Tag Archives: Wish

Free on Amazon: The Origami Dragon and Other Tales and Wish by C.H. Aalberry

It’s no secret that I enjoy the writing of C. H Aalberry. You can read my review of his YA fantasy novel Wish here.  Now is a brilliant time to download Wish or his wonderful book of short stories The Origami Dragon and Other Tales – they are currently absolutely free on Kindle! Origami

WishThe Origami Dragon is really rather special- darker than Wish in some ways, the intelligent mix of compelling characterisation, fantasy and science fiction is original and engaging. From tiny elephants to inter-stellar travel, the collection has surprising twists and charming moments. The author has a gift for intriguing anti-heroes and bringing the dark and fantastical to life. There’s also a clever intertwining intertextuality throughout.

Get yourself some quality, entertaining literature while it’s free! Also,  look out for stunning use of spelling, grammar and punctuation in both. Come for the plot, stay for the syntax!

Read another review of Wish from the estimable Adam P Reviews. His overview is simply excellent!

Read C. H Aalberry’s advice for writers struggling with writer’s block.

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Writer’s Block

A guest post by the fantastic author, C.H. Aalberry

My best ideas never seem to make it down onto paper. I walk home with my head full of pictures and witty dialogues, but as soon as I sit down to capture them, they evaporate. Getting ideas onto paper is hard, and that blank sheet can be intimidating. There may be rare times when words pour out faster than you can get them down, but what about the times when you sit in front of your computer and can’t think of what to do next? 

Don’t misunderestimate your own potential: if George can make it to the Whitehouse, you can write a novel.

Don’t misunderestimate your own potential: if George can make it to the White House, you can write a novel.

Writer’s block. It affects all writers eventually, particularly during first drafts. Writing is an act of creation that is easily derailed. So, what can be done to solve this dilemma? Here are eight tips I use when I get stuck:

1)      Start somewhere, start anywhere. Write what comes easiest. It doesn’t have to be the next chapter or even the next paragraph in the story, because as long as you are writing you are making progress. If you have any ideas floating around that you know you want to include, nail them down and put them in order later. I write a few key chapters first, which gives me some idea of where the story is going. Maybe start with a description of a character or a place: it may not be included in the final product, but it could start you off.

 2)      Don’t panic if it’s not perfect. You write a few lines. They are rubbish. You want to give up. Don’t. The point of a first draft is that you are creating the raw material for your second draft, so don’t worry if it seems rough.

I bet that even the Bard had poor writing days, and he turned out OK.

I bet that even the Bard had poor writing days, and he turned out OK.

3)      Change the scene. Try writing at your local library or cafe. A change of location can nudge you into action. Load everything onto an online drop box and you can carry on from wherever you are in the world (except for North Korea).

4)      Talk it out. I find talking about my work out loud helps me work out a direction and a few key phrases to get me started. No one to talk to? No worries! Talk aloud to yourself- all the creative types does it (note: best avoid mixing this step with step 3).

 5)      Put some pressure on. Tell your pal or your partner or your parrot that you will have five hundred words written by the end of the day… it’s an incentive to get started because if you don’t that parrot will judge you forever. 

Parrots: beautiful, but surprisingly judgemental.

Parrots: beautiful, but surprisingly judgemental

 6)      Take some pressure off. Go for a walk. It may not help your writing, but at least you’ll be getting some exercise. Also, inspiration is more likely to strike when you are relaxed, so get out there and smell the roses.

7)      Still struggling? Get inspired. If you are spending hours in front of your computer but not producing anything then it’s time for a break! Think of it as sharpening the axe. Go to an art gallery. Look at pictures of wildlife on the internet. Learn a little something about the world. Read a short story or two (shameless plug: ‘The Origami Dragon And Other Tales’ is full of short stories guaranteed* to inspire you). Sometimes all it takes is a change of mood.

8)      Persist! Persistence is a key ingredient to writing, so keep calm and keep writing. After all, slow progress is still progress.

I hope that helps. If you have any ideas about beating writer’s block, post them in the comments, I would love to see them. Finally, remember that writer’s block is normal, but don’t let it stop you from doing what you love!

*I lie; there are no guarantees when it comes to inspiration. But the book does contain a story about tiny elephants.

C. H. Aalberry is the author of the fantasy novel ‘Wish’ and ‘The Origami Dragon And Other Tales’, a collection of short stories. 

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Wish by C.H Aalberry

WishC. H. Aalberry beautifully conjures magical lands and thrilling encounters in his debut YA fantasy novel, ‘Wish’. Shards of the shattered WishStone have granted unpredictable powers to a cast of lovely and credible characters. Dak the Warrior is a fearsome giant with swirling red tattoos, two sharp axes and an unexpectedly generous nature. He travels with Lae, who is magical, sarcastic and well-read, and their charmingly anthropomorphised scruffy dog. Their adventure to save the world from war and the necromancer and to find the secrets of the WishStone is gripping and heart-warming in equal measure. Every character that they meet is distinct and well-written.

The author is very witty and uses humour cleverly in his characterisation. Dak, for example, speaks simply, for the most part, but occasionally surprises with excellently-timed moments of wisdom. Aventur, a narcissistic shiny-haired time-travelling bard, is given some very funny lines and maxims we can all live by: ‘Fortune favours the brave of heart and clean of hair!’

I don’t often review books that I’ve edited, but I think this one is particularly special. The plot is imaginative and unpredictable, the settings are vividly drawn and the characters feel very genuine. Also, it is very cheap ($0.99) so if you like the sound of it, take a punt! Buy it on Smashwords here or on Amazon Kindle for just £0.77.   

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