Sentence First, Verdict Afterwards

‘Let the jury consider their verdict,’ the King said, for about the twentieth time that day. ‘No, no!’ said the Queen. ‘Sentence first – verdict afterwards.’ ‘Stuff and nonsense!’ said Alice loudly. ‘The idea of having the sentence first!’ ‘Hold your tongue!’ said the Queen, turning purple. ‘I won’t!’ said Alice. ‘Off with her head!’…… Continue reading Sentence First, Verdict Afterwards

The Case of the Conjuror’s Trick

Sherlock Holmes. Just that name conjures up a lean man in cape and deerstalker tracking through the moors or pacing 221B Baker Street over a multi-pipe problem. Holmes long ago achieved literary escape velocity, transcending Victorian London, crime fiction and even Conan Doyle. First sleuthing upon the page in 1887’s A Study in Scarlet, these…… Continue reading The Case of the Conjuror’s Trick

Behind: “What Settles After the Stars”

One fated French night in 1700 or thereabouts, so the story goes, Dom Pierre Pérignon was stalking his Hautevillers cellar, turning his bottles, and the great monk decided then was as good a time as any to have a taste. And what he tasted went down crisp and bright and bubbly, the first modern champagne.…… Continue reading Behind: “What Settles After the Stars”

First Two Pages + Two Bad Hamiltons = Too Good a Time!

I’m delighted to have a guest post over at The First Two Pages, a blog run by writer extraordinaire B.K. Stevens. Every week a novelist or story writer takes apart an opening they find instructive: the fits and starts of crafting it, how the hook became sharp, etc. In my case, I’ve taken apart the…… Continue reading First Two Pages + Two Bad Hamiltons = Too Good a Time!