I’m a Naughty Girl

An' de walls came tumblin' down

I'm a Naughty Girl

It’s time to admit it. I broke three rules. Yes, three rules of writing, possibly more. And all in one book: Cultivating a Fuji, out tomorrow. Here are the rules:

  • Minor characters don’t have backstories.
  • Always begin with something exciting that draws in the reader.
  • No head-hopping.

BUT rules can be broken, as long as the writer understands the rules and breaks them knowingly. What do I mean?

Minor characters don’t have backstories

In this story, it was important to me for readers to understand these characters. I didn’t want readers to view them simply as villains who mistreat Martin. They are all people with lives of their own. Like most of us, their minds are mostly occupied by their own problems. When they encounter Martin, we need to remember that they don’t have the emotional space to handle such an alien character. And sometimes, something in a minor…

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Swizzle Stick

A short tale from Crooked Cat author Tom Halford

Tim's Blog

Today I feature a short tale from Canadian author Tom Halford. I warn you, it’s not for those of a queasy disposition! This sort of thing doesn’t happen in Huddersfield ….

Swizzle Stick

for James Fletcher

by Tom Halford

Orson shot, skinned, and gutted the bear. The bones of the animal were crumpled in a hug, and the intestines looked like swollen sausage links. He left that and everything else he didn’t plan on using next to a pine tree.

Three days later, he got a
phone-call from his brother-in-law. The brother-in-law wanted the bear’s penis. He asked Orson to boil it down to the bone so he
could use it as a swizzle stick.

The brother-in-law planned to mix
rum & cokes for his buddies. As they were drinking, he would tell them that
the swizzle stick he’d used to stir their drinks was
actually a bear’s cock.


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Word Tip 3: That’s Not What I Wrote

An' de walls came tumblin' down

Microsoft Word Tips for AuthorsWelcome to the next in a series of tips on using Microsoft Word, geared towards authors.
Most Word advice is rather complicated and full of things you’ll never need to know.
I shall do my best to keep it simple, because you’re not stupid… just busy.
Please note: 
– Not all versions of Word are the same, but most are near enough.
– There are different ways of doing the same thing. I shall demonstrate just one (or two).

Sometimes the text in your Word document doesn’t look the same as what you typed.

I’m not talking about typos. We all make those occasionally. I’m talking about words that Word changes off its own bat. Microsoft calls this AutoCorrect. The idea is that it can change some of your typos and spelling mistakes automatically, because it knows better than you what you meant to write, or it thinks it…

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Crime and Craft

Here is a short video by Tom Halford, author of Deli Meat, in which he talks about writing dialogue. This video is inspired by a Skype chat on this topic earlier today with some of the other Crooked Cat authors:

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Taking the Plunge

Flash fiction from CC author Rosie Travers

Tim's Blog

Today I’m delighted to host a piece of flash fiction from Crooked Cat author Rosie Travers. An old lady ponders her greatest regret ….

Grace hadn’t even heard of a
bucket list until Bill had shown them his brother’s photographs.

jumping in New Zealand,’ he said. ‘What do you think? Something to cross off
the list, ‘eh?’

wasn’t sure what to think at all.

the one thing you’ve always wanted to do?’ Bill said, as he shuffled around the
community lounge of Sunflower House, proudly regaling his brother’s exploits to
anyone wide-awake enough to listen. ‘Nobody should die having regrets about
things they haven’t done.’

didn’t want to think about dying, but she had plenty of regrets, although
missing out on the opportunity to dangle mid-air at the end of a long rope was
not one of them.

Atkins wanted to go to Disneyland but…

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