Raymond G. Taylor
Author based in Kent, England. A writer of fictional short stories in a wide range of genres, he has been a non-fiction writer since the 1980s. Non-fiction subjects include art, history, technology, business, law, and the human condition.
Learning to fly
It was a crisp Autumn afternoon as I drove past the airport building and around to the side road where the private aircraft were kept. Biggin Hill Airport is a former RAF base just outside of London and you could still see some of the wartime barracks and the airmen’s chapel beside the more modern air terminal. I wasn’t interested in any of that. I was there for a flying lesson. My first ever flying lesson. An 18th birthday present from Mum and Dad.
This week's reviews ONE
I love to review books and love to read short stories. To date, I have only reviewed books but I thought it would be nice to have some brief reviews of a few of the wonderful short stories posted here. There are so many to choose from that I have simply chosen some recent ones and given my own one-liner views. Please don’t take my word for it, though, go visit the authors and check their stories out for yourself. Please leave encouraging comments. While you are at it, please take a look at some of my stories and do let me know what you think. I write on a wide range of subjects, themes, and genres. Just for fun, I have included one of my 100-word stories, or drabbles, at the end of this review. Please let me know what you think.
Dark clouds gather - part two
Continued from part one: As Spaemann arrived home, he saw the jeweled case lying on the table, his black cat, Trinity, curled up before it. The ornate tooled-leather case was a thing of great beauty, adorned with swirling silverwork of breathtaking artistry and encrusted with every shade of gemstone. He marveled as he lifted the lid to reveal the Sword of Avalon.
This week's reviews FOUR
Each week (or whenever I feel like it) I review a choice selection of some of the best fiction and other short stories and episodes to be found in Vocal communities. If you would like me to review one of yours, please let me know by commenting at the end of this article.
How not to plot
Thinking up the plot for a story seldom comes easy and it is sometimes a struggle to dream up something that will captivate the reader. The following is from the author C. S. Forrester, who is quoted in Bryan Perrett’s introduction to his biographical work: The Real Hornblower: The Life and Times of Admiral Sir James Gordon GCB.
A new friend comes to stay
Ragged, filthy, sopping wet, you appeared at our door. Unloved, unwanted, rejected, dejected, cast out into the harsh and unforgiving wilderness with no thought and even less care. Half-starved and thirsty, you shuffled and snuffled into our lives. Close to death, you could have given up but chose instead to carry on and seek out the next chapter in your life.
Writing witches and witchery
As a youngster I went through a time of being fascinated by witchcraft and the occult and read authors like Wheatley, among others. These days, I like writing witchy stories as much as I like reading them. There is so much fun and so many possibilities, whether your story is comedy, tragedy, history, horror, fantasy, urban gothic or science fiction. Some of the greatest characters in fiction, to me, have been witches, whether Harry Potter (known as a ‘wizard’ in the JKR stories) or Samantha in the 1960s TV show Bewitched. Who can resist the other-worldly charms of Glinda in The Wizard of Oz, or the sinister menace of her nemesis the Wicked Witch of the West? Stories of 17th century witch trials, demonic visions from the three witches in Macbeth, or just the humdrum everyday dramas of latter-day dabblers. Good witches and wicked witches hold a strong fascination for many.
How to write like Pulp Fiction
Watched Pulp Fiction recently and it struck me how well the story was scripted and, I think, provides an object lesson in how to develop story through dialogue and character. This is not a movie crit, and I am not a Tarantino groupie, but I would suggest all fiction writers watch the film (at least twice) and learn from the technique and structure of the story, how it is constructed and how the story progresses from one dramatic scene to another. Or read the script, which was written by Quentin Tarantino and Roger Avery. Whether you are a Tarantino fan or not, you can learn some important lessons from the way this film was scripted.