Tuesday, 14 May 2013

How to Write by Harry Bingham

This book can also be purchased form all major bookshops. Although the links are to the paperback it is also available for kindle.

I read this a number of months ago and have been meaning to review it for some time. However, as all writers will know, life and writing my books somehow got in the way. This is not a reflection on the quality of this book which is excellent. 

Harry Bingham is, himself, a gifted writer and therefore well qualified to write a book such as this. How to Write is, fortunately, a very well written book. It takes you through the stages of writing in easy steps and is broken down into seven sections which outline the writing process. These are:
  • Planning
  • Prose style
  • Character
  • Placing the camera
  • Story
  • Scenes and chapters
  • Towards prediction
These chapters are expertly written and easily draw out the steps which a writer should take to "perfect' their manuscript. It mainly talks about novels but there is also some input on non fiction writing. Bingham provides examples from contemporary and historical fiction to support his reasoning. Using a quote from a book he dissects it to outline in which way the writing is a demonstration of excellence. There are many aha moments throughout the book. This is done particularly well in the section on scene but is also liberally applied throughout the book. 

This is not a book to read and put down. It is one which should be referred to throughout ones writing career. I found it to be extremely pertinent and useful and would highly recommend it to all writers. 

I am now back to reading murder mysteries, for research of course, and writing the second novel in the DI Shona McLeod Mysteries. Next weeks blog will review some of the latest novels I have read. Until then remember feeding your habit is not a bad thing when your habit is books. 

Sunday, 5 May 2013

Frustrated Blogger - help needed

I'm breaking completely out of the mould today and posting two blogs. I have spent all day trying to sort out problems with blogger and am so frustrated I am writing about it.

The first problem is that my text is not showing correctly. Some text is in a white box and the remainder isn't. This is completely random as sentences can be split in two like this. The only way I was able to solve the problem is to completely change the template to one that has a white background. Anything with a, even slightly coloured, background does not display.

The next problem is when I try to share my blog anywhere other than google it does not pull out the correct picture. It gives me three pictures to choose from, none of which are the picture for the blog I am posting. This has all taken up hours of my time and I am no further forward. 

I am writing this as a test case in the hope that the previous blog was a one off. I am also posting in the hope that someone out their in cyberspace will be able to help me and point out the problem and the solution. 

Normal service will resume once I have sorted out these problems. Thank you in advance to anyone who can help me. 

Moonbow Over Charleston by Terry Ward Tucker - Southern Literary Fiction

As regular readers will know I usually read murder mysteries so this book is a bit different for me. However, as I have been to Charleston and fell in love with the place I decided to give this one a go. I am so glad I did.

It is the story of Bedon, an elderly Southern Gentleman, Larissa a young girl from the Charleston projects and Buddy, Bedon's grandson. The book gives a fascinating look at how their lives intertwine and how each of them is changed by knowing the others.

It reminds me a little of Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil and yet it is completely different. I was swept up in the story from the first page and didn't want to put it down. I loved the characters and Larissa's spunk brought her to life. Bedon was portrayed brilliantly especially all the changes in his emotions as he helps Larissa. Buddy grew on me throughout the book and I found myself falling a little bit in love with him. Terry Ward Tucker's writing style is excellent and I could almost feel I was in Charleston. This is a character oriented book so the descriptions of Charleston are minimal. However, I could picture Charleston from the way the characters are portrayed. Her characterisation is spot on.

Whilst immersed in the story I went through every gamut of emotions you could conjure up. I laughed, cried, loved, hated and rooted for the characters at every turn. When I couldn't spend time reading I wanted to get back to it as soon as possible. Surely this is recommendation enough.

This is a superb book which I would highly recommend. It is only available in ebook format which is a shame as this would be an excellent gift for a birthday or any other occasion. Lets face it who needs an excuse to buy a book as a gift.

If anyone has any other books set in the Southern states of America it would be great if you could share in the comments. That way we can all find more excellent books to read.

I was given this book as a gift from the author. I was not expected to provide a review but have done so based on the fact I thoroughly enjoyed this book. My review is fair and objective.