Friday, 31 December 2010
Wednesday, 29 December 2010
Friday, 24 December 2010
Friday, 17 December 2010
1) Write 1 Sub 1. Milo Fowler and Simon Kewin have come up with the perfect writing challenge for 2011 - 52 submissions in 52 weeks. I was going to dedicate a whole post to this one, but Madeleine at Scribble and Edit has already done an excellent job of explaining it. Thank you, Madeleine.
2) The First Line (or TFL) is a quarterly literary journal that gives you the first line of a story and challenges you write the rest. Stories should be 300 - 3000 words in length. Here are the 2011 first lines and submission dates:
- Sam was a local employee. Due 1st February.
- "We need to talk." Due 1st May.
- Edwin spotted them the moment he stepped off the train. Due 1st August.
- It had been a long year. Due 1st November.
3) Elena Solodow at 'You're Write. Except when you're rong' is hosting a 100 words for $100 dollars challenge from the 1st to 31st January. The objective is to write a 100-word sentence (one semi-colon allowed) and post it between the dates given. Read the full details here.
4) Have you ever wanted to parody a horror cliché? Well, now you can. Pill Hill Press are looking for submissions to their It Was a Dark and Stormy Night horror anthology. Here's what they are looking for:
'We are not looking for cliché stories here; we are looking for funny-on-purpose parodies of them. That old zombie or vampire or werewolf story you haven’t been able to get published because it had overused themes won’t cut it. Now…make me laugh, cackle, chuckle, giggle, and snort!'
Read the full details here.
5) Summer Ross at My Inner Fairy is hosting the New Creation Blogfest on the 5th January, to celebrate her 29th birthday. To enter, post the last sentence from one of your 2010 stories and the first line to a new story. This looks like it will be a fun challenge. Read the full details here.
That is it for today's Friday Five. I hope you found something here to challenge you in 2011.
Thursday, 16 December 2010
Villains do not have to be people per se. They can be organizations like governments, corporations, law firms, Wall Street, organized crime, and science, although individuals within the organization need to be the ones making the nefarious decisions. Organizations make great villains! Just think of the resources they have at their disposal. Money. Power. Secretive Research and Development. They recruit some of the best minds in the world. They have ambition and are motivated by greed, fear, and expansion. They can hide behind a veil of secrecy. The bribe public officials. They can bury opponents and enemies in a landslide of attorneys and tons of paperwork.
Governments and their intelligence agencies can conspire to cover up truths, such as knowledge of aliens in the TV series the X-Files. Secret societies and New World Orders enslave mankind while destroying democracy and freewill. In George Orwell’s 1984 is set in perpetual war, public mind control, and spying and surveillance. In a more humorous note, remember KAOS from the TV series Get Smart? They were an international organization of evil during the Cold War bent on word takeover.
Corporations and industries also make for deviant villains. Movies like The Fugitive and Avatar have greedy institutions, or individuals using these organizations as a front, as the central character. Corporations can pollute the environment causing innocent people to become sick and die ala Erin Brokovich (Julia Roberts) and A Civil Action (John Travolta). Joseph Finder, author of Killer Instinct, Paranoia, Company Man use a corporate setting. I’ve read all three of these books and recommend them all.
Wall Street has no shortage of bad guys. Who can forget Gordon Gecko saying, “Greed is good.” I recommend renting Barbarians At The Gate (James Garner), a true story of that follows the actual takeover of the RJR Nabisco empire in a tongue in cheek way. Some stories will incorporate capitalism or capitalists as the villain.
Law Firms can make for a formidable foe. In the book and movie The Firm, the protagonist is recruited and seduced by the money and gifts showered on him, while being totally oblivious to the more sinister side of his company. Their MO is to suck you in, get you used to the lifestyle, kids in private school … before you know it you are committing crimes. Good luck getting out.
Organized Crime stories like The Godfather, The Sopranos, and Payback make for great movies. Good Fellas and Casino were great movies based on real life people and events. Organized Crime could be a series of posts all its own.
Science. Where do we begin? Physics, nanotechnology, biology, and anything that is genetically modified makes for a great backdrop. Countless books and movies are based on technology gone too far. Science run amok. My book Breakthrough focuses on this premise. Many people today are more than concerned about the boundaries science is pushing. Even the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) has been accused of creating mini black holes that could eventually swallow up our planet earth. The inspiration for science-based stories are endless.
Okay, speaking of science, I promised Ellie I would somehow include something regarding Dr. Brian Cox, a Royal Society University Research Fellow based in the Particle Physics group at the University of Manchester, where he holds a chair in Particle Physics. He works on the ATLAS experiment at CERN in Geneva. I thought I would end this post on a humorous post with this YouTube Clip .
Stephen Tremp blogs at Breakthrough Blogs and is author of the Near Future SciFi Thriller Breakthrough.
If you feel this blog is worthy, go ahead and make my day. Retweet it.
Wednesday, 15 December 2010
Sunday, 12 December 2010
Last Monday, I took part in Madeleine’s Through the Keyhole Blogfest and posted a brief scene that described a character’s living space. Quite a few of you had a guess as to who the person may have been and most of you were thinking along the right lines - you decided it was probably set in the future and that the person was in some way connected to a machine, or even the machine itself.
The blogger who correctly guessed the room belonged to the main character from my NaNoWriMo novel, Dreaming of Sleep, was Margo Benson. Well done, Margo. You have won the winner’s key, provided by Madeleine.
Dreaming of Sleep’s Myron is trapped two thousand years in the future, after his time travel mission goes wrong. He lives in a government assigned pod, which is sparsely furnished and serves one important function – it ensures Myron is connected to the worldwide information hub for at least 18 hours a day. Paper-based products no longer exist and personal possessions are frowned upon. Sleep is illegal and the penality for breaking the law severe.
I really had fun with this blogfest. Thank you to Madeleine and everyone who took a guess.
Friday, 10 December 2010
Here are five of mine:
The entire Barry Manilow back catalogue and membership to his fan club. I want to be a Fanilow!
A teasmaid. You remember, the clock that also made you a fresh cup of brew in the mornings. I think they were last seen in the 1970s, along with our metallic green Ford Cortina.
A shopper trolley. I would look like an old lady but it would make carrying the shopping home a lot easier.
Technically this is not a gift, but I’ve always wondered what happened to the boy I sat next to in Primary School. His name was Rory and he would suck the ink out of his fountain pen every day during class; there was always an ink stain around his mouth by the time he went home. He lived at the bottom of my road and was the first boy who tried to kiss me. I was mortified and ran home. I’ve often wondered what happened to him.
Wednesday, 8 December 2010
My short story Why Do Aliens Love Iowa? is published in Tribute to the Stars in early 2011. As the tribute actor, William Shatner is sent a copy. He loves it and decides to make a movie of it; the idea is that strong. He contacts Steven Spielberg and asks him to read it. Spielberg loves it too. Soon after I get a call from Shatner offering to buy the movie rights, but there's a catch - they want me to do the screenplay. My answer is yes and several days later I'm flying to LA to begin work on it. The movie comes out the summer of 2012 and it's a blockbuster. We all live happily ever after.
Monday, 6 December 2010
"Describe someone's living space in no more than 500 words so that we can vividly imagine the absent person. Then guess from the descriptions posted the type of person who might live in a room like this.It could be a policeman, assylum seeker, a housewife, an author, a foster child, a Vicar who likes DIY, an axe murder (!) anyone you like, really, but not anyone famous."
Visit her blog for full rules and linkey.
Here is my entry, which I have to admit was not written specifically for this blogfest. But I really wanted to take part and I'm hoping it will qualify:
The pod was exactly as I had left it – the lighting set to the dimmest level to appease my migraines and the ambient temperature set to exactly 16.5 degrees Celsius. The faint hum of the air-conditioning unit brought the only natural element from the outside world and the opaque windows to the rear and front offered a hazy glimpse of the setting Sun.
The remains of my last meal – a re-hydrated vegetable stew – sat on the table in the pods small food allocation and disposal area. Beside the meal was a paperback copy of Jasper Fforde’s Lost in a Good Book, the only possession I was allowed to keep after my arrival. Paperback books were obsolete; no printed materials of any kind existed. The interrogation officers had been amused by my attachment to the book and against the rules, allowed me to keep it. I wished I’d brought more than one but then the trip was only supposed to last a week, not forever. Besides, where would I put them? There were no shelves of any kind and the pod’s sterile, white walls, performed their role efficiently – why hang pictures or display ornaments when none existed?
I glanced up at the neon time display, which blinked a constant reminder of the pod’s main function; connecting to the central hub. It was only 1800 hours and I was not required to login in until 0600. Had they left me with twelve torturous hours as a test? Where they willing me to fail again? I sat down at the desk that ran the entire length of the pod’s right side and did the last thing they would expect – I logged in early. The pain from the migraine would almost kill me but I didn’t care. “Conform and stay alive,” had been her last words and I intended to follow them.
I will let you know who it is next Sunday.
Friday, 3 December 2010
1. Over at Write-Brained, Christine was inspired to use the titles of books to create a story. It looked fun, so I had a go with the short story anthologies I've been published in:
(I was) HAUNTED (by) 100 STORIES FOR HAITI (but) THE MYSTERIOUS DR. RAMSEY (had) PATENTED (my) DNA (and created some) CREEPY THINGS. (His) DAILY FLASH (and) FLASH! (news brought out the) FEM-FANGS (in me and my only escape was to hide with the other) TRUNK STORIES.
Check out Christine's post and you might also be inspired to create your own Titles Tell A Story.
2. Over at You're Write. Except When You're Rong, Elena Solodow is offering to read an excerpt from your current WIP. She's looking for submissions for her weekly slot. Here is what she says, "Join my weekly vlog posts, in which I'll read YOUR 250-500 word excerpt out loud! Send submissions to esolodow at gmail dot com."
3. Jane Wenham Jones's follow up to her warm and funny Wannable A Writer? is now out. I haven't bought Wannabe A Writer We've Heard Of? yet but I'm sure it will be full of the same wit and practical advice as her first book, and I've placed it on my Christmas wishlist.
4. C. Hope Clark posted about the 5th Annual International Short Story Challenge. I'm not going to say too much about this one, as Hope has done it already. If you want to enter a writing competition with a difference, pop over to Hope's blog.
5. Finally, a quiz for writers of science fiction. Find out which science fiction writer you are most like by taking Paul Kienitz's quiz. According to him I'm Arthur C. Clarke.
|I am: |
Arthur C. ClarkeWell known for nonfiction science writing and for early promotion of the effort toward space travel, his fiction was often grand and visionary.
Wednesday, 1 December 2010
No Kindle? Download a free app at Amazon for Mac, iPhone, PC, Android and more.Coming soon in paperback. Keep up with the latest at talliroland.com.
About THE HATING GAME:
When man-eater Mattie Johns agrees to star on a dating game show to save her ailing recruitment business, she's confident she'll sail through to the end without letting down the perma-guard she's perfected from years of her love 'em and leave 'em dating strategy. After all, what can go wrong with dating a few losers and hanging out long enough to pick up a juicy £2000,000 prize? Plenty, Mattie discovers, when it's revealed that the contestants are four of her very unhappy exes. Can Mattie confront her past to get the prize money she so desperately needs, or will her exes finally wreak their long-awaited revenge? And what about the ambitious TV producer whose career depends on stopping her from making it to the end?
What are you waiting for? Help Talli's novel become a Kindle Bestseller.
Don't forget to enter my caption competition, which ends midnight Saturday (GMT). Also, check out my Christmas Tales Blogfest.