Writing Advice

Pre-Conceived Notions About Being a Writer

Kill your ego

Today I would like to talk to you about being a writer.

I know a writer talking about being a writer! So new! Never done before! Such a unique perspective. Fortunately, I’m not trying to be groundbreaking today, I just need a chance to rant.

I’m a member of several writer groups on various social media sites across the internet and that exposes me to a lot of people in the very early stages of their writing journey and thus also exposes me to a lot of the preconceived notions people have about writing and that’s what I want to talk about today.

Before I start, I want to stress that I am in no way gatekeeping the writing community, it’s an amazing place with some incredibly supportive people and if it can continue to grow then that can only be a good thing. I’m also not trying to gatekeep the craft of writing, I’m not about to start saying “You’re only a real writer if you have sold X number of copies or made X amount of money” That’s all bullshit in my opinion.

What I am going to say is that you need an open mind to be a writer, you need to be flexible (seriously flexible) in your thinking and you need to lose your ego, stuff will be easier without it, trust me.

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Katie's Stories

Horrorzine Book of Ghost Stories

If you can’t plug during the Christmas period when can you?

My short story Scratching which appers in The Horrorzines Book of Ghost Stories would make a fantastic Christmas gift for any horror fan in your life.

Get your copy NOW!

“This collection of ghost stories is fresh, varied, and entertaining. Perfect company for long a winter’s night.”  – Owen King, co-author of Sleeping Beauties

“An incredibly creepy collection of stories of the recently and not so recently dead, written by some of the finest writers in horror. I suggest that when reading, do so in the daylight, because reading these at night will only make you more aware of your own, unempty house.” – Susie Moloney, author of The Dwelling and The Thirteen

“Gruesome, eerie, horrific, sometimes uplifting; this is a terrific selection of ghost stories that satisfy the soul—they chill the blood, too.” – Simon Clark, author of Whitby Vampyrrhic

“Looking for a perfect evening? Spend the night hunkered down in your favorite chair with only a reading light on, and dive into The Horror Zine’s Book of Ghost Stories. Forget sleep, these tales will keep you enthralled till daybreak.” – Tony Tremblay, author of The Moore House

“Nobody keeps the supernatural alive like The Horror Zine.” – Scott Nicholson, author of The Red Church

books v film

Book v Film: The Mist

Fight, Fight, Fight

Today I want to talk to you about one of my favourite writers and an adaptation of one of their novellas. I’d like to look at the adaptation of Stephen King’s ‘The Mist’. The novella was released in 1985 in the collection ‘The skeleton Crew’, while the film came out in 2007.

In my opinion, the main things that changed when the novella got adapted were the atmosphere and tone of the story. I want to focus this blog on the elements that the director changed which I feel has effected these.

The most obvious in my opinion is the pacing, the novella, for all it is short at only 130 pages, is a slow burn. Everything in the novella takes time, the characters are introduced gently and given time to establish themselves before we get to the monsters (the first one doesn’t show up until the second third of the novella). King uses the first third of the story to foreshadow, build tension and most importantly make you care and connect with the characters.

The film jumps almost straight to the action, we get a brief introduction of our main character, his son and his neighbour all before we’re whisked away into the supermarket where the bulk of the film takes place. I understand that films will struggle with pacing compared to novels and novellas, they are a completely different medium so we struggle to spend time in our MC’s head, films also have a limited run time so it’s natural that they might cut some of the ‘fluff’ but the world and character building does suffer for it in my opinion.

Photo by Matt Hardy on Pexels.com
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Katie's Stories

I got a shout out in a review for Water: Selkies, Sirens and Sea Monsters

I got a shout out in a review! *Insert excited bouncing*

I want to share a review with you.

As usual, editor Rhonda Parrish chose a different, somewhat quirky tale to lead us into the pages of “Water.” Catherine MacLeod’s dark tale, “The Diviner,” was an excellent choice to begin this collection of stories and poems. The author wove the story in such a way as to make it easy to believe in the character of Melly, a seemingly ordinary person possessing out-of-the-ordinary cooking skills.

Everybody has different tastes, and there were some stories that reached out and immediately grabbed my attention like “There’s Something in the Water” by Katie Marie, a scary warning tale about a town with a horrific secret. Rebecca Brae’s “The Witch’s Diary: Adventures in Hut-Sitting” is a whimsical revelation of Hester’s world while she spends time away from college on a summer job (her quick comment on fairies was blunt, unexpected, and hilariously delivered). Colleen Anderson’s vivid “Siren’s Song” described a world that was, before it slipped into the catalog of legends.

There’s a touch of horror that worms into some of the stories, as the accepting way we perceive these legendary beings becomes tainted and the beings morph into monsters. This suited me just fine, and I warily strolled through the paths of what could be. Many of the stories eagerly took my hand and led me into the unknown, including Davide Mana’s “The Man Who Speared Octopodes” and “Bruno J. Lampini and the Song of the Sea” by Josh Reynolds. Horror may contain a huge dose of humor as deftly displayed by Joel McKay’s “Number Hunnerd.”

Bottom line, there is something here for almost everyone and it is not hard to appreciate the imaginative poems and stories contained in this book. While I liked some of the offerings more than others, there wasn’t a throwaway to be found, and the wide variance of styles kept the reading interesting. Highly recommended. Five stars.

My thanks to Tyche Books Ltd. and the editor for a complimentary electronic copy of this book.