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I grew up in post WWII England and even though the war had finished, I was convinced it hadn't. To say my childhood was mysterious, confusing, strange, and lonely is an understatement. I was three when I started school, which meant I had to take a five-mile bus ride from where I lived. I spent my childhood playing on the streets and in the woods, without the luxuries we now take for granted. We didn't have a car, a telephone, or a television. Not many people did where I lived. All we needed was each other and anything that we could mold into a ball. We walked everywhere. We carried groceries from the local shop. We grew our own vegetables and raised chickens for their eggs, and sad to say, Christmas dinner. We cooked on a large coal fired black cast iron fireplace. I could cook and make and light the coal fire by the time I was five. I grew up listening to Joseph Lock, and a group called the Ink-spots on 78-rpm records. I was twelve before I ate my first banana. Hanging was still in force. Parents didn't speak about anything personal, at least, not mine. I was expected to go to church and sing in the choir, which I did until my voice broke at the age of 13, whilst I was on stage and about to sing in front of the whole school. The milkman delivered milk in glass bottles, which froze in winter. The pie man came in his little blue van late at night selling pies and mushy peas. I had pillow fights with my brother, who was five years older than me. Discipline at school was very strict. Punishment for straying outside its rules was the cane or writing 500 lines - "I must not do this, or I must not do that". Is there any wonder I thought the war was still happening?
In my younger years, I was an excellent middle distance runner, and a useful squash and soccer player.
I moved to Australia where I spent thirty seven years, before moving back to live in England.
Now, as well as writing, I have a passion for photography and travel, and keep fit bike riding, walking and swimming.
I honed my technical writing skills working as an electrical and mechanical engineer.
But in January 2002, my writing career took a dramatic change when I found a hidden passion to write short stories. A few stories and awards later, I started writing poetry. Since then, I have had numerous poems published, four of which have won the "Editors Choice Award" in America.
I started writing my first novel, “The Urban Soldier,” in 2002. But it was a slow process and it took a while before it reached the Publisher’s desk and was released in paperback.
I said at the time I wouldn't write another novel. But the reviews for my 1st novel were excellent, and this encouraged me to write another, and it wasn't long before I'd finished my 2nd novel, "The Prime Ministers Rival", which I published with "Smashwords" in 2013.
Then I set about compiling "Twilight" a book of my short stories, and "Atmospheric" a book of my award winning poetry and published these two books with "Smashwords" in August 2013.
My 3rd novel, "Lost in Transit", was published with "Smashwords" in late April 2014. It's a true story based around one man's quest to unravel his confused mind and find love. But it won't be an easy task to solve his confusion and love is hidden in the one place he never thought to look.
Next I wrote a novella of roughly 13000 words. It's a humorous romp of a story titled "Penelopes Wedding" and is available FREE from Smashwords.
I've also written "Fast Track Your Novel" and published this with "Smashwords". This book contains a comprehensive, easy to follow guide into the art of writing novels. As well as being packed with ideas for stories and characters, inside this book you will discover numerous techniques needed to write a successful novel, including, the art of story weaving, how to tantalize the reader, and how to write a skeleton plot of a novel in 30 minutes.
Learning the art of writing stories, and improving my writing knowledge and style is very important to me. Subsequently, I have undertaken numerous creative writing courses, entered various writing competitions and been a member of several writing groups.
When I first started writing stories, my writing was less structured. I wrote by freehand for a while, but soon began using a computer and "Microsoft Word". Eventually, I developed a more structured approach to my writing, and used "'Microsoft Excel" spreadsheets to store my library of story elements. Then I began developing a skeleton plot of my story, which I finished off with specialized writing software. I still use my specialized software, but now I use my book "Fast Track Your Novel" to help me create a skeleton plot of the story and look up the multitude of tips and ideas that are in this book.
I have started to write two stories.
One story is based in Bombay, at the time India's Political Leaders are debating and arguing about the country's future independence. One party wants to form a dominion. The Muslims don't, they want a separate country, Pakistan, and threaten trouble if they don't get it. Trouble starts on the 14th of August 1946. Muslims attack Hindus and Sikhs. Hindus and Sikhs retaliate and soon, the streets are running like rivers of blood. Nowhere is safe, not even inside homes and buildings, and hiding in Bombay's notorious slums, a vulnerable Hindu mother is desperately trying to save her illegitimate Anglo/Hindu child from the angry mobs.
The other story is a detective story, containing a murder case, which our Detective Inspector (DI) can solve, and another, which he can't, and our DI has one terrible secret, which only he and the deranged killer knows. What the killer does at the end of the story is beyond imagination and brings a curse our DI will have to live with for the rest of his tormented life.
For additional information about my writing, please visit my 'Google Web-site', or look me up on "Twitter", and "Facebook".
Regards and best wishes from Maurice Northmore (author)
on June 19, 2014 :
Having read several of Maurice Northmoors’s previous books I decided to take a look at one of his non-fiction works, namely his approach to writing a novel.
‘Fast track your novel’ is an excellent read and resource for the novice writer pondering over their first novel, as well as providing a lot of useful and interesting pointers for the more experienced writer. Much of the general advice contained is equally applicable to other forms of creative writing such as the short story and script writing. One of the things I liked most about this book is that the author doesn’t try to tell the reader how to write or impose any particular style or technique when it comes to the actual writing itself, but simply aims to guide and assist. There are several chapters dealing with some of the technical aspects of writing, i.e. explanations of points of view, structure and its different forms, pace, and ‘hooks’ to keep the reader’s attention, to name but a few. One of the strongest elements of the book is the author’s attention to characters and characterisation, with numerous examples of the different types of character, their respective genres, and their development, along with clear and interesting examples. This use of examples to emphasise what the author is saying is a feature throughout most the book, and really does illustrate and bring to life the points the author is making.
The individual chapters are clearly presented in an easy to follow style and format; short sharp paragraphs, with much of the text supported by easily remembered lists and bullet points, which make for a very quick and easy style of reading. At no point till did I feel it a chore to read through the content, which I’ve often found to be the case with other non-fiction works, where overly long tracts of text barely give the reader to stop and pause for thought. Never having read a book of this sort before, how this book compares to other similarly themed books I can’t say, but what I can say is that upon reading it, I came away with a wealth of ideas and pointers for the future, and with a lot more knowledge and confidence for when I decide to write a novel of my own.
There is much more I could say in praise regarding the content but to do so would require writing beyond the scope of a simple review. In conclusion then, would reading this book enable just anyone to write a novel? No, but assuming you already possess a certain degree of writing skill and imagination, it will provide much of the theory and framework of writing a novel, saving the prospective author many hours, days, and weeks learning of by trial and error. Money well spent...
(reviewed the day of purchase)