Friday, 14 May 2010

Friday Flash - First Impressions

For today's Friday Flash, I've decided to do something a little different. I'd like you all to meet Fowlis Westerby, the star of my first novel. He's very pleased to make your acquaintance.

First Impressions

The cavalier stands poised at the end of the corridor. He holds out his sword, proud that his hand does not quake. Facing four enemies would perhaps defeat a lesser man, but Fowlis Westerby never backs down from a fight.

He hears a door open along the hall. He has only moments. He preens the immense feather in his hat with his spare hand. He is nothing if not fastidious. Intimidation is a valuable weapon, and what could be more intimidating than a cavalier dressed in all his finery?

Four young women approach. Each of them wears a bright pink ballerina outfit, complete with legwarmers and garish tutu. They all wear plastic tiaras in their bouffant hairdos. One of the four wears a tiara rather bigger than the others. A white sash thrown over her shoulder marks her out to be a 'Bride in Training'. They squawk at each other about drinking games and flashing their underwear at men.

"En garde!" shouts Fowlis.

All four women stop their chatter and look at him. They take in the sword, and the splendid attire. They remember the previous night; doors slamming, taps running of their own accord, writing appearing on steamy mirrors. The trainee bride turns white first; her cronies follow suit. They flee. He can hear their screams echoing throughout the house as they seek refuge in the gardens outside.

Fowlis smiles. Whoever assigned him a house rented to hen parties must have known this would pose no challenge, yet he is pleased nonetheless. This is why he is Ghostmaster General - he is the best.

Tuesday, 11 May 2010

Handful of Links

I'm currently in the process of writing my contribution to the second Chinese Whisperings anthology so I won't be writing any of my normal blog posts this week (I wanted to write one about Iron Man 2, so I'll just say "Go and see it and ignore the fact Scarlet Johansson can't act because War Machine is coooooooool!")

Instead, I thought I'd post a collection of links I think you might find useful. First of all, Nathan Bransford looks at how to develop your voice, which is something a lot of writers struggle to do. Livia Blackburne shows us how to function at your creative best, while Marelisa Fabrega uncovers some online tools to help you meet your goals. I'd also recommend the post by Carolyn Kaufman at Query Tracker which gives advice on how to handle critiques. For something a little more whimsical, head over to IO9 to see some truly astonishing pavement art!

If that's still not enough, then why not head over to the Chinese Whisperings website and check out the blogs and writing over my collaborators? I'd also urge you to go and add Adam PB's A Fullness in Brevity to your RSS reader now because this guy is very talented indeed.

You're still here? Well then I offer you one last link...part 13 of The First Tale is up at my Tales from Vertigo City blog.