Tag Archives: comedy

Who influenced my writing? Part 1

Over the next few days I will be choosing three authors who has influenced me the most in writing and why; what did I learn from them by reading their books and so on? There will be eighteen in total and they will be placed in alphabetical order each day. Enjoy my first three;

Suzanne Collins showed me that writing about politics is necessary, particularly fictional politics, because politics is a major factor in every bodies lives whether they are interested in it or not.  Nobody can escape the politics of their country or their culture and their lives are influenced by it more than they realise!

She showed me that the government can eventually become anything and do anything and that it is our job as writers to think of all possibilities that could occur to arm the public with the knowledge to understand political trickeries. 

Her books showed me how to write characters that are trying to survive dense political control and how to overcome them in ways which inspire others, rather than just being a rebel without any real cause outside of themselves. 

She has also taught me through her writing, that even the most disgusting creatures deserve love and respect, because she is certainly the only writer I have ever read that actually made me feel sorry for and cry over the death of a cockroach!

Neil Gaiman showed me that writing has to be fun and you should play with ideas no matter how silly they appear, all ideas are worthy and all ideas will find people who love them! 

He showed me not to be afraid of my own sense of humour or my sense of darkness either and that everything about the worlds you build should have some kind of balance to them. 

He showed me to find sense of humour in dark things and to find dark things in the light!  He is very clever at this in all his works! 

Also no matter who the character is, their position in society, their outward personality, everybody has a hidden side, a fun side and he shows this well in his works too! 

Stephen King showed me not to make my writing too pretty because it doesn’t help your readers identify with your world.  In order to make a realistic world you need to put in some of the bad nitty gritty stuff occasionally.  People aren’t perfect, people falter and have flaws and every character you write about must show their flaws as much as anything else.

If you are writing horror, you have to get over yourself and your own sensitivities in order to write it more effectively, because if you are uncomfortable and squeamish and give yourself nightmares over what you are writing, then congratulations you are a horror writer that is going to succeed!

I’ve learned that you can find the most fearful or disgusting thing about anything if you put your mind to it, even a gentle walk in a flower meadow will have its horrors!  A dead rabbit lying amongst the flora rotting away with maggots and flies, or an earwig hunting aphids on a bellflower:

Thank you for reading! 

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Top 10 non vampire movies

Finding nemo

The Devil’s Advocate

The end of days

Snowpiercer

The hogfather

The witches of Eastwick

Mad Max (1979)

Minions (2015)

Rear Window (1954)

Hook

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Things you shouldn’t say to a vampire!

I like you, up to a point!

You’re a bloody nuisance!

Fancy a steak?

Bite me!

Fangs for the memories

You need to go out and catch some sun!

You’ve got bats in the belfry!

Have you seen yourself lately?

Whatchya fancy to eat?

Once bitten twice shy!

Stick it to the man!

I want a shish kebab

I think I’m bleeding!

Bloody Hell!

Fancy a bloody Mary?

I’m cross with you!

Have you ever been baptised?

You’re my wing man!

Occasionally I find you a bit loopy!

You look like death warmed up!

You’re cold hearted!

Amorte!  “to death in Italian”

Should I open the curtains and get a bit of sun in here?

Do you fancy a nibble?

You suck!

Lap it up!

You’re very hypnotic

Blood is thicker than water!

You’re my battle companion! 

It’s of a grave concern

Tomb it may concern! 

I love you to death!

I’m going to break your heart!

Neck and neck!

You’re pulling on my heartstrings!

I’m bored to death!

Upon reflection isn’t a sigh of relief for you to know that my vampire stories aren’t comedies!  My vampires are part of my dark fantasy and horror works, they were not meant to be humorous, but me being me, I can’t help but think of fun things regarding my vampires from time to time – but this stuff doesn’t really belong too much in my personal vampire series. 

I have thought about having a separate comedy vampire series I’d like to write, but I really am unsure of taking that plunge due to the amount jokes already in the genre – many I have used above!

Thanks for reading!

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Watery writer

I’m going to throw caution to the wind and publicly admit via this blog, that I am not a confident person and I feign intelligence. 

I am a writer but I am uneducated, everything about me is self-taught and I am not a good teacher. 

I blunder my way through life, please take that seriously, because I really do!  Blunder Woman was a character that was in Russ Abbot’s show, but I am pretty sure someone saw into a crystal ball and knew that Blunder Woman might someday be a real person… me!  I think I might look like her when I am eighty; actually, we’re kind of alike!

But anyway, I digress!  So easily distracted like a dog with a… SQUIRREL! 

Right so, now that’s out of the way, I think it has something to do with my Chinese astrological sign – I am a water dog, a poodle or a Labrador I am not sure which, but a water dog nonetheless! 

Water goes with the flow, I always go with the flow, I am always flowing somewhere and even I never know where I end up or what I am about to do; I am true to my element, I am spontaneous, usually best at peace and generally calm but occasionally turbulent and rarely tempestuous!

But generally I am like any water, that if I am not in the right environment I go stagnant – and who wants stagnant water around them?  It’s quite easy for me to flow into stagnation, I am very much affected by those around me and if I choose the wrong sort of people to flow with, I do generally stagnate a lot or become tempestuous.

I am very self-aware, I know it’s my nature to be like this because my astrological element is water and this has helped me a lot to understand myself.  I love Chinese astrology and since I found it, I have found my life has been working more towards what I want from it, rather than just having life happen to me outside of my control.  But as a water element, I don’t like to control too much as I love going with the flow and I am easily dejected when the people I choose to flow to, aren’t good for a water spirit like me!

It’s easy to get me flowing into the right things, with gentle persuasion, love, conversation, I am easily motivated to flow anywhere and that does mean I am occasionally prone to finding manipulators that like to take advantage of my nature.

My main life partner Paul is a fire elemental (fire monkey), you are right to think that this sounds like chaos waiting to happen, because there are many times where I feel that I flow around him and dry up a bit.  Contrariwise he suffers as I can over suffocate him when I try to calm him down and he is easily exhausted by my high energy and my spontaneity.

My Henry, my son, is a metal tiger.  I consider him a huge support but I can’t help but think I am not good for him, as I sometimes feel I corrode him, like water does to metal over time.  Perhaps I am overthinking things, but this is how I feel!

Perhaps I should try and help balance him more by making lemon drizzle cakes and homemade lemonade to help maintain his metal spirit?  Lemons are good with corroding metal restoration!  Thing is, the boy hates lemons, so what is a water mother to do?

You may think I wrote this entry in jest, but it is my life, it is quite serious for me.  An insight to my brain like this can often terrify the sensitive, but at least I am honest!

I am drying up, or becoming stagnant, I am not quite sure which it is yet;

I say this because I am wanting to write more than ever these days and I am – but I am not focusing too much on novels anymore, because I can’t flow how I want to or how I used to, when being creative.

I used to brainstorm with a close circle of family or family friends, before I moved in with Paul and it would be good energy for me to make me want to write so I can tell them what I have done and what I might plan and to see what they have to say about it all!  But Paul just isn’t into my genres or my sense of corny humour.  I have no one where I can do this to, without the worry that they are going to steal my ideas and use them because I am too slow as I am a meticulous planner.

Because I have no one to share my thoughts with, I am being boiled within the inch of my life and becoming despondent with my storytelling, because, well, what’s the point?  If I don’t have someone who wants to share my creative journey with me on a personal level and talk about things as I do them, how else can I get the fuel to want to finish what I started?

I am easily downcast; I am easily demotivated by other people’s disinterest and I am a worry wart, who is fearful of anyone new who wants me to talk about my work – I have trust issues because I have been bitten a lot in the past.

I need a mentor or a friend I can trust, preferably a small group of them – but how can I find them?  I am at a loss… I had thought about joining a critique group, but there is a problem with that… I am a slow reader, I can’t read three or four extra novels in a week as well as my usual two books I need for research and my own pleasure reading, I just can’t read that fast!

So what is a water dog girl like me to do?

Flow into stagnant waters again I guess… I don’t like it there, it’s too murky and stinks and it’s a bit boring to be frank.

My confidence has taken a huge bashing recently; I feel lame in my sense of humour and I feel alone in my creativity because I am overly cautious and don’t trust the internet very much – sorry people!

But recently I am starting to feel a little bit ashamed of the comedy aspects of my work, because it’s too corny, stupid, over the top and it hurts!  It hurts a lot.

The only genre I can openly talk about without boring the only person who will listen to it, is dark humour in my horror or some dystopian works, outside of that, I don’t have any support.  I wrote a list last week of all of my current WIPs, there are nearly two hundred novels and eighty nine are fantasy mostly, half of which are comedy.  There are only thirty seven horrors that are not vampires or dystopian based.  I have to admit, this person is trying to make me refocus mostly on horror and I am more fantasy and family really.

My main project – the anthropomorphic dystopian is really loved by my listener and only one fantasy novel about dragons and magic is loved by them too – the rest gets a meh or a snore, if it’s not traditional horror.

I prefer fantasy because it heals me from remembering the crap in the world; horror was originally written because my life was horrible, I experience intense violence and been in survival situations that were horrid and I was excellent at writing nasty things like that because of experience.  But I don’t like reliving that kind of thing all the time, fantasy is more healing for me.

I need the pretence that life can be utopian and magical and miraculous and lovely, but I also know that leads to a boring story and I know there are always people out there who wants to destroy a perfect thing for someone else because they are jealous of it, so that is seen in my fantasy a lot, but it is more tame than my horror because my fantasy is written for a family audience.

I’ve personally had enough of pandering to ogres and monsters and being submissive to them and their demands – my horror stories have been developing more and more into revenge style plots, where nature gets its own back on humanity for tearing apart paradise bit by bit.

My reader has noticed and he misses the horror I used to do, the gore for the sake of gore, the horror where anything is possible just because it is meant to be horrible!  Although he likes my new take on horror, he doesn’t like it nearly as much as when I used to write descriptive body horror and taboo scenes.

At the moment I feel like my watery self is forming a whirlpool and it is getting scary, because I have never been a whirlpool before and I am not quite sure what’s going to happen if my instinct is right!

Thank you for reading and hopefully understanding *love you all*

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Fantasy 1

First thought about this project in 2014 because something mysterious happened in the house, which made me wonder what happened to something I had lost. 

I had a bad chest infection at this time and I was in bed a lot over several weeks – so I had a lot of time to think about silly things in regards to this particular mystery.

It lead to this project being slowly produced, this project has become a mini-series of books over the time, though as usual, they aren’t published yet, because I haven’t approached anyone since 2003 about any book!

This book may in fact be one of the first ten I approach publishers with as it is something I revisit a lot.

It is something I have worked with my son Henry with too, he has had a lot of input in this idea and so it is another mother and son collaboration really.  We tend to think of a lot of stories about giants and robots in particular when we think together.

What you may find in this story;

Humans oblivious to magic around them

Little people

Tribal warfare

Quirky characters

Toilet humour

A mystery to be solved

Reality shifts

This story has mostly been influenced by my favourite childhood movies and TV shows rather than books, I am sorry to say.  Though there has been some books out there which has influenced some of these ideas too!

These have been the following…

The borrowers TV series

Gulliver’s travels animated version of 1939

The Indian in the cupboard

Mousetrap movie starring Chris Evans

Terry Pratchett’s the carpet people

The chronicles of Narnia movie 2005

Stargate the movie and TV series

This novel is really quite short for me, I would say a fantasy novella more than an actual novel and there are sequels already partly finished.

This is one of my favourite projects to work on, so it is likely to be one of the first ten to send out to publishers.

Once again, in Paul’s opinion the humour is childish and corny.

Thanks for reading!

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Steampunk 2

Steampunk 2

This project started at around 2014 and I have been procrastinating a lot with continuing this, I have bursts of wanting to add things to it about once every four or five months, but those only last a couple of days.

I feel it’s a complicated project because I believe the believability of this fantasy steampunk may not be believable enough to its readers as I think this idea is very out-there…

I think it is only a matter of confidence really.

This idea is a family collaboration, including ideas from both Henry my son, and Paul my partner. Mostly the idea came from Christmas morning in 2014 I had such a bad chest infection we had to celebrate Christmas in bed. This meant, Henry enjoyed carrying up his presents to me on the bed to open them so I didn’t miss anything! In Henry’s eyes, it was the best Christmas ever, because it was so different! But then he says that every year! He had this idea my body under the duvet was a mountain for his cars to drive over and this started our game, which built this story!

That was a bad year for my chest, I was admitted to A&E (ER) the next day as it went into pneumonia, at this point I had had the infection since Halloween!

Below is what you may find in this standalone novel!

Giants

Inventors

Religious figures

Philosophy

A coming of age hero

A close grandfather and grandson relationship

Steampunk themes

Environmentalism

Existential crisis

Corny humour

Gross humour

Family friendly

Poetical interjections

Climate change

Trolls

Bio mutualism

Debunking sciences

Debunking mythology

This story has been influenced by many things, primarily throughout my childhood rather than adulthood!  This story wasn’t decided upon entirely until 2014, but I had little thoughts here and there since I was about eight years of age!  So maybe the origin of this idea is much older than I originally said?

Here are my influences below for this particular story;

The never-ending story movies (never read the book)

The princess bride (the movie)

Are all the giants dead?  By Mary Norton

The BFG by Roald Dahl

The Matrix movies

Land of the giants (TV series)

The borrower’s books, TV series and movies

Gulliver’s travel and the movies

Innerspace movie starring Martin Short and Dennis Quaid

Noah’s ark from the bible

The shrinking scene in Willy Wonka and the chocolate factory movie starring Gene Wilder

I am pretty slow with this novel, because I don’t really have much of middle, unlike most of my other stories I do actually have a beginning and an end, but the middle is rather bland and needs a lot of work right now to make it more fleshed out and exciting!

I don’t suppose this work will actually be done within the next five years, but it is one of my top ten favourites to think about.

I haven’t completed draft one in all of this time!

The novel is hollow at the centre, because it has a beginning and it has a definite finale, but I just haven’t got much in the middle yet.

Thanks for reading!

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Steampunk 1 update

This project was originally thought of around the winter of 2017 and has been plodding along at a slow but regular pace ever since, at the pace of approximately two thousand words per month!  It has not yet gone through a second draft and I am trying to write the entire series before I go into the second draft as I have already decided there are to be twelve books to this series and only twelve!

Because this story has the number twelve as a theme that is the only spoiler I will give you and it won’t ruin anything!

Below is a list of what you may find in this series!

Travelling companions

A lost love

A ghost

Debunked scientific theories of this fictional world

Debunked superstitions of this fictional world

A search for truth

New found freedom

Comedy elements

Hot air Balloon

Space travel

Lesbian lovers

Alien worlds

A character struggling against extreme bipolar

A character struggling with the death of a loved one (different character to the above)

Quatro of main characters, primarily two early twenties females, late twenties male and a recent widower

Eccentric inventor

And a mystery solved

Demons

And last but not least – dinosaurs

What inspired this story to come into fruition, particularly at such a quick pace for me?  I don’t really know, but I do feel that this story is influenced heavily by the following works of others;

The lost world by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and other works by him

Biggles by W.E Johns

Doctor Doolittle, all of the movies, but more in particular the most recent adaption I’ve watch which stars Robert Downey Jr, in fact, his portrayal of the character Doctor Doolittle has actually inspired one of the main characters a lot!

Chitty Chitty Bang Bang’s character Caractacus Potts!

Also another character that has inspired one of the main characters is Captain Jack Harkness from Dr Who and Torchwood TV series played by John Barrowman; also Dr Who and Torchwood TV series in general.

The movie Fifth element

Inspired by several Neil Gaiman books particularly Stardust scenes of the sky pirates!

Terry Pratchett’s Discworld series

The wrestling team from AEW called Jurassic Express

Several Cos-player homemade costumes, I have seen at comic con on YouTube videos, portraying faeries and warriors!

The 1980s horror movie called The Gate

The Wizard of Oz books series by L Frank Baum

The mere existence of terrariums and bryophytes lifeforms (moss and lichens)

Monty Python’s the life of Brian

Xena warrior princess

Because this is a work in process and it is going to be part of a twelve book series whether it kills me or not, I will probably not have the entire work ready for around three years at my current pace.  However, I am pretty sure that once Anthropomorphic Dystopian and Dragon 1 are over with, this will be the primary work, so it would speed up the expected self-given deadline for me by a huge amount!

This in my opinion is the second most fun one I am currently writing and I believe this story in particular has got me out of my writer’s burn out!

This story more or less saved the idea about me becoming an author – if this idea didn’t plod along, I think I would have given up writing around 2017 and never looked back!

Seriously!

This idea saved me from giving up!

So the world really has to thank this idea for existing, because without it, I wouldn’t be thinking about publication anymore, I wouldn’t be thinking about writing my projects anymore – I would be trying to hone my skills as a nutritional therapist instead and pretend that I always wanted a normal life anyway!

Happy reading everyone!

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Dragon 1 update

What is in this story?

Long lost relative rediscovered

Found family

Witches

Dragons

Comedy

Battle scenes

Camping

Giants

Pirates

Main character Male in late 30s

Coming of age young girl learning her place in a strange world

Portal world

Magic lost

Set in Britain & Alternate reality

Betrayal

Treachery

Fire elemental magic

Travelling quest

Huge didn’t see it coming plot twist

What works by other people inspired this project of mine?

The movie Reign of fire

The movie magical legends of the leprechauns

The book A monster calls by Patrick Ness

The pirates of the Caribbean movie series

The lord of the rings trilogy

Worst witch TV series and books by Jill Murphy

The character Sirius Black in Harry Potter’s prisoner of Azkaban (this has not given away the plot twist)

Maleficent starring Angelina Jolie

The Discworld series by Terry Pratchett

And several Ransom Riggs novels

This story started in my head in 2003 and is currently paused in its eighth draft because I have preferred to work towards my project Anthropomorphic Dystopian 1 instead.  Once Anthropomorphic Dystopian 1 is finished, I will continue to complete draft eight of this project, with the hope to be sending it out to the world around three months later; or rather, after it has stewed again.

This book may have a part two or three, but I am unclear as of yet – however, it has an open ending, that will not leave you feeling dissatisfied, but may have you asking lots of questions – don’t hate me for it, please!

Happy Reading!

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Romance kills the strong heroine

I was recently told by some other aspiring authors that they truly believe that I will never become a published author and that if I did; I would never be a successful author for the simplest reason that I reject romantic scenes in my stories and being a fantasy author, romance is usually always crucial to the plot in some way – so I have made a list of all the fantasy novels that have become classics and inspirations for modern storytellers, which contain little to no romantic scenes whatsoever!

The Hobbit by J.R.R Tolkien

The wizard of Oz by L Frank Baum

Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll

The feather boy by Nicky Singer

To name but a few examples, just to show you that it can be done.

Please, when disputing the above, please make sure you have read the non-adapted original novels and not adaption novels or watched movies of these mentions, because you will then understand the genre more and what I am trying to get across here!

I have never read a Brandon Sanderson novel, but I have been told they do not contain any romantic or sex scenes either, so he is someone I should pick up and read some day!

My fantasy books are usually aimed at family entertainment and will have comedy in them, so I want them to be clean for a younger audience.  I am however no prude and I do write dark fantasy, which will not be for a family audience and there are indeed romance and sex scenes in those stories, this will be part of my horror pseudonym too.  You see I will be an author of both dark and light, family quality and shock factor quality as it were. 

I am not saying for one moment that in order for the romantic scene to take off in a book that there must always be a sex scene too, no, no, no – I fully understand that you can have clean romance, but I don’t enjoy that in family entertainment and neither do the majority of modern day children that I have associated with!

So to the naysayers which say I will fail before I have even started, please read more and stop trying to sap the confidence of other writers who do not have to agree with you, because the fact of the matter is… the entire world isn’t in love with romance, there are people out there who hate the stuff!

I for one hate true romance in books, because it kills great and strong female characters, because even the most hard-core feminist hasn’t got it into their thick heads that you can be a strong female and not fall apart when you are in love, you don’t have to lose yourself and melt just because you looked into your lovers eyes! 

This is what ruins fantasy for me, because it is always the woman who is considered the weak one when in love and yet I have known many men to fall apart too – why is it always the women that loses their minds and can’t work efficiently towards their goals in a story, just because of love?

Get it together people!

Happy reading!

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Project – Steampunk 1

Steampunk 1

This project contains the following scenes, tropes and types of characters;

Travelling companions

A lost love

A ghost

Debunked scientific theories

Debunked superstitions

A search for truth

New found freedom

Comedy elements

Hot air Balloon

Space travel

Trio of main characters, primarily an early twenties female, late twenties male and a recent widower

Eccentric inventor

And a mystery solved

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