Tuesday, 19 August 2014

Writing - Don't believe everything your told!

I can remember my father often saying that you shouldn't believe everything your told. He trotted out this mantra on many occasions when governments made claims or stories appeared in the press that had the potential for spurious content. Today a couple of such tales have hit the news in the UK.

This is purely political. Today the rail network fixes ticket prices for the next 12 months. The price increase is set by the government to be inflation plus 1%. There are a couple of significant and spurious facts in this action. 

First of all inflation rate. We have been told for the last couple of years that inflation has never been more than 2% but last year the calculation for the price of rail tickets was supposedly 3.4%! It will be interesting to see what the government comes up with today.

Secondly, when British rail was privatised the British people were told that privatisation would mean greater investment that would improve services and drive down prices. To say that was spurious is wishy-washy it was a downright lie. In fact there was a recent example when the private companies running the east coast part of the service failed and it was taken over by the government it turned a profit for the first time since privatisation. What have the government done? Re-privatised the line - stupid or what?

Julian Assange is reportedly to come out of the Ecuadorean embassy where he has been hiding for 2 years to escape extradition to Sweden where he is wanted on sex related charges. He of course was the Wikileaks founder. This man, irrespective of some of the good he may have done has cost the people of the UK £7 million in costs for policing the embassy so that he couldn't escape.

Writing fiction is not unlike writing articles for the newspapers. If you are sceptical about the quality of writing thrust at you in various forms, remember even TV news is written and simply read from an Autocue teleprompter machine, take a story read it in two different newspapers and compare with TV news. It is blatantly sensationalist and edited to give a 'better affect' and so increase circulation or viewing numbers. It is not as factual as you should be entitled to.

When you create stories you can manipulate words to achieve a given end and the only limit is the stretch of your imagination. We ask our readers to believe what we are telling them but they read our work knowing that it is a creation of another's mind. The news we are fed should be factual and not a source of entertainment.

Okay, political rant over. I was reading some advice about marketing books specific to stories written as part of a series. The advice was simple and obvious when you think about it. 

'Push the first book in a series'

'I Have To Get It Right' is the first book in the Steele series. It was the first full length novel I have written and so is not as polished as the later ones. (I'm not saying they are perfect!) On the other hand it is the one where Patrick A Steele is introduced and the scene set for the future novels. I'm currently over half way through number 7.

If you like thrillers, adventure, travel and more then Steele could be right up your street. I have been told twice recently that my stories would make great TV. Give them a try. There are samples to read on Smashwords and CompletelyNovel.com as well as in Amazon Kindle.

On VG today.

God Bless