Top Ten Articles – August 2020

Well, it’s the end of the month and this means that it’s time for me to do my usual thing of collecting a list of links to the ten best articles (about reading, writing, art etc…) that I’ve posted here over the past month.

As for this month’s articles, I’ll be the first to admit that the quality was probably a bit variable (this was mostly due to writer’s block and an unenthusiastic mood I was in when I was preparing some of this month’s articles) and this is probably why I haven’t included any honourable mentions in this month’s round-up article. Even so, at least some of this month’s articles still turned out fairly well and hopefully next month’s articles will be better.

As for reviews, I ended up reviewing fourteen books this month and – although I had a brief moment where I worried that I’d lose interest in reading again (Luckily, I was able to regain interest by reading a fun zombie novel that I’d set aside for occasions like this)- I’m still surprised that I ended up reviewing so many books 🙂

Anyway, my favourite books that I reviewed this month are probably: “The River King” by Alice Hoffman, “The Rosewater Redemption” by Tade Thompson, “We Sold Our Souls” by Grady Hendrix, “Sweet Dreams” by Tricia Sullivan, “The Unlimited Dream Company” by J. G. Ballard and “A Matter Of Blood” by Sarah Pinborough.

Anyway, here’s the list 🙂 Enjoy 🙂

Top Ten Articles – August 2020:

– “Four Ways To Make Formal Narration More ‘Readable‘”
– “Three Ways To Add Extra Impact To Your Story’s Fight Scenes
– “Three Thoughts About Blending The Horror And Detective Genres
– “Size Changes And Artistic Inspiration – A Ramble
– “Three Reasons Why ‘Low Brow’ Novels Are Worth Reading
– “Why Horror And Thriller Fiction Overlap So Much
– “Is The Horror Genre Meant To Be Scary? – A Ramble
– “Plot Density In Thriller Novels – A Ramble
– “Dystopian Fiction And Creativity – A Ramble
– “Three More Reasons Why Spin-Off Novels Are Awesome

Top Ten Articles – July 2020

Well, it’s the end of the month and this means that it’s time for me to do my usual thing of collecting a list of links to the ten best articles about writing, art etc… that I’ve posted here over the past month. As usual, I’ll also include a few honourable mentions too.

All in all, this month’s articles were kind of weird because I had been taking a break from reading during the month or two it took me to write them (and, yes, I’m still using a slightly slower production schedule – although, thanks to a large buffer of pre-made articles, I can still post daily articles at the moment). Thankfully, though, I finally got back into reading novels regularly shortly before I finished this month’s articles.

This, of course, brings me on to this month’s reviews – which were more varied than I expected. In addition to reviewing both the second and the fourth “Saints Row” games, I also managed to review Vivian Shaw’s 2018 novel “Dreadful Company” too 🙂 Even so, the bulk of this month’s reviews were film reviews and I ended up reviewing eleven films – my favourites were probably: “The Warriors“, “Network“, “Natural City“, the original version of “Star Wars V: The Empire Strikes Back” and the director’s cut version of “Touch Of Evil“.

Anyway, here are the lists 🙂 Enjoy 🙂

Top Ten Articles – July 2020:

– “Skills Matter More Than Tools – A Ramble
– “Three Reasons Why Mid-Budget Creative Works Matter
– “Three Downsides Of Taking A Break From Reading Novels
– “Digital Image Editing And Imperfections – A Ramble
– “Four Reasons Why Short Stories Are Awesome
– “Style And Substance In Visual Mediums- A Ramble
– “How To Handle The Theme Of Revenge In Fiction
– “How To Design Something For Multiple Readings, Viewings etc…
– “Three Reasons Why Sequels Change Things
– “Why Your Novel Needs A ‘Hub Area’

Honourable Mentions:

– “Three Ways To Deal With Finishing Reading, Watching And/Or Playing Something Great
– “Three Things The Film Industry Can Learn From Novels
– “Contrast And Multiple Plot Threads – A Ramble

Top Ten Articles – June 2020

Well, it’s the end of the month and this means that it’s time to do my usual thing of collecting a list of links to the ten best articles about art, writing etc… that I’ve posted here over the past month (plus a couple of honourable mentions too).

All in all, this month’s articles turned out fairly well – not to mention that, although I’m still using a slower production schedule (but, thanks to a large pre-made “buffer” of articles, articles still appear here daily), I’ve managed to get back up to preparing about four articles/reviews a week.

In terms of reviews, this month was fairly interesting. At the beginning of this month, I reviewed the final novel (Joan D. Vinge’s excellent 1980s sci-fi epic “The Snow Queen) in my extended 1-2 year series of book reviews. Yes, I hope to get back into reading again at some point in the future, but I need a break from books for a while. To my surprise, I also ended up reviewing a computer game – the brilliantly fun “Saints Row: The Third” – this month too, despite not originally planning to.

Still, I focused most on film reviews this month and ended up reviewing twelve films. My favourites were probably: “Suspiria (1977)”, “Only Lovers Left Alive“, “Citizen Kane“, “Turtles Are Surprisingly Fast Swimmers“, “Star Wars IV: A New Hope (Original theatrical version)” and “Ghost Ship“.

Anyway, here are the lists 🙂 Enjoy 🙂

Top Ten Articles – June 2020:

– “How To Create A CRT Television Effect (Using Open-Source Software)
– “In Defence Of Slow Pacing In Novels And Films
– “Four Reasons Why People Enjoy “High-Brow” Creative Works
– “Some Very Basic Tips For Making Monochrome Art
– “Three Things Horror Movies Can Teach Us About Writing Gruesome Horror Fiction (That Is Actually Scary)
– “Four Tips For Making Art Using MS Paint 5.1
– “Three Thoughts About Taking A Break From Reading Novels
-“Three Things Horror Writers Can Learn From A Horror Game
– “Three Ways To Learn New Image Editing Techniques
– “Why Worldbuilding Matters More Than Story

Honourable Mentions:

– “Art Set In The Early-Mid 2000s: A Visual Guide
– “The Stages Of Making A Painting (GIF, Static Image and Plain Text versions)

Top Ten Articles – May 2020

Well, it’s the end of the month and this means that it’s time for me to do my usual round-up of links to the ten best articles about making art, writing fiction etc… that I’ve posted here over the past month. Plus, of course, a couple of honourable mentions too.

Although this month’s articles still took longer than a month to prepare (again, if you’re running a blog, always have a buffer of pre-made articles. It’s really useful 🙂), I quite like how they turned out – and, after months of mostly posting writing-based articles, it was so much fun to start writing about art again too 🙂

In terms of reviews, this month was weird. Although there will be at least one more book review posted here soon (probably tomorrow), I actually found myself losing interest in books due to over-reading them during the past year or so. As such, I only reviewed four of them this month (Jodi Taylor’s “Hope For The Best“, Shaun Hutson’s “Warhol’s Prophecy“, Alice Hoffman’s “Practical Magic” and K.W.Jeter’s “Blade Runner 3: Replicant Night).

To my surprise, I ended up getting back into watching and reviewing films again (in addition to reviewing a computer game called “Ion Fury” and a social distancing-themed game called “Can You Save The World?).

Although this month’s film selection was a little bit more random and eclectic than I’d expected (since, amongst other things I wanted to watch a few more light-hearted films and was also mildly curious about the romcom genre too), my favourite films that I reviewed this month were probably: “The Pelican Brief“, “Legal Eagles“, “High Heels And Low Lifes” and “Sphere“.

Anyway, here are the lists 🙂 Enjoy 🙂

Top Ten Articles – May 2020:

– “Three Paradoxes Of Creativity
– “Three Reasons To Mix Physical And Digital Tools When Making Art
– “Three Reasons Why Older Creative Works Sometimes Aren’t Always As Good As You Remember
– “Three Differences Between 1980s And 1990s Horror Fiction
– “Why Are Novels “Edgier” Than Film Or TV?
– “Three Reasons To Mix Genres
– “Three Tips For Reading Longer Novels
– “Three Thoughts About Making Paintings Based On Dreams
– “How To Make An Inspired Series Of Paintings
– “Three Thoughts About Writing Villain Characters

Honourable Mentions:

– “Should You Focus On Internal Or External Conflict In Your Novel?
– “Reading Quickly Vs. Reading Slowly

Top Ten Articles – April 2020

Well, due to a scheduling mix-up, this monthly round-up article is appearing on the same day as a book review I’d already scheduled (this, by the way, will also mean that I’ll have to break my “don’t post reviews on consecutive days” rule yet again, because I’ve got a “Duke Nukem 3D” mod review prepared for tomorrow).

Although the quality of this month’s articles was a bit variable, they were quite fun to write. However – like with the last couple of months – it took me more than a month to actually write them (seriously, I’m so glad I have a pre-made “buffer” of articles) due to a combination of being busy, hot weather at the time of writing and also taking things a bit slower to avoid burnout.

On the plus side, this blog celebrated it’s seventh anniversary this month 🙂

In terms of reviews, I reviewed fourteen thirteen books this month. Although there will probably be slightly fewer book reviews next month, my favourite books this month were: “A Canticle For Liebowitz” By Walter M. Miller Jr., “Vittorio, The Vampire” by Anne Rice, “The Rules Of Magic” by Alice Hoffman, “Star Trek: Voyager – Bless The Beasts” by Karen Haber and “Alien: Out Of The Shadows” by Tim Lebbon.

Plus, to my surprise, I also ended up reviewing this horror game demo too (although this was kind of a last-minute replacement for a failed article).

Anyway, here are my ten favourite articles about writing, making art, reading etc.. I posted here this month (however, since I can only find ten that seem good enough for this list, there won’t be any honourable mentions this month):

Top Ten Articles – April 2020:

– “Three Ways To Make Vampires Scary
– “Five Tips For Painting Realistic Landscapes In MS Paint 5.1
– “Three Totally Rad RGB-lit Tips For Reading Novels At ’90 FPS’[APRIL FOOL]
– “How Important Are Novel Titles?
– “How To Wait For Creative Inspiration
– “Three Thoughts About Writing Sci-Fi Horror
– “Three Tips For Building Up A “To Read” Pile That You’ll Actually Read
– “Four Things I’ve Learnt From Running A Blog For Seven Years
– “Two Thoughts About What Makes A Novel ‘So Bad That It’s Good’
– “Do Plot Spoilers Really Matter? – A Ramble

Top Ten Articles – March 2020

Well, it’s the end of the month and this means that it’s time for me to compile a list of links to the ten best articles about writing, reading, making art etc… that I’ve posted here over the past month (plus a couple of honourable mentions too).

All in all, this month’s articles turned out fairly well although, like with a couple of previous months, I’ve had to rely on my pre-made article buffer more than usual (due to a number of time-based reasons) and this month’s daily articles probably took about a month and a half to actually write. Seriously, if you’re running a blog, then try to make as large of a pre-written “buffer” as you can during the times when you have more time – it really does come in handy sometimes 🙂

In terms of reviews – apart from the usual “Doom II” WAD review, I didn’t review any computer games this month (I’d planned to finish and review either “Braid” and/or “Cosmo’s Cosmic Adventure”, but got distracted by playing “Devil Daggers” again).

On the plus side, I ended up reviewing fourteen novels this month 🙂 My favourites were probably: “Cold Warriors” by Rebecca Levene, “A Closed And Common Orbit” by Becky Chambers, “Tangled Up In Blue” by Joan D. Vinge, “Area 7” by Matthew Reilly and “Pandora” by Anne Rice.

Anyway, here are the lists 🙂 Enjoy 🙂

Top Ten Articles – March 2020:

– “Four More Reasons To Read Older Novels
– “Four Sneaky Tricks That Thriller Authors Use To Make Their Stories More Gripping
– “Three Reasons Why Gruesome Horror Fiction Isn’t Scary
– “Three Tips For Blending The Horror And Thriller Genres
– “Three Cool Things That Only Novels Can Do
– “Do Thriller Novels Have To Be Fast-Paced? – A Ramble
– “Three Random Tips For Getting Into Reading Novels
– “Three Thoughts About Writing Sequels
– “Why Making ‘Tech Demo’ Paintings Can Make You Feel Inspired Again – A Ramble
– “Three Thoughts About ‘Life Story’-Style First-Person Narration

Honourable mentions:

– “Three Quick Thoughts About How Long A Novel Takes To Read
– “Why Sanitised Violence Ruins The Thriller Genre – A Ramble

Top Ten Articles – February 2020

Well, it’s the end of the month, so I thought that I’d do my usual thing of collecting a list of links to the ten best articles about writing etc… that I’ve posted here over the past month (with a couple of honourable mentions too).

All in all, this month’s articles/reviews were a bit slower to write than I’d expected due to being busy with other stuff (eg: although they appeared daily, I had to rely on my “buffer” of pre-written articles quite a bit – so they took longer than a month to prepare) but they turned out better than I’d expected 🙂

In terms of reviews, I surprisingly ended up reviewing three modern computer games (Neverending Nightmares“, “Hard Reset Redux” and “Devil Daggers) but, due to both this and the shorter length of this month, I only ended up reviewing ten novels this month.

Anyway, my favourite novels that I reviewed this month were probably “The Long Way To A Small Angry Planet” by Becky Chambers, “The End Of The Day” by Claire North, “The Rosewater Insurrection” by Tade Thompson, “Accursed” by Guy N. Smith and “World’s End” by Joan D. Vinge.

Anyway, here are the lists 🙂 Enjoy 🙂

Top Ten Articles – Feburary 2020:

– “Three More Reasons Why Reading Regularly Is Important For Writers
– “Three Sneaky Hacks For Writing A Novel If You’re A Short Story Writer
– “Three Tips For Writing Victorian-Style Narration
– “Why Knowing Your Chosen Genre Results In Better Stories – A Ramble
– “How To Mix First And Third Person Perspective Narration”
– “When Should You Reference Your Previous Stories?
– “Three Reasons To Use A Formal Writing Style In Your Story
– “Three Reasons Why Horror Stories Are Set In The Past
– “Four Reasons Why Horror Novels Are Similar To Heavy Metal Music
– “Good Action Sequences In Thriller Novels Are Like Puzzles – A Ramble

Honourable mentions:

– “Why Difficult Computer Games Are Good For Your Creativity
– “Three Rambling And Rose-Tinted Tips For Adding Early-Mid 2000s Nostalgia To Your Art Or Story

Top Ten Articles – January 2020

Well, it’s the end of the month. So, I thought that I’d do my usual thing of collecting a list of links to the ten best articles about writing, reading etc… that I’ve posted here over the past month (plus a couple of honourable mentions too).

All in all, this month’s articles went reasonably well – even if, behind the scenes, creating them was a little bit slower and more erratic (due to being busy with other stuff) than usual. Still, thanks to a large enough buffer of pre-written articles (seriously, if you’re starting a blog, you need one of these!), it didn’t affect the posting schedule 🙂

In terms of reviews, there were less game reviews than I’d expected this month (“Doom II” WADs aside, the only game I reviewed was the excellent “Dreamfall: Chapters”) but this meant that I could review twelve novels this month 🙂 My favourites were probably: “Deathday” By Shaun Hutson, “Sunburn” by Laura Lippman, “Rosewater” by Tade Thompson, “Lair” by James Herbert and “The Damnation Game” by Clive Barker.

Anyway, here are the lists 🙂 Enjoy 🙂

Top Ten Articles – January 2020:

– “Three Things To Do If Your Story Gets Stuck On A Mini-Cliffhanger
– “Four Things Writers Can Learn From 1980s Shaun Hutson Novels
– “Three Things That Writers Can Learn From 1980s Clive Barker Novels
– “Four Reasons To Read Older Novels
– “Three Tips For Choosing A Book To Read Next
– “Four Tips For Adding Pop Culture References To Your Story
– “Four Thoughts About Writing Modern Noir Fiction
– “How To Use Signposting To Make Your Story Less Confusing
– “Why Dismissing The Past Is Bad For Creativity- A Ramble
– “Four More Tips For Making Your Thriller Story More Gripping

Honourable Mentions:

– “Using Themes And Focus To Innovate In Genre Fiction – A Ramble
– “Should Writers Take Influence From Films?

Top Ten Articles – December 2019

Well, it’s the end of the month (and the year), so I thought that I’d do my usual thing of collecting a list of links to the best ten articles about writing etc… that I’ve post here over the past month (plus a couple of honourable mentions too).

Although some this month’s articles didn’t turn out as well as I’d hoped (and, looking over them again, there’s even a bit of repetition – in the sense that I wrote two articles about adding humour to fiction), some of them turned out reasonably well though. I don’t know, I guess I was going through a bit of an uninspired phase when preparing some of the articles that appeared in the later parts of this month.

In terms of reviews, I was still getting back into writing occasional computer game reviews 🙂 And I ended up reviewing about twice as many games as I’d expected, namely: “Remothered: Tormented Fathers“, “Skylar And Plux: Adventure On Clover Island“, “Dex: Enhanced Version“, the 2013 remake of “Shadow Warrior” and the “Wanton Destruction” expansion for the original 1997 “Shadow Warrior” in addition to the usual “Doom II” WAD reviews.

On the other hand, this meant that I only had the time and space to review nine novels this month. My favourites of these were probably: “The Haunting Of Hill House” by Shirley Jackson, “Idoru” by William Gibson, “Star Trek: The Next Generation – Sins Of Commission” by Susan Wright, “Kill All Angels” by Robert Brockway and “A Wanted Man” by Lee Child.

Anyway, here are the lists 🙂 Enjoy 🙂

Top Ten Articles – December 2019:

– “Old Fiction Vs Historical Fiction
– “Shock Value And Storytelling Mediums – A Ramble
– “Three Reasons Why Authors Write Book Series
– “One Strange Reason Why Your Novel Might Feel Lifeless
– “Why Good Horror Novels Include Comedy
– “Using Contrast To Improve Your Story
– “Why Are Thriller Novels So Long?
– “How Scale Progression Makes Thriller Stories Gripping
– “Why Humour Is Important In Every Genre Of Story
– “Three Game Design Techniques That Writers Can Use

Honourable Mentions:

– “Why Movie Novelisations Exist
– “Artistic Inspiration And Focus – A Ramble

Top Ten Articles – November 2019

Well, it’s the end of the month, so I thought that I’d do my usual thing of collecting a list of links to the ten best articles (with maybe an honourable mention or two) about writing, reading etc… that I’ve posted here this month.

All in all, this month has been a bit of a strange one and although I quite like most of the articles I wrote, some of them also ended up going in very slightly more of a game-based direction since I got a modern refurbished computer at the time of writing many of them. On the plus side, this also led to non-“Doom II” related game reviews (eg: this one and this one) returning to this site for the first time in about six months or so.

Talking of reviews, I also managed to review twelve novels this month – with my favourites being “Do Androids Dream Of Electric Sheep?” By Phillip K. Dick, “Virtual Light” by William Gibson, “N or M?” by Agatha Christie, “Blade Runner 2: The Edge Of Human” by K.W.Jeter, “Seventh Heaven” by Alice Hoffman and “Breeding Ground” by Shaun Hutson.

Anyway, here are the lists 🙂 Enjoy 🙂

Top Ten Articles – November 2019:

– “Does Writing Style Matter More Than Plot?
– “Three Things To Do When You Can’t Use Your Favourite Writing Style
– “Imperfect Technology Is An Important Part Of The Cyberpunk Genre – A Ramble
– “Two Very Basic Tips For Reading A ‘Difficult’ Book
– “Four Reasons Why Spin-Off Novels Are So Awesome
– “When To Use Alternating Chapters In Your Story
– “Two Tips For Writing Stories That Can Compete With The Internet, Games, Phones etc…
– “Why Writers Need To Read Multiple Genres Of Fiction
– “Three Ways To Make Your Story More Readable
– “What Can A Computer Game Teach Us About Writing Horror Fiction That Focuses On One Type Of Horror?

Honourable mentions:

– “Three Reasons Why 1980s British Horror Fiction Was So Shocking
– “Is Simplification A Good Thing In Storytelling? – A Ramble