Oubliette: “Farm” part 2

Mara and Owen walked up to the porch of the old rectangular manufactured house with a sagging roof and once pristine siding that was long rendered a dull gray after years of neglect. The house sat off the side of a busy highway and there was no safe place to park. Mara climbed the unsteady metal porch and knocked on the door. A voice from inside called to them, acknowledging their presence and asked for them to wait a moment.

Oubliette: “Farm” part 1

Pete wore a black formal suit and peered through the window in his father’s office. He was surprised when his father pulled him from the viewing room and escorted into the office and was greeted with a State Trooper and a detective. This was not a good day to have been questioned by the police. Ms. Schmidt, his second-grade teacher, was being shown and his father needed him to greet the downturned faces of her friends and family members as they came to give their last respects.

Literary devices is the term used for the techniques and structures writers employ to convey their message and story. When done skillfully, the use of literary devices can alter, manipulate and challenge the way a reader perceives any work. Used masterfully, literary devices influence how a story or essay can be interpreted and analysed, as... Continue Reading →

Oubliette: “Seance”

Griswold waddled down the stairs creating an unmeasured thumping and creaking as he descended into the pitch black and dusty basement. In the darkness, he knew that a pair of fellow crew members were working on restoring power to the old farm house. Breaking and entering was not a normal policy for the crew but when they heard that the house was suddenly abandoned overnight a year ago, they had to check it out. It was a gold mine of paranormal activity and tonight they were going to see if there was more gold to strike.

Should an author include descriptions of a character's race in a story? Well, yes and no. It depends. How's that for a wishy-washy answer? Here's my attempt to sum up a lively discussion that's taken place here, and here, and also here over the past couple of days. As I tuned into the communal wisdom,... Continue Reading →

How to Research a Location You Haven’t Actually Been To

A Writer's Path

by Helena Fairfax

If you’ve been following my blog for a while, or read any of my books, you’ll know how important setting is to me in my writing. In this post about Richmond Park, for example, I wrote about how I tried to combine the setting for The Antique Love with the theme of the book, and how I used the setting to reveal the strengths and weaknesses of my characters.

So far I’ve been able to visit most of the locations I’ve used in my books. My settings range from Edinburgh to the south coast of France, and they are all within easy reach for me. But sometimes it’s just not possible to get to the place you want to write about. I used to agonise about this. I like to “see” exactly what it is my characters see.

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