Sentence of Suspense: The getaway

Ally Ballys Blog


I ran like I’d never ran before, my legs were like jelly and my heart thumped rapidly inside my rib cage while I dodged the gun shots and leapt across the railway track, the sound of the train thundering past with it’s honking horn was deafening and terrifying, but had at least bought me some time to try and out run the police, for now.

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Ten Sentence Fiction: The Vacancy

Ally Ballys Blog


Harold squinted out of the windscreen while hunched over the steering wheel. The window wipers whipped back and fourth, hopelessy battling at the monsoon that fell from the night sky. He stopped the car outside the hotel. It was a dreary building, 3 stories built of red brick and timber cladding, sat sad and alone on perhaps an acre of overgrown, unloved land. A fluorescent sign flickered from a window on the ground floor, behind a yellowing, dead fly infested net curtain. The welcoming words of ‘Come on in, we have Vaccancies’ were lost and wasted against the uninviting building and surroundings.
The sound of the rain battering onto the roof of his car was almost deafening, he watched as rain water flowed from the roof of the old hotel and overflowed onto the entranceway due to clogged and unmaintained guttering. He grabbed his overnight bag from the passenger seat…

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Ten Sentence Fiction: Ghost hostage

Ally Ballys Blog


The house was dark and damp and rotting to the core.  Woodworm had set in almost everywhere meaning wherever you happened to stand would almost certainly result in your foot disappearing through the floorboards.  Victorian furniture lay unused, inches thick in dust and tangled in cobwebs.  Ryan stirred and woke in immediate pain from his head and arms.  His head due to the thump of being pushed onto the rotting floor, his arms because they were tied together above his head on what looked like an ancient, rusting meat hook.

He struggled to get free and called for help, his throat felt like sandpaper and the damp musty atmosphere made it almost impossible to breathe.  He wasn’t really sure what to expect when he knocked on the door, all he wanted was to borrow a set of jump leads for his crappy car.

The humid air in the old house suddenly…

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Ten Sentence Fiction: The Enquiry

Ally Ballys Blog

Divorced and broke, self-employed Handy man George Gilmartin, was overjoyed when he got the phone call. He hadn’t had any enquiries in over a month, and he was struggling to scratch up enough to cover the bills, all while his ex-wife lived it up in Spain with her new ridiculously rich boyfriend, with her half of George’s money.

The phone call came from an elderly woman, who was responding to his pathetic little ad in the local paper. She lived alone in a big old house, which hadn’t seen a tin of paint or felt a nail in over twenty years.
The house sat ten miles from the motorway, out in the country surrounded by fields and trees and George had seen no sign of neighbours or any other kind of civilisation. With one look at the house, he knew he’d have his work cut out, whatever she asked him…

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5 Great Word Processing Tools For Writing Your Novel


Unless you’re the fastidious type of person who jots down all their prose by hand with paper and ink, or the pretentious, artsy type of person who owns a vintage typewriter and uses it regularly (guilty as charged!), then it’s probably been awhile since you’ve thought about just how easy the modern computer has made it for you to type up, format, and share your writing with others, even if you aren’t trying to publish it! In fact, most of my friends who’ve all grown up with word processing programs often complain that they have a hard time organizing their thoughts when they aren’t typing them out on a laptop.

However, as ubiquitous as writing on a computer has become, when you’re looking for something specific for your particular writing process, it’s still tough to find a program that will do just the trick. Here’s a few that we love…

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The worst ways to begin your novel


The write life offers feedback from literary agents on what they don’t like to see in the opening of a novel.

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