Writing Challenge Day 27: What's your favourite trope?

Strictly, a literary trope is a rhetorical or figurative device, via word, phrase or an image, for artistic effect. Today, it’s also come to be used for describing commonly recurring literary and rhetorical devices and motifs in creative works.

Right, now we’ve got the formal stuff out of the way, let’s look at how it […]

Writing Challenge Day 18: Characters' pet peeves

Alison, peeved

Ha! We all have pet peeves and I’m pretty sure we pass these on in our writing however carefully we try to view the world from each individual character’s point of view. Our own values, thoughts and emotional responses will seep through, so I must admit that mine probably do, although […]

Writing challenge Day 4: The setting for the new Roma Nova book

Ah, this one’s easy! I’ve written quite a lot on my Roma Nova blog about this as it’s the setting for nine previous books! So I’m going to cheat and repost the piece I wrote about what Roma Nova looks like…

Roma Nova an alpine country with lower lying valleys a few small towns […]

Speculative heroines

Some reflections for International Women’s Day…

All fictional characters are, er, fictional. We borrow, mine, or lift characteristics from Real Life, but unless we want to get sued, the finally moulded form is a construct. We can gender mirror (I love using that expression – also made up), we can speculate, we can imagine.

Ditto […]

How to write a 'damnèd, smiling villain'

Octavian (Author photo) Shakespeare’s Young Octavius

O villain, villain, smiling, damnèd villain! My tables—meet it is I set it down That one may smile, and smile, and be a villain— At least I am sure it may be so in Denmark. (Hamlet, Wm.Shakespeare)

“And some that smile have in their hearts, I fear, […]