The Hour of the Dragon

The Hour of the Dragon is a novella written by Robert E. Howard about Conan the Barbarian. It was published in serial form in Weird Tales Magazine during the mid 1930s. This is an unusal tale because in it Conan sits the throne of Aqualonia. Also this was one of Howard’s last stories before he committed sucide. I could regale you with a summary of the story or hit the main points of it. I chose to inspire you to read it or listen to it as I did.

Today’s writers have many distractions stealing our writing time, so quality sometimes gets lost in the search for quanity. If a writer has so much distracting them, then what chance does the reader have? Internet, television, the ipad, laptop, xbox, playstation, work, family, friends are all clamoring for our attention.

Back when Mr. Howard was writing, there were also distractions, but stories didn’t have to compete with televisions or even movies. Work, a lack of books and education were the distractions. A lot of the classic authors started by writing for magazines and dime novels. Jack London, Ernest Heminway, and many more, went on to become masters of the pen. Overcoming the distractions of their day with intense, tight, clean writing, we have been given great gifts if we are willing to reach for them. It seems most writers today have overlooked these gems from the past. How much can we as modern day writers learn from these writers, I think it is time we pay the homage they so richly deserve. Without their writings and stories, we wouldn’t be here, the stories we grew up listening to or reading wouldn’t exist. I also believe that we should stay in touch with modern authors because in the far future they will become classic authors that those distant writers in the future will look too.

Listening to Mr. Howard’s stories have given me a new appreciation for these authors. I am looking foward to discovering new thoughts, ideas, and a better grasp of writing by studying the old masters, while staying in touch with modern authors. Hopefully I have inspired you to look beyond current writers to new old writers. Cheers, james


Yesterday I reached fifty people following me. For someone who didn’t think anyone would care about my writing, you folks are amazing. I have read at least one post from most of you. To the ones I haven’t, give me a little more time, cause I will get there. Thank you so much for believing in this blog and this wanna be writer.

Have a wonderful blessed holiday season. Cheers, james

Don’t feel bad, I want you to download my free book

A great post and a great chance to get a well written self published book, but a risk free way to try something new.

Suffolk Scribblings


I don’t know about you, but whenever I see an author running a free promotion I find myself in a dilemma. If I’m aware of a book promotion then the chances are I know of the author, or somebody I respect knows and likes the author’s work. And that’s where things get a little awkward.

On the one hand I would like to download the book. If I’ve heard of the book then it may well be a work I’m curious about but for whatever reason has never made it onto my reading list. It may be I’ve only just met the author and it’s on my wish list but below a number of other authors I’ve met earlier. It may even be a genre or style of book that I don’t usually read but I enjoy the author’s blog. Either way, I’m interested.


On the other hand, I’m a big supporter of my…

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The Hero’s Journey: Part 3, Defining Your Hero

I am sad to say here is part 3 of this awesome series I have been reading and loving. If you stumble across post 3 I beg you gou back and read the other two. The information she includes is very helpful and we as writers need to absorb this material into ourselves. Cheers,

Nina Munteanu Writing Coach

Edge Of Tomorrow - Emily Blunt warriorTo write a truly compelling story is to resonate with the universal truths of metaphor within the consciousness of humanity. According to scholar and mythologist Joseph Campbell this involves an open mind and a certain amount of humility; and giving oneself to the story…not unlike the hero who gives her life to something larger than herself: “Anyone writing a creative work knows that you open, you yield yourself, and the book talks to you and builds itself….you become the carrier of something that is given to you from … the Muses—or God.”

This is no fancy, it is a fact. Since, as Campbell says “the inspiration comes from the unconscious, and since the unconscious minds of the people of any single small society have much in common, what the shaman or seer [or artist] brings forth is something that is waiting to be brought forth in everyone.” I call this…

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The Hero’s Journey: Part 2, Heroes and Other Archetypes

This is part 2 of an awesome 3 post series. The archtype she discusses fits perfectly with my current writing project. Also take a moment to swing by her blog, it is very worthwhile trip. Cheers, james

Nina Munteanu Writing Coach

420px-Edmund_blair_leighton_accoladeThe world of fairy tales and myth is peopled with recurring character types and relationships. Heroes on a quest, heralds and wise old men or women who provide them with “gifts” or motive, shady fellow-travelers—threshold guardians—who “block” the quest, tricksters who confuse things and evil villains who simply want to destroy our hero and her quest.

Jung adopted the term archetypes, which means ancient patterns of personality shared by humanity, to describe these as a collective unconscious. An archetype models a personality or behavior; a mother-figure is an archetype. This is what makes archetypes, or symbols, so important to the storyteller. Archetypes are found in nearly all forms of literature, with their motifs mostly rooted in folklore.

Assigning an archetype to a character lets the writer clarify that character’s role in the story. Archetypes are an important tool in the universal language of storytelling, just as myth serves the…

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The Hero’s Journey: Part 1, The Hero & the Journey

This is the first of a three part post. Take a moment to swing by her blog. It is awesome and full of good posts. Cheers,

Nina Munteanu Writing Coach

hero's journey-boat-moonAll stories consist of … common structural elements found universally in myths, fairy tales, dreams, and movies. They are known collectively as The Hero’s Journey — Christopher Vogler, “The Writer’s Journey: Mythic Structure for Writers”

“The Hero’s Journey” myth follows the three-act structure of the ancient Greek play, handed down to us thousands of years ago. Drawn from the depth psychology of Swiss psychologist Carl Jung and the scholar and mythologist Joseph Campbell, author of The Hero with a Thousand Faces, it duplicates the steps of the “Rite of Passage” and is a process of self-discovery and self-integration.

The Power of Myth & Archetype

Campbell recognized that myths weren’t just abstract theories or quaint ancient beliefs but practical models for understanding how to live. Ultimately, the Hero’s Journey is the soul’s search for “home”. It is a journey of transformation we all take, in some form.This is why the Hero’s Journey model for…

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Tea and Sympathy

This is the lovely post that got me thinking about my own bad guys and prompted my post “Thoughts about Villians”. I hope you will take a few minutes to swing by her blog. She is an awesome writer and blogger. Cheers,

Julie Allan

I have a problem . . . one I did not anticipate when I began writing my book Pearls of Wisdom.  In my story I have a character, his name is Angelo and he is the villain of my tale.  He can’t help it really, he grew up in a family where crime is the family business. He is a cog in the machinery that runs a syndicate that runs the East Coast of the United States all the way to South America. He does not call the shots, but he hasn’t chosen a more virtuous path either.  He is compassionate towards others, especially senior citizens.  He has a bad boy swagger and charming dimples that I find hard to resist, think Sonny Corinthos from General Hospital.  Of course with that admission you have discovered one of my guilty pleasures: Soap Operas.  Soaps or stories as my Grandmother called them were a family tradition from her…

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Thoughts about Villians

     I just read a post about another writer beginning to like her villian. In the two stories I am working on, my villians don’t seem to have any redeeming qualities.

     In Owl Story, my villian is a demon like enity trying get from the spirit world into the physical world. Power mad and thoughts of destroying the world make him feel warm and fuzzy inside, if that were possible. However, I have not delved very deeply into the character yet. I have the feeling he was part of the guardian group before he decided to be a villian.  And in the previous battle, became the demon like enity he is now. Providing the motivation to take over the world or destroy it trying. Still a very unknown shadowy character.

     The second bad guy character, I haven’t decided what to do with him. According to one of the main characters, he isn’t bad, something happend and he was corupted by the major bad guy. So this will allow me to redeem him, if I can add it in with the story as a blow to the bad guy or maybe send him in as a spy. I like the idea of redeeming him while he is working for the bad guy and realizes just what a sob he’s been. 

     Anyway those are a few thoughts about villians. How do you like your bad guys? Could they just be misunderstood and need a second chance or are they just plan evil? Cheers, james