October Newsletter

October Words.

1. Recent goings-on

Hello! Winter has come. Well, actually it’s autumn – basically not Summer, though. Although we have had a bit of an Indian Summer in the UK.

2. For the Misfortune fans

The characters are taking over. Thank goodness for writing.

3. For the Daydreamers

The words people use, in fiction and in real life, reveal a lot about them.

“All speech acts are goal-oriented.” That phrase lodged itself in my brain during a linguistics lecture I once attended.

Every thing we say, each word selection, is ultimately to achieve some kind of goal. I find this idea useful when writing dialogue.

When a fictional character speaks there is a pool of alternative words they can to dip into to achieve a particular effect.
Let’s say they are talking about children. They could choose use a variety of descriptions – for instance kid, brat, squirt, rugrat, tyke, urchin or munchkin.
Each choice has a different psychological effect – brat, for instance, has negative connotations – it implies a child is badly behaved.

The selection of the words is being used to achieve a desired effect, or goal.
Of course a character can choose to speak in a responsible, measured, neutral way. But if they are angry, sad or manipulative there are plenty of charged words to scoop out of the vocabulary pool.

4. Wishing you well this October. Thanks for reading.

Website/blog https://henryandersonbooks.com
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Interviewed at the Drovers Gap

Interviewed at the Drovers Gap by the charming Henry Mitchell, who reads and writes in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Northern Carolina. Henry to Henry…


Picture from Henry’s Website


February 25, 2021

I read Henry Anderson’s new novel, Cape Misfortune II, in a day. I can’t remember the last time I did that. It was hard to put down, even for dinner. I skipped dessert.

We had a Henry to Henry conversation across the water (via email), about his new book, and writing in general. Here’s what we talked about:

Continue reading “Interviewed at the Drovers Gap”

Words for Mud, Ray Bradbury, Catherine Crowe.

Catherine Crowe
  1. Recent goings on.

Hello. It’s February 2021.  As I type this the rain is beating on the conservatory roof. Nearly all the paths around where I live are thick mud. Other words for mud, incidentally, include slobber, slabber, slutch, and lutulence, according to the Oxford English Dictionary. 

Continue reading “Words for Mud, Ray Bradbury, Catherine Crowe.”

Edgar Allan Poe’s Less Successful First Detective.

Edgar Allan Poe

It is often claimed Edgar Allan Poe invented the modern detective story in “The Murder in the Rue Morgue.”

When the character of C. Auguste Dupin first appeared in 1841, the word detective did not yet exist.

Continue reading “Edgar Allan Poe’s Less Successful First Detective.”

Sheridan Le Fanu’s “Green Tea” and The Horror of Psychological Horror

Illustration from Sheridan Le Fanu’s “Green Tea,” by Edward Ardizzone.

There are no monsters in real-life, right? No ghosts, vampires or werewolves? So to avoid being laughed at some supernatural writers choose to go down the psychological route.

Continue reading “Sheridan Le Fanu’s “Green Tea” and The Horror of Psychological Horror”