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3 Simple Ways to Create a Successful Blog

Ever wonder why your blog is languishing with a mere 50 hits a day despite all your kick ass content and awesome, well constructed musings? Well fear not! Just follow these three steps and you’ll be enjoying bandwidth issues and server crashes in no time!

Step 1. Stick up a picture of Robert Pattinson.

r patIt’s just that simple! Seriously, take a look at my stats, BP and AP – And yeah I know they’re pants, but, I believe the more erudite amongst us should be able to extrapolate.

  • Before Pattinson – 15 hits per day mainly from the missus and next door neighbour.
  • After Pattinson – 250 per day.

As you can no doubt discern, that’s a twentyfold increase off just one picture. It stands to reason that putting up 655 pictures of R-Pat (especially ones where he’s looking particularly vampirey) will result in a minimium of 163, 750 hits per day.

Now, admittedly most of those hits will be down to horny teenage twilight fans doing Google searches for “Robert Pattinson moody,” or “Sexy Vampire Robert,”  which I’m guessing is not exactly your target audience (well unless you’re gunning for the cream of the literati) but hey it’s a start right?

Step 2. Once you have enough Robert Pattinson pictures to be generating 163, 750 hits per day its time to take it up a notch.  Yup, that’s right, time to talk about how much you’re loving Game of Thrones.

Game of ThronesUnfortunately actually talking about something is a bit more involved than prowling for pictures of R-Pat – it actually requires a modicum of writing ability. But, hey isn’t that what blogging is supposed to be about anyway? Besides, today’s skilful blogger can always find ways around actually attempting to analyse the intricacies of GRRM’s plot by simply talking about the Game of Thrones TV series instead. Score!!

(N.B)  Repeatedly mention HBO’s tendancy to overdo the sex scenes, and fire up at least a half dozen pictures of cast members refering to how perfectly suited they are to their respective roles. (HINT) Focus particularly on:

Tyrion Game of ThronesDany

Dany Targaryen Jon Snow

Jon Snowand Sansa

Sansa StarkYou can mix Sansa up with Arya if you want to keep people on their toes, oh, and while you’re at it if you accidently slip in another pic of Robert Pattinson looking particularly pale and Vampire-like no harm done.

vampire pattinsonStep 3. If after having done all the above you still haven’t reached the million a day mark don’t lose hope! There is one final uber trick in the bag … Write a crappy blog post with a title something along the lines of “3 simple ways to create a successful blog” Post a link to it up on twitter, sit back and enjoy the show!

Don’t follow the trends, set them.


Historical fiction? Tut tut … why aren’t you writing about sexually oppressed vampires?

The other day somebody asked me what genre I’m writing. The conversation went something like this …

Me:  Ancient Egyptian historical fiction.

Fellow writer: Historical Fiction? … Oh, that will cut down your audience. Are there vampires in it? Vampires are popular right now.

Me: Uh, no, my Ancient Egyptian Historical Fiction doesn’t have vampires in it.

Fellow Writer: You should probably rewrite it to include vampires, or if not vampires at least some Time Travel. Time Travel sells well with Historical Fiction.

Me: Yes, I think vampires and time travel will definitely add some unexpected twists to the plot.

Fellow Writer: You should also look at government conspiracies and cover ups. Downtrodden masses rebelling against powerful governments are the in thing …


Yup, looks like I’ve been approaching this all wrong. There’s no vampires, no space aliens, no time travel, no plane crashes on weird islands where sentient  black smoke randomly attacks people for no apparent reason, no reality TV game shows where my characters are hunted down by three eyed super mutants wielding ZX745 plasma riffles …

What I need to do is check out what’s ‘like really popular right now’ and then join the flock of people writing slightly different versions of the same thing.

Sure, I may have powerful, deep characters, a twisting plot, war, love, revenge, jealousy, even a little religious controversy that would likely get the pope’s pretiosa in a twist, but I forgot the sexually oppressed vampires. Dang! Looks like there’s another rewrite coming!



Pulling Your Hair Out

Writing does not come easily to me. There isn’t a single page, paragraph, or phrase in Shiri that I haven’t mulled over to the point of distraction. Maybe some people can just pull great prose out of … well wherever, but for me, for every ‘good’ line there are three discarded lines that will never see the light of day.

I’ve rewritten the same two paragraphs in the prologue of the sequel I’m working on now something like twenty times in the last two days and I’m still not happy with it. I thought I had it right there yesterday, but then concluded that no, it was pants. So I cut the whole thing, rewrote it, frowned, slashed that, went back to what I had before, remembered why I hadn’t liked that, rewrote it again, was certain I’d nailed it, stepped back, looked at it again, swore and cursed and tore the whole thing up and started again from scratch.

A day in the life of an author

Now, firing up a few quick thoughts on a blog ain’t exactly the same thing, and what I’m doing here is not so much polishing and perfecting to the point of insanity, as simply tidying up, but still – here’s proof that I’m not lying …

I don’t think writing is something that comes easily to me

Writing is not something that comes easily to me

Writing does not come easily to me.


In fact I can’t think of a single page,

In fact there isn’t a single page,

There isn’t a single page,


but for me, for every ‘good’ line that you see on one of my pages there are likely three

but for me, for every ‘good’ line that you see, there are likely three

but for me, for every ‘good’ line, there are three


Yup, in case you haven’t realised, editing is simply the art of cutting out the crap (and you can quote me on that.)

Oh and by the way, to paraphrase Mr. Shaw – I’m sorry this post is so long, I didn’t have time to make it shorter.


The Musings of D.S. Taylor

As I trekked through a wilderness of prose that somehow became a novel, I arrived at some conclusions about writing. Creating a novel is a journey, and just as the characters within that journey grow, so too does the author. If the same person who wrote the first page writes the last, you’re not doing it right.

So crack open my skull and steal my thoughts … pretentious though it may be to claim as much, if you’re a writer, I believe what you’ll find may have some worth.


Good authors write of what they love. Bad authors write what they believe others will love.

Write it, read it, cut it. Then write it again.

No great author was ever born in a creative writing class. The only way to learn to write, is to write.

If in doubt cut.

Give a character ambition, but don’t tell him how to fulfil it. Just sit back and let him take you where he will.

Good isn’t good enough.

Story is nothing, characters are everything.

Sometimes your eraser produces better prose than your pen.

Write like you fight. Your readers are your foes. To stand triumphant on the battlefield you must hit those foes hard, you must hit them fast and you must hit them often.

If you don’t spend your days either writing, or thinking about writing, don’t tell me you want to be an author.

Never let morality get in the way of a good story. If the bad guy kills the good guy, so be it.

“I’m suffering from writers block,” is the succinct, way of saying “I’d rather have a pint and relax in front of the telly, than sit down and do some work.”

A critic cannot create a diamond, only point to its flaws.

See an adjective, cut an adjective.

The line between terrible and terrific is often thinner than the line between good and mediocre.

Write a page. Turn that page into a paragraph. Reduce that paragraph to a line. Telling a good story is not about how much you write, but how much you cut.

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