Tag Archives: Humour

Purposes For Which Dragons Seem Ideal But Are In Fact Useless

1) Cooking. They burn everything.

2) Home Protection. They deter most burglars on sight, but legitimate tradesmen also. The one alarm your insurance  provider won’t give you a discount on your premium.

3) Airline. Quite turbulent to travel on as the critter keeps snapping at its handler.  Particularly unpleasant to sit in the front rows.

4) Bodyguard. Nobody messes with you if you have a dragon by your side, but they aren’t exactly discrete and won’t fit into most houses without tremendous alterations.

5) Matchmaking.  The demands of dragon slaying doesn’t leave much time for other interests. Being good at slaughtering them doesn’t make you an ideal spouse for their prisoners. While all you want to talk about is dragons and how to kill them, they want to avoid the topic altogether for the rest of their lives.

6) Banking. Sure, your money is safe. Dragons don’t tend to mess with dodgy financial instruments. But, where is the interest? And attempting to withdraw part of your savings can be a nightmare.

7) Defrosting the car. Best avoided unless your vehicle is made of asbestos.

8) Demolition. They are simply too good at this. You might want a wall removed, but they’ll tear down the whole house.

Advice On Farming In A Fantasy Secondary World

1. Don’t be a farmer. Particularly if you are in no way jolly, lovable or quaint. You are likely to die.

2. Be ready to run if monsters attack or heroes start talking about the necessity of bravery.

3. Chosen ones are dangerous to adopt. If a mysterious baby is left on your doorstep, drop it over to your neighbour’s house, knock on the door, and run.

4. Make sure that you use the most advanced farm technology that the anachronisms in your secondary world allow.

5. Don’t waste your money on unicorns. They are lovely to look at but aren’t much good at pulling a plough.

6. Have a good pest management plan in place for rodents, foxes, wolves, and orcs.

7. Your choice of crop should be maize. If your winter store is hit by dragon fire, you can still eat the resulting popcorn.


Click Bait

There are a lot of good on-line articles on writing and publishing, but there are some not-so-good ones also. Nothing is more annoying than coming across a tweet with a link to say The Three Key Things You Must Know Before You Publish only to find when you click on the article tells you absolutely nothing of any use. Or, like Fifty-Five Short Story Competitions for Jack Russell Owners, the article turns out to be just a list of links, half of which don’t work, with a disclaimer at the bottom that the author isn’t entirely sure that these are short story competitions or that the organizers like dogs.

With that in mind I’ve written my own bait click article.

Ten Critical Things You Must Do To Write A Book:

(1) Breathe. Dead people cannot write a book.

(2) Open your eyes. Otherwise, you cannot see what you are writing.

(3) Have an original idea. It can be fiction or non-fiction. Non-fiction is generally truer than fiction.

(4) Have something on which to record your story. Examples include word processors, blank pages, vellum, papyrus, and clay tablets.

(5) Use the appropriate tool to record your story. For example, pens and quills work well for blank pages, but not for tablets and computer screens.

(6) Write in a language you understand.

(7) Make sure you understand the concepts of ‘book’ and ‘novel’. Check them out on Wikipedia.

(8) Read lots of books about writing and publishing. You can find these books in book shops and on-line stores. They will cost money, but they are worth it if you want to build a successful career.

(9) Get a dictionary. If you don’t know what this is, look it up.

(10) Read my book as a good example of how the finished product should look. It’s cheap and it’s on sale at Amazon, Smashwords, Kobo, Itunes, etc. There’s even a paperback.

DISCLAIMER: The author of this article does not maintain that this is an exhaustive list of steps, or that all steps listed are required in every case to write a book. The order of the steps is not prescriptive. The reader should do his/her own research.


The Ten Steps To Being A Really Slow Writer

Often writers post about how to write faster. However, someone who knows I am a slow writer asked for advice on how to emulate my speed. “Why are you such a slow writer?” he said.

Most writers cite distraction as the primary cause of slowness. Antisocial media together with the daily grind of work and household chores can all swallow up your writing time. But that is too easy. Anyone can do that. You never even have to sit in front of your word processor to never sit in front of your word processor.

The true master can be slow without any distraction whatsoever.

The answer isn’t found in the technology of writing either. Unless you use a quill…and you prepare quills one at a time…plucking each feather from a live fowl after chasing it to exhaustion. Technology is all about speed. It wants to record your thoughts before you ever have them. A bad workman blames his tools. A slow workman cannot depend on his tools for his slowness.

A writer must find his slowness in his own soul.

These are my steps for slow writing.

1) Stare at the blank screen till your mind is empty, and you have become one with the blankness.

2) Try to think of the best sentence ever written. Feel the impossible burden of such a lofty goal.

3) Write sentence. Obsess over every word. Check spelling of every word. Check grammar.

4) Delete line because it isn’t the best line ever.

5) Repeat steps 2-4 till your goal naturally slips to the best line you can write. Then do Step 3 and skip on to Step 6.

6) Reread what you have already written.

7) Write new sentence. Obsess over every word. Check spelling of every word. Check grammar.

8) Reread what you have already written.

9) Compare new line to your old stuff. If it is not as good, delete.

10) Repeat Steps 6-9.

Of course, you may fear that you will still make too much progress. It might take less than a decade to write your book. Don’t panic!

In effect, this is exactly like a painter painting one dot at a time, working across the canvas over and over from the top right hand corner to the bottom left hand corner, obsessing about every detail but never looking at the bigger picture. While each individual part might sparkle, the sum of the parts might be a little wonky. So time to revise. Plenty of opportunity to delete all those perfect sentences and replace them with new lines that you can obsess over!