Archive of entries posted on

Tim Clare’s Cone O’ Tragedy: Off To Denmark

Hello friends. Today I flew over to Denmark for a mini-tour with the smashing poet Harry Baker. We’re hitting up Copenhagen today, Aarhus tomorrow, and Aalborg on Sunday. It’s going to be straight pimping. I hope it goes without saying that, if you’re around in one of those cities, please come and say hi! Last […]

Death Of 1000 Cuts – In The Barber’s Chair: Untitled (by Una)

Hello and welcome to another Death Of 1000 Cuts – making you an awesome writer, one cut at a time. This week, it’s Una’s turn in the Barber’s Chair. Every Thursday I take an aspiring author’s killer first page – their shop window, polished up to the highest sparkle they can manage – and dismantle […]

Poem O’ The Week: Beer Ghost

Earlier this month I led a poetry pub crawl round ostensibly haunted pubs in Chester. I wrote a poem for each pub we visited. The Cross Keys is one of its oldest pubs set within the old Roman Walls of the City. All the pubs we visited attempted to drum up trade with bullshitty supernatural […]

Welcome To The Fantasy Zone Presents: Splatterhouse

Release date: 1988 Systems: Arcade, Turbografix So what’s the best 2D sidescrolling beat em up ever? Perhaps you thought this was a subject you could sneak through life not having an opinion on! Wrongo! The best 2D sidescrolling beat em up of all time is the arcade version of Splatterhouse. I first encountered this game […]

News Monday

This week, I have gigs in London, Copenhagen, Aarhus and Aalborg. On Wednesday, 8pm, it’s Homework, at Bethnal Green Working Men’s Club. It’s our true stories night. £5 on the door. Get there early for a seat. On Friday, I’ll be doing poems in Valby, Copenhagen. On Saturday, I’m in Aarhus. On Sunday, I’m in […]

Tim Clare’s Cone O’ Tragedy: How To Write A Shitty Novel In 3 Days

The internet is in love with twee lists of writing advice from authors – Geoff Quillpusher’s 8 Rules Of Writing, Dipstick McFamouspants’ 10 Laws Of Great Novels, etc. They’re never very enlightening, often strip-mined from larger works and taken out of context, but being short and coming from great novelists they take on a gnomic […]

Death Of 1000 Cuts – In The Barber’s Chair: Room For No Angel (by Kevin)

Welcome to another Death Of 1000 Cuts – making you an awesome writer, one cut at a time. We’re here every Thursday, trying to solve prose definitively, so humankind can move onto more productive things, like space travel and Pang. I really want your first pages! If you’re working on a novel and you have […]

Poem O’ The Week: Lock In

Last Friday I led a poetry pub crawl around a series of ostensibly haunted pubs in Chester, weaving local history with ghost stories and beer. As a teetotal atheist who has been to Chester twice in his life, I was the perfect choice. I wrote a poem for each pub we visited. Over the next […]

Welcome To The Fantasy Zone Presents: Crude Buster

Release date: 1991 Systems: Arcade, Sega Megadrive In the distant future of 2010, New York is rocked by ‘nuclear explosions of unknown origin’. 20 years later, the clean-up operation has barely begun when a mutant gang full of mean dudes, calling themselves ‘Big Valley’ (I can’t read that name without immediately substituting early 90s cheese-reggae […]

News Monday

Hello everyone. I’ve just installed Google Analytics so I now know that this, News Monday, is read by almost nobody. So I’m free to say whatever I want. Bleugh! Aren’t the ravages of war brilliant? Rod Stewart is my favourite singer-songwriter. Okay, I’ve acclimatised to my newfound giddy freedom. The blog has been running on […]

Tim Clare’s Cone O’ Tragedy: On Immortality

Madame, all stories, if continued far enough, end in death, and he is no true story teller who would keep that from you. Especially do all stories of monogamy end in death, and your man who is monogamous while he often lives most happily, dies in the most lonely fashion. There is no lonelier man […]

Death Of 1000 Cuts – In The Barber’s Chair: The Last Day (by Frederick)

Welcome to another edition of Death Of 1000 Cuts – making you an awesome writer, one cut at a time. This week, it’s Frederick’s turn In The Barber’s Chair. As always, read the extract, then my cuts beneath. You might find you disagree with what I had to say! If so, please do add your […]

Poem O’ The Week: Sun Punch

Every week I force myself to write a new poem, because without deadlines I’ll just sit on my jacksie listening to podcasts and scooping M&Ms into my greasy, sodden maw. They’re all first drafts – sometimes they’re good, sometimes they are the direst of bum-fruit. I do requests! If you would like a poem written […]

Welcome To The Fantasy Zone Presents: Altered Beast

Release date: 1988 Systems: Sega Master System, PC Engine, PC Engine-CD, Famicom, Atari ST, ZX Spectrum, Commodore 64, Amstrad CPC, Commodore Amiga, DOS Altered Beast is one of those games that everyone remembers through a fog of nostalgia. Before Sonic The Hedgehog, it came as the built-in game on the Sega Megadrive. Like last week’s […]

News Monday

Hey kid, how’s it going? *gun and wink* I drove for a total of 9 hours on Saturday. I’ve only just passed my test, so this was big news, you guys. The results are in: Passenger Deaths: 0/4 Sugar-Mallow Pigs Consumed: 11/30 Current DriverRank™: Jr Trolley-Pusha When I level-up I’m pumping all my stat increases […]

Tim Clare’s Cone O’ Tragedy: On Submission

Last Sunday, CNN published an opinion piece about Chuck Ross, ‘the man who turned rejection into a career’. Back in the 70s, a young Ross, frustrated that his mystery novel had failed to find a publisher, retyped National Book Award-winning novel Steps by Jerzy Kosinski, then submitted it to 14 publishers and 13 agents, taking […]

Death Of 1000 Cuts: Cut 7 – ‘Don’t Turn Your Nose Up At “Said”,’ The Author Ejaculated Sneeringly

Now then writing fans. Welcome to another edition of Death Of 1000 Cuts – making you an awesome writer, one cut at a time. Some thoughts on the art of dialogue attribution this week. If you’re working on a novel and would like me to cast my beady eye over your first page, in public […]

Poem O’ The Week: 10 Priests

10 Priests I shot 10 priests. I don’t know why I did it; I suppose I’d had enough of their synchronised wheedling The Luger discharged accidentally during a demonstration of German firearms. One priest had volunteered to play a rebellious POW. I was the executing officer. I did the accent. I thought the safety was […]

Welcome To The Fantasy Zone Presents: Bad Dudes Vs DragonNinja

Release date: 1988 Systems: Arcade, Amiga, Amstrad CPC, Apple II, Atari ST, Commodore 64, DOS, NES, ZX Spectrum A ‘dude’ used to be a sort of metropolitan dandy, but the word underwent some totally badass semantic drift and, during the 80s and 90s, generally referred to any guy who was really, really cool. Now it […]

News Monday

Pip pip! It’s Monday, and that can be semantically-parsed in only one manner – it’s time for another filler-post in the form of News Monday! I took part in the RAP Party at the Southbank on Saturday night. Oh my stars it was good. Obviously it was a lovely, slightly guilty pleasure for me to […]

Tim Clare’s Cone O’ Tragedy: 6 Shows You Are *Legally Obligated* To See At The Edinburgh Fringe

I know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking: hey, Tim, I don’t have to see anything. You can’t make me. You’re not the king. And to that, I say: if I’m not the king, how do you explain my sweet crown? QED, motherfuckers. 1. Rob Auton: The Sky Show Rob Auton is one of the funniest, […]

Death Of 1000 Cuts: In The Barber’s Chair – The Key To The Abbey (by Steph)

Welcome to Death Of 1000 Cuts – making you an awesome writer, one cut at a time. You know the drill. Read the extract, then my comments below. Thanks very much to Steph for supplying the first page this week. Let’s snip. The Key To The Abbey (by Steph) My eyelids were so god damn […]