Postings and podcasts elsewhere

borrowedmanI’ve been remiss with the blog lately, but busy(ish) elsewhere. So I thought I might share some of the stuff I’ve been doing with, and for, other people.

First, a couple of things for Adventures in Scifi Publishing. Most recently I reviewed Gene Wolfe’s latest novel, A Borrowed Man. I had mixed feelings about it, but I was also intrigued by the novel and it has seriously made me consider a re-read at some stage, which is not something I do much of as a ruifthen-144dpile. I suppose that tells you something about the book.

Second, I had the great pleasure of interviewing Matthew de Abaitua following my review of his amazing novel, If Then. It was my first time as a solo podcaster for AISFP, and Matthew was an absolutely fascinating guest. I hope you will consider taking time to check out the interview and/or read my review of his novel…and indeed, rushing out to buy If Then.

Finally, my review of the best anthology I’ve read in ages, The Monstrous, edited by Ellen Datlow. If you’re not scared already…you will be.

monstrous

Creative Writing Classes – Winter 2015/16

UPDATE: FIRST CLASS, MONDAY 23 NOVEMBER, 7.30pm-9.30m at The Canal Centre Tearoom, Linlithgow.

I shall be running my first season of classes this winter, for ten sessions initially, with a break for Christmas and New Year. The first class will be on Monday 23 November at the Linlithgow Canal Centre Tearoom, from 7.30pm to 9.30pm. Cost: £15 (discount for all 10 classes £120 – normally £150).

The classes will be a combination of structured and informal (fun) participatory elements. The objective for this first season is that everyone completes at least one short story of between 2,500 and 5,300 words, which will be published in an ebook, to be made available free through Amazon.

CLASS PROGRAMME

Creating the story
Using The Hero’s Journey structure, you will learn how a story is assembled and the elements that go into making an engaging tale.

Creating Characters
An all important element of great stories is great characters. We will look at how to create complex, multi-dimensional characters with whom to populate your fiction.

Dialogue
Dialogue is not conversation. I’ll say that again: dialogue is not conversation. We will look at the purpose of dialogue, how it differs from conversation, and how to use it to best advantage in your work. And how to write it, naturally.

Point of View (POV)
Understanding point of view in a story and how the POV character draws in the reader. We will also take a look at tenses (and tension!). Third person point of view, first person point of view and second person point of view – present, past and future – yes, you can use any or all of these to great advantage.

Genres
Student choices. We can take a look at some of your favourite genres and see how you might begin tackling them: crime, romance, science fiction, horror and others.

Practicalities
Preparing and formatting manuscripts, editing your work, and submitting your work. Yes, I will be encouraging all of you to submit work to prospective publishers – short stories, poems or otherwise.

On the Night
Please bring along your writing tools – notepad and pencil, laptop or tablet. Laptop users, please ensure you have a fully-charged battery as there are no power points at the venue.

If you have any questions or wish to confirm attendance, please email me.

Thanks for your interest, and I look foward to meeting you on the night. And I hope you will let others know about the classes, too. Please note that there is scope to change the night of the class, subject to everyone’s availability.

Creative Writing Classes

I’m launching my first season of creative writing classes this winter.

I aim to start the classes around third week November, depending on numbers. The other way you can contact me to find out more is through my website contact form:
http://jakk1954.wix.com/johndodds#!contact/c1kcz

I will be covering: story creation, creating characters, dialogue, short and long forms of story, and more, plus elements of style for different genres – those who attend can choose their preferences. First season, 10 weeks. The objective is that everyone will complete at least one short story (2,500 to 5,000 words) and peer discussion on the work. I also aim to put the stories into an ebook anthology.

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Interview on Black Fox Literary Magazine

Black Fox MagazineA while back, Black Fox Literary Magazine got in touch to invite me for an interview. I was, of course, delighted that they had sought me out and asked such interesting questions. I especially enjoyed the one about whether any monkeys were involved.

You will find the interview on the Black Fox. I hope you will consider giving feedback, asking questions and generally supporting this excellent publication.

New Thrillers

the_yellow_cottage_small-opt200x300o02c0s200x300Jacquie New, that is.

My friend, Jacquie, writes some pretty twisted thrillers (I mean that in a good way). She’s offering her short story, The Yellow Cottage, for free right now.

And do check out her new collection, Predator or Prey.  Definite shades of Tales from the Crypt with a touch of O.Henry surprise endings.

Jacquie offers tons of great content on her website, like writing tips and much more. She’s a big supporter of indie writers, and she regularly showcases the ones who catch her eye. You can also sign up for her free newsletter.