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TV Review: After Hours

Well then, what can I say about After Hours? In many respects, this six episode British sitcom defies a lot of the requirements for good telly and yet I really enjoyed it.

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Review: The Orville (season 1)

I’ve heard a lot of folk talking very positively about this show, even claiming it fills a Star Trek void in a way the most recent Star Treks fail to do. High praise indeed. My curiosity was piqued.

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Review: Doctor Who, Series 11

Jodie Whittaker’s first series as the titular character in the BBC’s Doctor Who is finally over. Actually it was over almost two weeks ago but I had to do 6 Six Word Stories for the 6th last Sunday so you’re getting the review this Sunday instead. Lap it up.

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Pants, Plants and Plans: A Beginner’s Guide

If you’re struggling with whatever method comes naturally to you, it may be time to try a different approach. And so, what follows is my own concise analysis of each approach, comparing pros and cons as evenly as I can. 

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Super Snappy Speed Reviews – TV Edition (Vol. 2)

I’ve picked 5 TV shows entirely at random from my DVD rack/Now TV/Lovefilm/etc. accounts and reviewed them all in no more than four or five sentences.

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Should You Use Profanity in Your Story?

This all got me thinking about the use of profanity in fiction. We authors walk a fine line between realism and rudeness, especially when it comes to writing dialogue. Where do you draw the line?

Well… it depends.

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50 Quotes About Fiction

1. “I like telling stories.” — Hunter Parrish
2. “All fiction has to have a certain amount of truth in it to be powerful.” — George R.R. Martin
3. “Literature is a luxury; fiction is a necessity.” — GK Chesterton

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Fiction: Reality Refined

There are two kinds of story in this world. Those that are not at all true to life and therefore are completely unsatisfactory, and those that create the illusion of being true to life but, in fact, are not. Very few stories (even those meticulously and faithfully based on true events) accurately reflect real life once they’ve been structured in a way which allows them to be communicated, because real life is far too much of a jumble for that to be possible.

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5 Sci-Fi Tropes I Could Live Without

For some reason, sci-fi is just chock full of certain clichéd tropes, some of which are so very ridiculous that it frankly beggars belief that they ever became clichés. The others are just plain done to death. What follows are some of my (least) favourites.

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The 5 Circles of Inspiration Hell

Wise and learned authors know that before you can sign that publication deal and pick up all those awards, you’ve got to actually do something with your wave of inspiration to turn it into a fully fledged story. Initial ideas (especially plot bunnies which unexpectedly pop into your head) are always full of holes, not all of which can be easily plugged. It takes effort to craft it into something that really works. 

Those experienced and wise authors I mentioned will know exactly how to handle their ideas and will churn out a good story in no time at all. The rest of us, however, if we’re not careful, might find ourselves languishing somewhere in INSPIRATION HELL.

Abandon hope ye who enter here. Wanderers in this dismal place may find themselves endlessly going around and around the same circle for weeks, months or even years before moving onto another or, worse yet, back to one they’ve already been on. They are damned to be forever inspired without completing a single draft. As a former inmate, it is my sorrowful privilege to shew unto thee the Five Circles of Inspiration Hell.

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