Gentle Persuasion

December 4, 2018
One of the great things about the internet is that it's easier than ever to have your say about things. Put up posts on social media, blogs or reviews and potentially your views will be seen by a worldwide audience.
    However, being persuasive means doing more than firing off Tweets as the impulse takes you. Look at the derision President Trump's brought on  himself, and the ammunition he's handed to his detractors by not checking for typos. It always pays to spend a little time shaping what you write. Make it as succinct and unambiguous as possible, and be polite.
    The downside of the explosion in writing online is that there's so much of it that people don't have time to read everything. It's essential to grab their attention straight away. Pay particular attention to the opening words of your first sentence. Think how headlines can influence how readers view events simply by changing the order of the words. Here's an example:
1. Five Injured in Motorway Pile-up
2. Motorway Pile-up Injures Five
3. Pile-up Injures Five on Motorway
The first wants you to think about the shocking number hurt; the potential for tragedy. The second emphasises how dangerous the motorway is. The third focuses on the accident–caused by reckless driving, perhaps.
    Be sure your readers go away with the message you intended. Your headline or opening sentence might be the only part that the reader has time to take in–don't waste it.
 

No Need to Speculate

November 19, 2018
When I was a member of a science fiction writers' group there was always one topic that would liven up the conversation: what is science fiction? If Third Flatiron Anthologies' latest offering,Terra! Tara! Terror! had been around then we would have had plenty to wrangle over. There are SF stories with elements of fantasy or horror, fantasy with twists of SF, folktales, and myths brought up to date. In fact, there's the full range of speculative fiction in all its wonderful mutations.
    There...
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A Week in the Life

November 9, 2018
A writer's life consists of sitting in front of a computer, tapping at a keyboard and pressing 'send', doesn't it? Not quite. Even when real life such as shopping, doing the laundry and walking the dogs doesn't intervene, things are rarely so straightforward. This is how my week went from Friday 2nd to Thursday 8th November.
    As usual, I started the day on Friday by checking my emails, Facebook and Twitter pages. Even if I don't post a tweet, I like to respond to any likes and retweets, and...
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Be Counted!

October 28, 2018
Does your vote count? Did your favourite couple get voted off Strictly? Did your friends choose the worst film to download? Fear not, there are places where your voice will be heard.
    If you enjoy a book, you can give it five stars on sites like Goodreads or Amazon, and if you really want to make an author's day, you can vote for their story in a magazine or competition readers' poll. Which brings me to the Pen 2 Paper competition. This year's finalists are now online at https:www.txdisabil...
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So It's Said

October 7, 2018
Whenever I check out Twitter or Facebook I'm bound to come across a host of inspirational quotes about saving the planet, becoming a better person, the good old days–whatever subject you can think of. I confess to scrolling past most of them, but I can never resist the ones connected with writing. Here are some of my favourites, found in all sorts of places from social media and the back notes on novels to how-to websites and radio interviews.

"To hold a pen is to be at war." Voltaire

A fre...
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Count to Ten

September 30, 2018
I've had a few little irritations in the past week or two, so I wasn't best pleased when I received an email from Amazon announcing that they are amalgamating with their print company, CreateSpace.
    All paperbacks with the latter will be transferred to Amazon. Authors will find a few differences, especially if anyone has books in the process of being published. Some covers may need to be tweaked, if not replaced, if they were made with CreateSpace's cover creator. Royalties will be paid af...
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Seen and Heard

August 12, 2018
What child hasn't wanted to have stories read to them? It doesn't have to be something new, in fact children will happily listen to a favourite story over and over. That love of being told a story or read to, doesn't vanish with childhood. That's why radio and audio books are so popular.
    If you're sight impaired or have tired eyes after a day in front of a computer screen; when you're driving, washing the dishes or carrying out some other task that occupies the hands while leaving the mind...
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Brief Opportunities

July 29, 2018
There isn't much time left before the Smashwords Summer-Winter sale ends. Wait until Wednesday to make your choice and you'll be too late. No time for novels? There are plenty of books of short stories to download either at big discounts or completely free, as well.
    Take Artists and Liars, for instance. It's a collection of short stories, flash fiction and poetry–11 works in all–linked by an art theme. Do you know the difference between a collector and a connoisseur? What goes through ...
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Boomerang!

July 22, 2018
There's a school of thought that says, as soon as a story, poem or novel etc. is rejected you should send it out again. Like a boomerang, you should throw it straight back to another publisher. This is probably the best antidote to rejection, because it doesn't give you time to worry or get depressed. Your writing is your product, and as with any other business, it isn't going to enhance your reputation or improve your bank balance until you sell it.
    Those are the pros, but there are some ...
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Home Thoughts

June 30, 2018
I've just spent some time in beautiful Verona. The home of Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet, and his Two Gentlemen of Verona, it would be a poor writer who didn't find some inspiration in this city. So why, you might wonder, didn't I post a stream of Facebook bulletins and tweets while I was out there?
    The problem with being a writer is that you can't even leave a note for the milkman without wanting it to be well written. 'No milk today' might suffice for some, but what about the back stor...
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About Me


My writing career began as a freelance feature writer for the local press, businesses and organisations. Now a prize-winning playwright and short story writer, my work has appeared in numerous publications on both sides of the Atlantic. I write as K. S. Dearsley because it saves having to keep repeating my forename, and specialise in fantasy and other speculative genres.

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