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Operateur Cephalique, line engraving by Campion, 17–. Credit Wellcome Collection CC BY The Nag’s Head by Amanda Read A short horror story based on a character of French folklore targeting Enlightenment-era female empowerment. Published by Breaking Rules Publishing, Horror Magazine April 2020 Issue. Breaking Rules Publishing Horror magazine April issue. Available in eBook and Paperback. Continue Reading

Fox as Symbol

Header photo: Joachim Munter This post looks at how the fox is portrayed across cultures in folklore and myth, and how this has influenced language and literature. The fox appears in the folklore of many cultures as a trickster with a double-identity, often with magic powers and the ability to transform. Its nature, cunning yet Continue Reading

The Science of Storytelling

by Will Storr Essential resource for writers of fiction. Storr writes in an engaging and informative way, effectively interpreting the science for the layperson. He draws on research by story theorists, mythologists, anthropologists, sociologists, psychologists, neuroscientists, biologists and social genomicists to explain how stories work. Each point is amply demonstrated with examples from literature, film, Continue Reading

Stimulate your Writing

Here are some suggestions of how you can stimulate your creative writing. It is a work in progress, so check back from time to time for updates. Please bear in mind that not all the suggestions will be right for you. The list is not meant to be prescriptive: the thing is to find what Continue Reading

Editing your Manuscript

So you’ve written the last scene of your novel. Give yourself a pat on the head. Better still, give yourself a holiday – get away from your manuscript. Two weeks is good, two months even better. When you come back to it, you want to read it with fresh eyes. Read through your manuscript and Continue Reading

Learning the Craft of Writing

To improve your writing, you have to work at it. If you have the discipline to scribble away on your own, that is great. However, very many people lack the discipline, confidence, or know-how to go it alone. For those people options are available and this post attempts to cover the different kinds of offerings, Continue Reading

Heroine vs. Hero: The Journey

‘The holly and the ivy Now both are full well grown, Of all the trees that are in the wood, The holly bears the crown’ (Trad.) Ivy (Hedera helix), clinging and compliant, is associated with the feminine. Used in wreaths for weddings and Christmas, it represents everlasting fidelity,     There is a problem with Continue Reading

Magic(al) Realism: the Magic of Myth

Zeus, father of the gods, transformed his love, Io, into a cow for fear of discovery by wife, Hera. She, knowing her husband well, saw through his ruse and begged Zeus for the cow, exclaiming how beautiful it was. Hera bade Argus of the hundred eyes to watch over the cow. Desperate, Zeus sent Hermes Continue Reading

Writing Nature: Ecocriticism & Ecolinguistics Uncovered

Ginkgo biloba, Corsham Court, Wiltshire   Nature writing, that is, non-fiction or fiction prose or poetry about or inspired by nature, is no new thing. Indeed, as far back as Hippocrates (490-370 BC) people were writing about nature. But latterly, it has experienced a resurgence. The meaning of the term ‘nature writing’ has shifted such Continue Reading

Sign & Communication in the Other-than-Human World: Biosemiotic & Pragmastylistic Concepts in Literary Analysis

All living organisms interpret (make meaning of) and represent (communicate) their world through a series of signs and codes. A plant may sense a change in daylight hours (photoperiodicity) as a sign which it encodes as a prompt to initiate flower-bud formation, just as a human might sense the sign of hot weather and encode Continue Reading

Unlocking the Writer-Reader Relationship: tools and theories basics

As a creative writer, I love the use of language and enjoy receiving feedback to suggest my writing has ignited an emotional response. Sometimes, the story may only allow for a brief character sketch, but the reader reports to having in mind a very strong and well-defined picture of that character. I wonder, then, about Continue Reading

Myths: Function, Recurrence, Character Roles and Archetypes

The World Tree (axis mundi) is a mytheme or archetype which recurs in many cultures. It is a colossal tree linking heaven with earth and the underworld. In Norse mythology it appears as Yggdrasil, the Mayans called it yax imix che (Blue-Green Tree of Abundance), Buddists have the Bodhi (Bo tree). In other forms it Continue Reading