New Series 8 Doctor Who Trailers

A little behind I know on the Doctor Who news! Sorry!

The BBC has released two new trailers for the next series, starting on 23rd August 2014 (UK).

The first a 15 second trail that has the Doctor, sitting on top of the TARDIS, telling us to Listen. You can view that one here:

The second one however is 35 seconds long and reveals some of the monsters that he and Clara will be encountering in the next series. The Doctor is again wondering if he is a good man and says he has made many mistakes and needs to do something about it. Clara then asks where they are going and the Doctor tells her “Into Darkness”. Take a look at the trailer:

Steven Moffat, Peter Capaldi and Jenna Coleman have also done an interview with Empire magazine. Moffat and Capaldi both say the next series is going to be darker than the earlier series, which probably explains the “into darkness” line in the trailer and tallies with what Capaldi revealed to Empire about his Doctor.

He said, “He’s more alien than he’s been for a while. He doesn’t quite understand human beings or really care very much about their approval.” Jenna Coleman has said that in comparison to Matt’s Doctor, Clara doesn’t feel quite as safe. “With Matt’s Doctor [Clara] felt quite safe, really. She knew she’d be caught if she was in danger, but this guy is a lot less human-friendly and a lot less patient. He’s more removed and inaccessible. You can’t quite access him in the same way.”

(The article can be read by heading to the Empire Magazine website).

This probably means that the next series will be closer in line with the Classic Who episodes and children will be hiding behind the sofa or a cushion much more so since the reboot began in 2005 with Christopher Eccleston as the 9th Doctor.

What do you guys think? Do you want a return in some ways to the feel of the older episodes or would you rather they stuck to what has worked since it’s return to our screens in 2005? What do you think the trailers say will happen in the next series of Doctor Who? Don’t be afraid to comment below!

The Worst Ways to Begin Your Novel: Advice from Literary Agents

Something to consider when preparing a manuscript to send off to agents.

Chris The Story Reading Ape's Blog


No one reads more prospective novel beginnings than literary agents.

They’re the ones on the front lines, sifting through inboxes and slush piles. And they’re the ones who can tell us which Chapter One approaches are overused and cliché, as well as which techniques just plain don’t work.

Below find a smattering of feedback from experienced literary agents on what they hate to see the first pages of a writer’s submission. Avoid these problems and tighten your submission!

False beginnings

I don’t like it when the main character dies at the end of Chapter One. Why did I just spend all this time with this character? I feel cheated.”
- Cricket Freeman, The August Agency

I dislike opening scenes that you think are real, then the protagonist wakes up. It makes me feel cheated.”
- Laurie McLean, Foreword Literary

In science fiction

A sci-fi…

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Camp NaNoWriMo Win!

2014 Winner

Yep! FINALLY finished! 15,500 words.

It ended up with me having to plot out the rest of the novel in bullet points to make sure I had at least some form of plan should I ever go back to it. I think because so many changes happened at the start of the month as well as time pressures for writing due to external things,  it made the writing of this novel all that more difficult.

Whilst doing the bullet points, it allowed me to think things through plus make sure I knew where I wanted to go with characters, their relationships, their places at the end of the story, everything! I also put in some twists including character deaths, the methods of their deaths plus my FMC discovering her real parentage and how it has affected her growing up, training to be a mage and how it could affect her future.

So a lot of things happened when I was bullet pointing the rest of the novel out but at least I am validated as winner. That’s something, right?

Camp NaNoWriMo: Days 14-18

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Yes, I know. I have been slack on the updating  the blog front but I have also been slack on the writing front too. Unfortunately, external issues have to take priority, like the thankless job of job hunting. A few other personal things have also left me not able to write for various reasons. This means my word count has had to suffer and take the hit for all these issues. Before I continue, let me reveal my word counts:

Day 14: 8,628 words

Day 15: 8,631 words

Day 16: 10,359 words

Day 17: 10,359 words

Day 18: 10,359 words

So the upshot is that I ended up including a rather lengthy meeting scene between my MMC and the antagonist trying to delve into his personal life then attempting to force him to do something or my FMC would be tortured. It does lead to their Defying Gravity moment which I am in the middle of now. I don’t want to go into too much detail, just in case, but that is the main reason behind me FINALLY crossing the 10,000 word barrier. Unfortunately, that is all that has really happened.

The question I have now is do I lower my word count to try to ensure a win and because I suspect there’s not quite as much story as I anticipated or just leave as is and accept defeat gracefully?

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Camp NaNoWriMo: Days 9-13

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First things first, apologies for the lack of updates. I will explain later the reason but for now, word counts:

Day 9: 5,006 words

Day 10: 5,006 words

Day 11: 5,424 words

Day 12: 7,209 words

Day 13: 8,628 words

Okay, so the reason I have barely updated my word count is because I was struggling to figure out where to take the story next however, after allowing myself to free write a little and thinking about the story, I’ve ended up going down a route that includes raising issues such as homophobia and putting my MMC in a position of having to work out how he is going to keep his job because he is bisexual. The character announced that randomly on Friday evening. Characters sure know how to keep you on your toes right?

Whilst writing, I have wondering if I should perhaps look to JK Rowling’s the Order of the Phoenix book and the Professor Umbridge character. I suspect that could help me as elements of the Umbridge character is already started to slip in any way. If I can work out a way to push that through to help, it might make writing this novel a bit easier.

I think I know how this is going to develop (still based on Wicked) but whether I will hit my 50,000 word goal, I honestly have no idea. But here’s hoping, with some good writing time and a bit of luck that the story will really get going soon, I will be fine.

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Enter the Mythical Maze

Want something to do this summer holidays? Need to get your kids reading more? Then head to your local library and join the summer reading scheme!
As someone who has helped run these events, I know kids love reading during these events and love getting the prizes during the scheme and the medal and certificate at the end. Get involved and have fun!

Wakefield Libraries

The summer holidays will be with us soon and we are all ready for our biggest reading promotion of the year, the Summer Reading Challenge. Evey year, three quarters of a million children join the Summer Reading Challenge in their local libraries and try to read six books before they go back to school. This year the theme is the Mythical Maze and when they join they will get a wonderful Maze poster designed by this year’s artist Sarah McIntyre. As they read books they will get stickers of creatures like mermaids and unicorns to add to the maze. There are little rewards too and a gold medal and certificate when they complete the challenge. Sometimes the certificates are awards in assemblies when they go back to school so that their teachers know who has taken part. The challenge really helps children keep up their reading skills over the summer…

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Camp NaNoWriMo: Day 7 and 8

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Day 7: 4,563 words

Day 8: 5,006 words

LOOK! I finally passed the 5k mark! This will be a brief update as the story is moving so slowly despite plot happening.

In basic, what has happened is that my two main characters have found documents that show that something is amiss among the governors of the school or college as it has become and they are slightly in disagreement about whether they are over thinking about the documents and what they mean. My FMC has decided her next stage in education (I’ve had to lower her age to help me think properly) and has just had a brief sparring round with my MMC.

Yes, very little. Ugh, this is definitely not going to be something I go back and edit. My other NaNo’s have a higher chance of that happening.

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