that format really)

7. Brilliant AND Beautiful protagonists: why is it that the main character who's, for example, a forensic pathologist, has to actually be a BRILLIANT forensic pathologist? Not only that of course, he (or she) is stunningly attractive too, and of course incredibly funny and quick with the sassy comebacks. Oh...and yes, able to trade blows with the bad guy's henchmen, AND speak a second language fluently at a very convenient moment in the story. One thing that's guaranteed to have me tossing a book across my room is a SUPERhero. Gimme a regular guy who's just okay at his job, makes mistakes, doesn't fall into bed with every incidental character of the opposite sex, and you know...just looks pretty average.

Really ticks me off - characters like that. Crappy 2d hero stereo-types like that are why I never got any further than chapter 5 of The Da Vinci Code.

Sunday, November 12, 2006


I'm getting incredibly irritated by the prevalent habits, tics an cliches employed by writers these days. I would say I probably complete one book in twenty at the moment- my bedside table is cluttered with opened or bookmarked novels that I'm never going to bother finishing. I'm not going to mention any books by name, I think that's probably a little unprofessional to get into the whole rubbishing-the-competition-on-your-own-blog thing. It's just naff really. However...instead, what I'll do is list some of the things that really, re-e-eally grate as far as I'm concerned. I'll go for the ever popular 'top ten' format. We al love lists don't we?

10. Foreshadowing: usually this'll come in the form of a dream sequence, or a vision, hallucination, even a surfacing memory from the distant past. Occasionally it'll come in the form of a non-too subtle detail being inexplicably focused upon by the author. I really don't get why authors like to hint at their punchlines.

9. The Witty Narrator: I like the narrator to be an aloof and impartial observer. Describing things as is, NOT, butting in with wry and pithy asides. Certainly in 1st person, that's not an issue as you expect your protagonist to have his opinion on something, to have a sense of humour and use it. But the narrator?...He/she just needs to butt-out tell the reader what's happening and let the characters do all the emoting, cracking gags etc etc

8. Overweight novels: always get an author debuts with a fantastic, pacey piece of work, and then as the reputation (and sales) grow, the subsequent books get fatter and fatter. Quite clearly what's happening there is that the writer's ego is inflating - their editor thus feels less able to wade in with suggestions of sweeping cuts...because of course, the writing's so bloody wonderful, not a word of it can be considered superfluous. I just tossed aside a very fat book by a well known author that clearly hasn't been touched by an editor. There were appallingly dull, longwinded asides everywhere, utterly irrelevent subplots everywhere, and a seemingly endless cast of characters being introduced...virtually one every page...all of whom had lengthy backstories they needed to tell. *sigh*

(whinge 7-4 coming soon)

Friday, November 03, 2006

THE NEXT BOOK - editing.

I had a meeting yesterday with my editor and my agent to discuss the edits to my next book. It's always a tad disheartening when the feedback you get isn't 'It's a masterpiece...DONT CHANGE A SINGLE WORD!!!!!'

Alas, some words do need to be changed. This being my 2nd novel up on the blocks, I'm a little more used to the editing process, and ready for the grind ahead of me. is a bit of a grind.

See, as a writer, you sort of have this rather naive notion that having typed 'The End', it's done...the book is written, and a kind of end of term... school's out mentality kicks in. You flood out of your study, arms waving in the air, looking forward to a few months of chill out time before having to start gestating the next book....

...when all of a sudden your euphoria evaporates, and an email laden with editor's notes arrives, and you realise there's another whole month or so of rewriting ahead of you.

It's a grind, but then I know the book that'll come out the other end of this process will be much, much better. And when it finally goes to print, I'll look back and be so bloody thankful it wasn't the first draft (the one I thought was absolutely faultless, and didn't require a single change) that Mr and Mrs J. Punter will eventually get to read.'s time to head back to the coal face. I've got some ideas how to fix that plot loophole, and I think I know how to ratchet up the tension in the XYZ's race to get to XXXX.

Deep breath...okay here we go.