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?

What To Expect Here In 2020

Happy New Year everyone 🙂 Like with some previous years, I thought that I’d write an article about what you can expect to see here in 2020.

After all, although my pre-made article buffer is a bit shorter than it was this time last year (it’s about eight months or so worth of articles at the time of writing. My art buffer is still about a year long though), I’ve still got a fairly good idea of what this year will look like on here.

Some of the changes are good ones, some of them perhaps less so. Still, I thought that I’d give you a quick preview:

1) Film reviews (for a couple of months): Yes, film reviews will temporarily return to this site in May-July 2020 – mostly because I needed to take a bit of a break from reading and reviewing books. But, you’ll be pleased to know that regular book reviews should return sometime in late July/early August (I can’t be certain of the exact date). Even so, film reviews will start appearing in addition to book reviews in May and then take over completely after the beginning of June.

There were a lot of reasons for this, but the main one was that I just lost enthusiasm for reading books for a couple of months… But eventually ended up regaining it and returning to books a couple of months later after realising that it was a lot easier for me to find good books than it was to find good films – probably because all of the reading I’ve done over the past year or two has changed my tastes.

Even so, although I will be reviewing at least one or two… less good… films, I’ll also be reviewing “Citizen Kane”, the original versions of the first three “Star Wars” films and all sorts of random films from the 1970s-2010s.

Again, regular book reviews should return sometime in late July/early August, but they might be posted every 3-4 days rather than every two days though. I’ve prepared two book reviews so far and am still working out the schedules and details for future book reviews. So, watch this space.

2) Comic hiatus and Art series: Unfortunately, my monthly webcomic will be going on a partial hiatus (with only one comic posted per month) between February and August, and then on full hiatus after that. Although I’ll possibly end up “rebooting” the comic at some point in the future, like I did in 2015/16, I need to take a break from it.

On the plus side, expect to see a few art series appearing on here in 2020 too – such as a series of retro/cyberpunk mini-drawings in around mid-August, a series of autumnal retro-themed paintings in late August/early September, a series of cyberpunk paintings loosely-inspired by my memories of the Tricorn Centre in late November/early December etc… Seriously, I’m surprised at the number of art series I’ve ended up making for 2020 🙂

3) Game reviews: Although I’d originally planned to take a break from preparing game reviews a few months ago (and, unless I edit it, the seventh anniversary article that will appear in April 2020 will mention this), they still ended up being a bit more of a regular thing than I’d expected for 2020.

In addition to the usual monthly “Doom II” WAD reviews (which I’ve still somehow managed to keep up with), I’ll also probably be reviewing the following games: “Dreamfall Chapters”, “Neverending Nightmare”, “Hard Reset Redux”, “Devil Daggers”, “Ion Fury”, “Saints Row: The Third”, “Saints Row 2” and “Saints Row IV”. But I’m not sure if I’ll review any more games in 2020, since – again – I’ll probably be focusing more on book reviews from late July/early August onwards. Again, watch this space.

…Anyway, that’s about it. Thank you all for reading and I hope that you have a great New Year 🙂

Today’s Art (31st December 2019)

Happy New Year everyone 🙂 And, yes, I had a lot of fun making this comic too. For all of the literary historians among you, “The Maltese Falcon” was technically first published (albeit in a magazine) in the very late 1920s. Likewise, new readers of my comics might not know that Rox really does miss the other ’90s too. And, for long-time fans, here’s the “work in progress” line art for today’s comic.

Anyway, have a wonderful new year 🙂

As usual, this comic update is released under a Creative Commons BY-NC-ND licence.

[CLICK FOR LARGER IMAGE] “Happy New Year 2020” By C. A. Brown