Bridging the gap

'Out of the Smoke' Author's Commentary Chapter 5: The Eagle and Child The two boys left Aggie's shop with their pockets heavy and their hearts light.'Out of the Smoke' Chapter 5: The Eagle and Child When JRR Tolkien was writing 'The Two Towers' he came to an impasse at the end of the first half,... Continue Reading →

The convenience of eavesdropping

'Out of the Smoke' Author's Commentary Chapter 4: Aggie The shop was narrow, but deceptively deep; Aggie's counter lay at the far end, through a dusty maze of ancient display cabinets. A gas-lamp burned in the depths, barely illuminating the cave. Aggie's voice dropped low and continued speaking, picking up the conversation from which it... Continue Reading →

Creating a villain

'Out of the Smoke' Author's Commentary Chapter 3: The Devil's Lads Halfway across the river Tosher nudged Billy again."Look out," he muttered, and this time there was no humour in his voice. "Here comes trouble."A rabble of boys and young men was striding along the pavement towards them, spread out from the parapet to the... Continue Reading →

A life of grime

'Out of the Smoke' Author's Commentary Chapter 2: The Silver Spoon The journey down was, if anything, more dangerous than the journey up. Flues did not exist in isolation: they ran up the backbone of the house like a river with many tributaries, the flues from three or four different fireplaces all merging together as... Continue Reading →

Begin at the beginning

'Out of the Smoke' Author's Commentary Chapter 1: Up, Up, Up "Get in there!"Gerard tightened the rope around Billy's ankle with a sharp tug and shoved him towards the sheet-draped fireplace. Billy stumbled and almost fell, but he bit back the retort that came all too easily to his lips. It wasn't worth arguing with... Continue Reading →

Creating a Character

Characters are the most important part of any story - without your characters, there is no story! Use the resources on this page to build your own character, and start to think about their strengths and flaws! Download and print out this worksheet to help you plan your character. Appearance Ask yourself some questions: What... Continue Reading →

Pinning It Down

As promised, here's a little peek at my process of writing. I'm just doing this in case anyone was curious. At the moment I'm doing my continuity edit on Coals of Fire: Ash, so this is a nice little interlude for you fine folk to have something slightly different. I'm also attempting to write some... Continue Reading →

The ‘End’

The end of the first draft, for me, is always something of a cathartic experience. The ideas that have been boiling in my head for months (and, in the case of some scenes, years) are 'on the page': I've pinned them down, given them substance, made them physical. In the case of the more abstract... Continue Reading →

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