Coffee Break Read – Pleasing The King

Coffee Break Read – Pleasing The King

Working Title Blogspot

A flash fiction by E.M. Swift-Hook. You can listen to this on YouTube.

She let the slave girl brush out her hair so it lay like a shimmering black veil down her back and blinked as the over-strong perfumed oils caught in her nostrils. The king was ageing and his sense of smell fading. Alas, little else of his senses did so.
She took the walk from her cloistered seraglio to his bedchamber with the same heavy sense of foreboding that she carried with her every night. She did not need the sly, pitying looks from the other women – each waiting her turn for the same honour. But as long as she still lived, they were safe.
She reached the doors of the bedchamber and the two armoured men who guarded them stepped aside and pushed them open so she could go in – alone. The sound…

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The Real Tower of Babel

The Real Tower of Babel

Nicholas C. Rossis

“Now the whole world had one language and a common speech. As people moved eastward, they found a plain in Shinar and settled there. They said to each other, “Come, let’s make bricks and bake them thoroughly.” They used brick instead of stone, and tar for mortar. Then they said, “Come, let us build ourselves a city, with a tower that reaches to the heavens, so that we may make a name for ourselves; otherwise we will be scattered over the face of the whole earth.

But the Lord came down to see the city and the tower the people were building. The Lord said, “If as one people speaking the same language they have begun to do this, then nothing they plan to do will be impossible for them. Come, let us go down and confuse their language so they will not understand each other.”

So the Lord scattered…

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A Long Hiatus

A Long Hiatus

Nicholas C. Rossis

I swear, I didn’t plan on disappearing for this long. It was only when I saw that my last blog was published two months ago, on August 3rd, that I realized how time had flown by. However, I couldn’t not share a little gem I came across today as I was buying food for our new cat.

Oh yes, we now have a new cat, following Perro’s and Basta’s demise. He’s almost all black, with the exception of a white patch on his throat and one on his tummy. Since he has an uncanny ability to hide in the shadows and jump out startling us, his name, appropriately enough is Boo. Or Crazy Boo as he’s, well, nuts.

Mary Nathalie and Boo | From the blog of Nicholas C. Rossis, author of science fiction, the Pearseus epic fantasy series and children's books
Mary Nathalie and Boo

So, what prompted us to get a new cat? It was the devastating wildfires that reached almost 100 yards from our home. Which were fed by the…

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Pixar’s Screenwriting Tips

Pixar’s Screenwriting Tips

Nicholas C. Rossis

In my last post, I discussed how to create memorable characters the Pixar way. This one has some more writing tips from No Film School. This one includes several tweets from Director and Pixar storyboard artist Emma Coats (@lawnrocket). I hope you find them useful!

Pixar's rules for writing | From the blog of Nicholas C. Rossis, author of science fiction, the Pearseus epic fantasy series and children's books

Character tips

  • Coincidences to get characters into trouble are great; coincidences to get them out of it are cheating.
  • You admire a character for trying more than for their successes.
  • What is your character good at; comfortable with? Throw the polar opposite at them. Challenge them. How do they deal?
  • Give your characters opinions. Passive/malleable might seem likable to you as you write, but it’s poison to the audience.
  • If you were your character, in this situation, how would you feel? Honesty lends credibility to unbelievable situations. What would make YOU act that way?
  • What are the stakes? Give us a…

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Change Matters: How to Write Stories that Grip Readers & Don’t Let Go – Written By Kristen Lamb

Change Matters: How to Write Stories that Grip Readers & Don’t Let Go – Written By Kristen Lamb

Writer's Treasure Chest

Thank you so much, Kristen Lamb, for another educational blog post on how to write stories properly and keep the reader interested. We all appreciate your hard work!

Change is one of those concepts that gets a mixed reaction. Depending on personality and/or age group, change could be welcomed…or greeted with a metaphorical shotgun at the metaphorical door. While change is necessary for all living things to grow and thrive, plants have proven far more open to this notion than people.

I’m betting it’s because plants don’t overthink everything…unless they’re orchids which are high-maintenance and die while writing bad haiku (if they had hands and pen and paper).

Existential plants have a far tougher time, unlike weeds. Weeds just roll with anything that comes their way, and that’s why we can pour concrete over them and it’s no big deal. They simply mumble to the nearby crabgrass, “Hold my beer…

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Writing Rules vs. Writing Fashion: Should Writers Follow Fashion Trends? – Written by Anne R. Allen

Writing Rules vs. Writing Fashion: Should Writers Follow Fashion Trends? – Written by Anne R. Allen

Writer's Treasure Chest

Fashion. It sounds frivolous, but it has serious effects on us all.

Right now, women are getting beard-burn from kissing men who sport the fashionable romantic-hero three-day stubble. And mothers are stifling their disappointment when their golden-haired boys get the fashion-victim shaved-sides hairdo that makes them look like a cross between Kim Jong Un and the Last of the Mohicans.

And have pity on the people over 40 who are hunched over their computers trying to decipher text from the latest fashion in web design: a tiny, palest-gray font on a white background.

Alas, fashion favors the young.

Writing fashion is hard on us too. Fashion dictates a good deal of what gets published these days, and it’s constantly changing. Write like Thackery, Kipling, or Walter Scott and you’re unlikely to find a publisher or an audience. That’s because writing fashions have radically changed in the last two hundred years…

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Surprisingly Progressive Pirates

05 Friday Mar 2021
Posted by Nicholas C. Rossis in Fun Historical Facts

As a kid, when I thought of pirates I dreamed of absolute freedom with plenty of swashbuckling.

When I grew up, I realized that pirates were bloodthirsty savages who deserved to be strung for their unforgivable crimes against countless civilians. So terrible was their presence in the Mediterranean that until last century parents would leave inland plots to their sons and coastal ones to their daughters, as the latter had practically no value (with the advent of tourism, of course, these girls’ descendants became rich).

So, I was surprised to discover today that, for a brief moment in history between the 17th-18th century, a golden age of piracy burst into life against all odds and burned bright for a century.

Talking about the book: Captain Moxley and the Embers of the Empire by Dan Hanks — Charlene Newcomb

Title: Captain Moxley and the Embers of the EmpireAuthor: Dan Hanks A bit about the author ‘I’m a writer and editor based in the rolling green hills of the Peak District with my human family and fluffy sidekicks Indy and Maverick. Repped by Sara Megibow of KT Literary, I’m also one of the co-founders of the OcTBR Challenge, and write books, screenplays […]

Talking about the book: Captain Moxley and the Embers of the Empire by Dan Hanks — Charlene Newcomb

How to write a logline for your novel — Nail Your Novel

What’s a logline? It’s a sentence or two that illuminates the main theme or story question. Sometimes it’s included on the cover, but not always. Sometimes a subtitle performs the same function as a logline – not so much with novels, but common with non-fiction, memoir and even short stories. Even if you don’t intend […]

How to write a logline for your novel — Nail Your Novel