Category: Popular Fiction

6 Top Writing Tips from the Best Crime Writer of All Time

Don’t miss your chance to win your name in a Peter James novel, signed copies of Absolute Proof and more thrilling Peter James goodies! 

 

Peter James is the UK’s biggest thriller writer. With more than thirty books under his belt, which have been translated into thirty-seven languages and sold over 19 million copies, James has won countless awards, including the Best Crime Author of All Time, and has had a number of his books adapted for film, television and the stage. Suffice to say, it is not hyperbole to refer to James as one of the the most successful writers on the planet. “How has he done it?” we hear you cry. Well, luckily for you, Peter James was kind enough to provide some terrific advice to baby writers.

 

Image Via PeterJames.com

 

When asked ‘What is your advice to would-be thriller writers, or aspiring writers in general?’ James responded: 

Characters. I think that there’s an inseparable trinity in any great thriller of character, research and plot. I put them in that order deliberately, because first and foremost, we read books to find out what happens to characters we meet and engage with from the first page. They don’t have to be ‘nice’ people, but they have to engage and fascinate us. You know, Hannibal Lecter in Silence of the Lambs is not a nice character but he engages.
I put research in second position because people who read are smart. I think when we read we don’t just want to read a great story, we read because we want to learn something about human nature and the world in which we live, and I think you can tell very fast if an author doesn’t know their subject, if an author’s writing about a lawyer but they’ve clearly never sat in a lawyer’s office, or they’re writing about a gun and they’ve never held one, or someone flying a plane and they’ve never sat at the controls of a cockpit, it’s apparent. It’s understanding what you’re writing about.
Plot is obviously important, but if you don’t care about the characters, and you don’t think the author’s done their research, the plot’s not going to matter because you’re not going to read on.
So in terms of the best tips I can give you, these are:

1. Create engaging characters.

2. Research every aspect of what you are going to write.

3. Know the ending that you want to get to – I find this enormously helpful – it may change as I approach it but it gives me a vanishing point on the horizon to aim at.

4. Think of a series of high points for your book – and make sure each one is bigger than the previous one.

5. Write something 6 days a week – it is crucial to get into a flow – find an amount that you can write each day, whether is is 200 words or 2000 words, and rigidly stick to them because that will get you into a rhythm.

6. And finally… Have fun! If you enjoy writing, that will come through in the pages!

 


Want to know more about Peter James? Check out our interview with him, find him on TwitterFacebook and Instagram, and online at PeterJames.com. And don’t miss our Facebook Live interview below!

 

 

Featured Image Via Blake Friedmann / James Clarke

5 Brilliant, Bookish Things We Learned From the Super Bowl Ad Breaks

Let’s be real, the Super Bowl ads and commercials are the reasons why we watch it. Not only we are excited about upcoming films/shows, and celebrities’ funny skits to selling products, but it’s important to look at it at an educational level. According to BBC, there are seven things we learned from the Super Bowl ads.

 

  1. We learned that nursery rhyme character Bo Peep is going to have a bigger role than ever in Toy Story 4! 

 

 

2. Award winning movie writer Jordan Peele is exploring dimensions with the Twilight Zone!

 

 

3. The Handmaid’s Tale is coming back, and it’s freakier than ever!

 

 

4. Carrie Bradshaw returns…kind of?

 

 

5. Okay sorry, this isn’t book-related…in any way, shape or form but LOOK HOW CUTE!!!

 

 

 

Featured Image vIa Moviehole

Fans React to the ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ Season 3 Super Bowl Trailer

The Super Bowl advertisement for season 3 of The Handmaid’s Tale left emotions running high when it aired during the sports event of the year, yesterday.

 

 

Margaret Atwood’s dystopian novel, now hit Hulu series, explores a nightmarish future in which misogyny has taken hold, and women are enslaved. The commercial emulates the 1984 President Reagan’s re-election ad, known as ‘Morning in America,’ which begins hopeful, before taking a turn for the worse as Elizabeth Moss’s voice is heard saying ‘Wake up, America, morning’s over.’

 

The trailer’s narrator continues talking as we see flashes of peace and violence, and then the handmaids in their iconic uniforms in formation as they stood in front of the Washington Monument, which has been remodeled as a cross:

 

“Today, more women will go to work than ever before in our country’s history. This year, dozens of children will be born to happy and healthy families.”

 

The show is based on a totalitarian theocracy called the Republic of Gilead, in which women’s rights are disregarded and they are forced to reproduce. Hulu released a statement to The Wall Street Journal noting that the commercial reflects the relationship between people and power “which happens to reflect conversations taking place in today’s environment.”

 

Warren Littlefield, executive producer of The Handmaid’s Tale told USA Today that the theme of the third season is “Blessed be the fight.”

 

Margaret Atwood announced last year she was writing a sequel to the novel, The Testaments, which was met with endless enthusiasm from fans on Twitter.

 

 

The commercial left fans excited for the new season. Judging from the release date of previous seasons, it is estimated that the new season will hit screens this season.

 

Featured Image Via Conservativereview.com

7 Of The Greatest Film Adaptations Of All Time!

Award season is upon us as we root for our favorite book-based movies to take the gold! Some of these movies are still in theaters, but they won’t be for long, and that just leaves us with the duds of the off-seasons to watch.

But rather than watching any new movies that might be a complete waste of your money and time, why not watch some older movies that have stood the test of time as some of the best films to be made? For all you movie and book lovers out there, here are some of the best book to film adaptations of all time!

1. Babe (1995)

 

Image via Amazon

Written by children’s novelist Dick King-Smith in 1968, this charming tale of a little pig named Babe has inspired many to believe in the impossible and that everyone has a meaningful place in the world!

Follow Babe as he shows everyone on the farm that he is more than just bacon for breakfast, that he has a talent that will make a difference in the lives of everyone living on the farm.

 

 

 

 

2.Casino Royale(2006)

 

Image via Amazon

 

Introducing Daniel Craig as 007, this film is actually the second onscreen adaptation of Ian Fleming’s spy novel, Casino Royale, from 1953.

This one will leave you on the edge of your seat with hair-raising action and dangerously bold villains. The stakes could never be higher with this new James Bond, more charming, daring, and reckless than ever before!

 

 

 

 

3.The Birds (1963)

 

Image via Amazon

 

Directed by Alfred Hitchcock, master of horror and suspense, this 1963 film of Daphne du Maurier’s short story “The Birds” is unforgettable! With romance, mystery, and horror that will chill you to the bone, this iconic film is definitely a worthy adaptation!

 

 

 

 

4. True Grit (2010)

 

Image via Amazon

 

Taking place in the wild West of the US, this story of revenge, love, and justice will surely capture you heart and leave you on the edge of your seat! This is an exciting coming-of-age story about 14 year old Mattie Ross, who, after watching her father gunned down by an outlaw, finds the strength (and the right man) to help her seek revenge.

 

 

 

 

5. The Godfather (1972)

 

The Godfather (Mario Puzo's Mafia)

Image via Goodreads

 

Touted by critics and film fanatics alike as one of the greatest American movies every produced, The Godfather has certainly earned its spot on the list. The Godfather was originally a novel by author Mario Puzo, published in 1969. The gripping crime saga chronicles the bloodstained power struggle of the Mafia family the Corleones.

 

 

 

 

6. Schindler’s List (1993)

 

Image via Amazon

 

Originally entitled Schindler’s Ark, this historical piece, which was written by Thomas Keneally in 1982, centers around one of the most heinous events to happen in human history: the Holocaust. The film resonates with everyone who sees it, and was especially difficult for Director Steven Spielberg to film as he had family members involved in the Holocaust.

Artfully illustrating the suffering of the Jewish community, the political conflicts of the time, and one man’s point of view that saved the lives of millions, Spielberg encapsulates Keneally’s vision. An absolute masterpiece!

 

 

 

 

7. The Princess Bride (1987)

 

The Princess Bride

Image via Goodreads

 

Originally written by William Goldman back in the 1973, The Princess Bride is a timeless classic for all ages. Beloved for its charming characters, witty humor, thrilling action, and one of the most endearing love stories, this film brings Goldman’s work to life in the most fantastic of ways!

 

 

 

These are some truly marvelous films that I’m sure the original authors can say they are proud of. Since all of the films listed are such thrills to see, so, if you’re able, go see them as soon as possible!

 

Featured Image via grcmc.org

image via slash film

Daniel Radcliffe Reveals Harry Potter Filming Secret

Recently, J.K. Rowling has taken to Twitter to give us all the insider Harry Potter information we could ever want… whether we wanted it or not. Now, Daniel Radcliffe has joined in, and he’s decided to spill some magical behind-the-scenes info to the loyal Potterheads of the Internet. 

Radcliffe and fellow actor Karan Soni both spoke about the infamous Harry Potter movies, and Soni let a brand-new secret slip: most of the younger cast had to wear prop teeth while filming.

Since filming began for Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone back in 2001, the younger cast members were only eleven years old. This made them the perfect age for losing their teeth baby teeth… which, of course, made directors looking for consistent shots lose their minds. The cast figured out a creative way around the missing teeth: making the younger cast members all wear prop teeth while their real ones fell out. 

 

Younger and older Daniel Radcliffe

Image Via NME

 

In an interview for their new show Miracle Workers, Soni explained the logic:

When they were doing the earlier movies, because their teeth were falling out, they would have a cast made of all their teeth. So that if one fell out, they could have a prop tooth put in. Just so they could keep filming.

Radcliffe added, “cause you’ve got a set full of twenty 10-year-olds… they would cast everyone’s mouths.”

When this inside secret was revealed, it was met with a much more positive response than the previous secret revealed a month back (that Hogwarts had no plumbing and wizards vanished the evidence of their bathroom accidents). This secret makes the movies all the more interesting!

 

Young Harry Potter cast members smiling with their fake teeth

Harry Potter cast members smiling with their (probably fake) teeth
Image Via Elite Daily

 

Next time you watch a Harry Potter movie, will you be able to tell which are props and which are real teeth? 

 

Featured image Via Slash Film