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

I despise you…

I’d rather you didn’t speak to me. I’m sick of listening to your bullshit. You’re no better than me, but then again, you think you’re better than most. You’re a pretentious, glory hunter.

Your stories are boring and clearly fabricated- no, don’t take out your phone and show me photos of your weekend. I’m really not interested, in fact, I don’t care.

While we’re at it, I hate those shoes & what kind of stupid, rusting car is that anyway?


Answers every Retail worker wants to give

Dumb Customer

Q: “Excuse me, do you work here?”

A: “No, I absolutely love this mass produced, sweat box uniform, so I just wear it for the crack.  Also, I love voluntarily getting on my knees in random stores and helping out obnoxious, rude people for free.”

Matrix Prices

Q: “How much is this?”

A: “Hmm, I don’t know.  Let me just consult my onboard computer and access my worldwide price App that I have built in.  I had no idea I looked like a walking price-list, I must talk to my plastic surgeon.”


Q: “Where are the toilets?”

A: “Well, if you follow the huge directional signs that this particular company has spent thousands of pounds on perfecting to ensure people like you can find them, it’ll take you right there.  I know, I know, its extremely silly of me to think that you could lift your head and look for yourself.”

stupid and rude

Q: “Excuse me, to save me looking, could you tell me where A, B & C are kept?”

A: “Of course, of course.  I’ll save you the trouble of looking and do your shopping for you.  It’s a terrible ordeal this shopping carry on, I couldn’t expect you to look for your required items on your own.  Actually, aren’t you the person who recently asked where the toilets were?”


Q: “Can you put another checkout on? I’ve been waiting for 10 minutes!”

A: “First of all, 10 minutes is an extreme exaggeration, you only just joined a queue of 2 people.  Secondly, if you could just stop thinking about your arrogant self and your pointless little errands that you have to get on with, as I know that you’re an extremely important and busy person and the world revolves around you, you’ll notice that the employee behind the till is working very hard to get customers through quickly and efficently and does not deserve any kind of rude behaviour from you”


Q: “This is a disgrace, let me speak to the Manager!”

A: “The manager is actually very busy at the moment, dealing with more important issues and customers who have genuine complaints and manners.  Also, the manager will most likely stick to the answer or decision that I have made as you are acting like a spoiled child and believe that you can make unreasonable demands to little people shop workers, like me.”

“Is there anything else I can help you with today?” – (asked with a smile)

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500 and Counting…


Yesterday I reached a bit of a milestone.

I was sitting having lunch with my wife and my parents.  My iPhone bleeped, notifying me of a new alert.  The alert was from the WordPress App, ‘Congratulations, you’ve reached 500 likes!’

Everyday, my blog that I started only a month ago, continues to surprise me and make me smile.

You just never know what kind of response, that the post you happen to be typing, will actually get.

Who knows if anybody will even read this?

I’m a firm believer in hard work paying off, you reap what you sew and that if you want something badly enough, come hell or high water you’ll get it.

My WordPress blog continues to be a foundation of the hard work and imagination that goes into my writing, it’s also a showcase for the world to read it, if they choose.

In life, if you praise somebody when they’re doing a good job, it’ll motivate them to continue and get even better.

Yesterday afternoon, the alert on my iPhone was my praise and motivation to ‘keep going, you’re doing alright’.

To the next 500 likes.

Photo Credit

The ‘likes’ & ‘views’ Rocket!


Last night, I wasn’t feeling entirely confident about my blog or my writing. It’s a natural feeling from time to time for most writers, I would imagine.

So, I plonked myself in front of the Mac and I typed up a small blog about how I felt or or how I feel when I read my stats for the day and they’re not setting the World Wide Web on fire.

Within 3 minutes or so of publishing it, I was alerted that it had been liked and reblogged by

I’m not joking when I tell you, my post and my blog site went crazy for the next 8 hours. Likes, comments, new followers. Posts that had been dormant for some time had been revived by these welcomed new visitors. The WordPress App on my iPhone sent me an alert, telling me my ‘Blog Stats are booming’. I didn’t even know they did that? Turns out, they do.

I guess you could agree that there was some degree of irony, based on the content of my post and the activity it created.

I visited ‘s site and thanked them personally for giving me what was my second best day for views and visitors since I began my blog. If I hadn’t already, I quickly learned about the community culture that us WordPressers are lucky to have and come to enjoy.

I was overwhelmed with positive words of encouragement from fellow bloggers who had, and have had the same feelings over and over. What’s more, it introduced me to a whole host of new bloggers and content.

Every cloud and all that.

Thank you to the article I wrote, but, especially to the WordPress community who literally made my stats Rocket for a whole day.

An Astounding Discovery: Part 2

We once were, in everyone’s home.

We used to be current, useful and necessary. At one point, if it hadn’t been for us, you’d have never seen a fraction of those movies as a kid.

You used to be excited when you found us, opened our cases and put us into our old friend, VCR.

You used to be so proud of us. So proud, in fact, you’d stack us high in plain sight in your home. You’d count us and catalogue us, you’d share us with friends. You’d stay up late with us and laugh, root or cry at whatever we’d screen for you.

At holiday times, you relied on us to capture and record those movies and shows that you weren’t around to watch.

At Christmas time, you unwrapped us and smiled when you saw that we had your favourite movie recorded onto us.

You came to our special store to visit us and borrow us for the weekend. We’d entertain you all weekend long, until you had to return us.

Years passed by, and you realised you no longer needed us.

Newer, faster, smaller versions of us were created.

You soon realised, there were so many of the old us, you didn’t know what to do with us.

So, you got rid of us, binned us, destroyed us.

Many of us still remain. We sit in cupboards, in attics, in boxes. But, we know that nobody is coming. Nobody needs or wants to see what we have to offer.

Children have been born and don’t even know anything about us. We are a photo in a history book, a paragraph in a past technology blog.

Our time has long been over. Once, we were the only source of your enjoyment and entertainment.

Now, we are just plastic and tape, waiting to be recycled and eventually forgotten.


Ten Sentence Fiction: Body on the road

body in the road

It was a beautiful summers night.  Greg Carlson was going nowhere in particular as he sped his old Mazda along a hidden back road.  He focused through the windshield as he flung his old import left and right around the single track road.

He screeched around a bend, but suddenly tensed his body while gritting his teeth, slamming the brakes as the car whaled to a halt.  There was a body on the road, a man, lying face down.  Still trying to catch his breath, Greg stepped out of the car and into the smell of burnt rubber.

He approached the man with caution, he crouched down and searched for a pulse on his neck.  He was alive and breathing.  Greg stood up and reached for his phone to call an ambulance, he looked down at the man as he felt a tug on his trouser leg.  Only, this time what Greg was looking back at was a shotgun pointing right at his face.

Read more Ten Sentence Fiction

(c) Copyright 2014 AGS

Please take me ‘Out of this Storm’


If you go to the cinema expecting a modern day version of 1996’s ‘Twister’, then I’m afraid you have wandered into the wrong screening.

Brought to you by the director of the fantastic, Final Destination 5, I had high hopes for Into the Storm and hoped to see something exciting and modern.

Disappointed is perhaps an understatement of how I feel about this film. My review will be short, lazy and predictable, because, I believe that’s all it deserves, as it is exactly how I would describe John Swentams screenwriting of this particular Hollywood atrocity.

I don’t believe any of the actors require, or perhaps, deserve a mention here for their ‘work’.

I’m surprised that any of the characters stayed grounded during the movie, as they are essentially cardboard cut outs of tired, cliched, zero substance, boring, rehashed no body’s, that we really couldn’t give a damn about.
The single dad who cares only about work, the cheeky son, the son who feels unloved and misses his dead mother dearly, but, is in love with the girl next door. The career girl storm chaser who has left her young child with her parents, but, suddenly gathers a conscience when the devastating storm hits. The greedy boss who cares about nothing or nobody, only his money making goal.

Yes, into the storm showcases them all. I found myself bored and irritated at the chopping and changing between found footage and normal film. Shaky cam that is annoying beyond belief, makes you want to rip your own head off, just so you have something to throw at the screen.

Sadly, the impressive effects are not enough to save this unbelievable goose egg.

I felt like I was watching a made for TV movie, which boasted excruciatingly painful dialogue and wooden acting.

Characters make suicidal decisions and spout out sentimental, straight from soap opera speeches which will make you want to vomit.

All in all, the film bears no storyline and follows appalling cliches and therefore has nothing to offer to hold your interest.

If you must see this film, hang off until it appears on Netflix or the likes. But, be careful and put your dog in another room, otherwise it’ll put him into a coma. Then again, you may find you take up a new hobby, like watching grass grow or putting your head in the oven, because if I’m honest, that’ll be much more fun.

If you feel like watching a good storm movie, then rent or buy Twister, it’s by far the best in its class.