Category Archives: writing

Want to Write a Privileged White Male – Part 2

Okay, so here’s Part 2 in which, as promised I share some of the things men have said to me that just go to prove their PWM standing, though in some cases it’s more a case of just sheer stupidity, I’ll let you decide which is which.  Of course, there are levels of PWM extremism which is why I’ve given two definitions in some cases, also remember, some men are like this because they don’t know better and some are like this because they believe that they already know best.  Don’t cast them all in the same depth of shade.

What he says What he means
You seem to have misunderstood … You’re wrong and it’s your fault
I didn’t intend … It’s not my fault
… it’s a longstanding trademark… And I’m not going to change
… my lack of protocol is legendary… I’ll do what I want regardless
… I wasn’t bypassing you … I can’t see it so it can’t matter

OR

I was, and I don’t care

… I suppose this is typical of me … I’ve no intention of changing
I’ve never experienced… Therefore, it didn’t happen
I haven’t seen that You made it up
It’s just me being me You must make allowances

OR

I don’t see why I should change

What you need to understand is… Your tiny female brain can’t cope with the big male facts
Don’t worry your pretty little head… You’re a bimbo with no brain, let the big clever man take care of things
It’s not equality they’re looking for, it’s female privilege How dare any woman think they’re as good as me

OR

I’m higher up the ladder than my skills warrant and I’m under threat.

… shouldn’t dress provocatively. It’s women’s fault that I can’t control my sexual urges
Why Privileged White Males? Isn’t that racist? If I posted about … I’d be banned You’re discriminating against me and I’m going to whine about it.
I don’t have to put up with your attacks. Adieu! I can’t find a way to counter the valid statement you just made so I’m flouncing out.

 

Should you want to put the cherry on the cake of the PWM character – and let’s face it PWMs think they all deserve the cherry – you could always have him use a number of the above phrases in a so-called ‘apology’ then email mutual connections of some description to tell them how he tried and so that “everyone can appreciate [his] grovelling.”

What now follows is quotes from other people who shared their experiences with me,

What they said What I heard
Don’t want a baby? Keep your legs shut. Birth control is not my responsibility.
Slavery’s not too bad, they were housed, fed, and clothed Humans who aren’t like me are worth less, may not even be human.
Can’t do anything without it being some kind of sexual assault! I don’t respect women and should be able to grab what I want, when I want.
There’s no such thing as the gender pay gap Women aren’t as skilled as men so aren’t worth the same pay

 

As mentioned, feel free to use any of the above for inspiration, but here are two quotes from Val Portelli and her book “Story of A Country Boy”, that illustrate exactly what I’m talking about:Another perennial that I’m sure more then than a few can identify with, probably anyone who isn’t a privileged white male, in fact, is the repeating of your idea as if it’s their own.  Love that one.

‘… when I asked what was for dinner, she had the cheek to tell me to make it myself! Well, if that didn’t deserve a slap I don’t know what did.’

‘She didn’t apologise, but the next morning I came down to find a proper cooked English breakfast so I forgave her.’

 

Before anyone screams, yes – I know not all men are like this. I’ve given extreme definitions to illustrate the point. I suspect that this blog will offend a man or two, but if it does, perhaps those men should stop for a moment and question why they find this offensive.  I find parts of this offensive because it’s been used against me.  I find parts of this offensive because it’s been used against others.

The unfortunate truth is that privileged white males exist.  As it is a part of human experience there will be people who want to write about it, which is why I’m putting this out as what to consider if you want to portray a written character as a privileged white male.  In real life, most men, thankfully, do not think or act this way and hopefully, in a generation or two, none of them will.

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Want to write a Privileged White Male? Part 1

PWM2

Do you want to write a character who is a privileged white male?  No, I’m not sure why you would either, unless he’s the villain of the piece in the modern era. And yes, there is so much on this topic that I’m having to split this into 2 blogs.  Well, there’s probably enough for more that 2 blogs, but there’s a limit for most things.

Now I don’t claim I’m perfect, far from it, I have nasty little thoughts of prejudice, but I try to recognise and reduce them.  What I’ve found of late is that there are some men who think that they are being prejudiced against when actually, the level of the playing field is just being evened up.  They simply don’t see that they are the product of a system that actively promotes them over others.

Anyway, I’ve encountered a fair bit of this behaviour over the years, so I thought I’d share some of the things that have been said to me and if you want to use them, feel free. If I find a need for a loathsome character of this nature, I’d sure I’ll be trotting a few of these out too.

On the topic of positive discrimination:

  • It’s discrimination
  • If I did something for only white heterosexual males, I’d be locked up
  • The best women will always rise
  • Why should we have an International Women’s Day?
  • Why should I put up with something mediocre just because it’s from a woman?

It’s discrimination – yes, it is, but it only feels bad to you because you’re being excluded from a tiny, tiny race when you’re allowed to enter all other races and are in fact, given a head start in most.

If I did something for only white heterosexual males, I’d be locked up – Oh if only!  In the UK the vast majority of everything is still run, led and set up to support and promote white heterosexual males.  So, there are a few things out there that want to actively promote women – yey for them, everything else is already yours.

The best women will always rise – Yes, they will. The problem is that anyone below the best, including the very good and the good women, still get pipped at the post by mediocre or useless men.  Why should women have to fight for what men are handed on a plate?  A few weeks ago, I was talking to a woman working in the construction industry and she asked why a man younger than her with less experience was given the promotion she was after, and she was told that it was because she had children.  When she pointed out that so did the promoted man, she was told, “Well that’s different.”  You want to see how male-dominated all the major events/breakthroughs of the last 200 years are, go look who got the praise for putting men on the moon, who got the awards for discovering DNA, there are hundreds of examples, just open your eyes to them.

Why should we have an International Women’s Day?  – Because the other 364 days are year are all about men, 365 days a leap year, and let’s face it, even on International Women’s Day, some men still find a way to make it all about men. This is the same reason we need Black History Month because everything else is whitewashed.

Why should I put up with something mediocre just because it’s from a woman? – Why should put up with mediocre and rubbish from men, just because they’re men?  Despite 100 years of the vote and 30 years of Equal Opportunities legislation, we still don’t have equality in the workplace.

This is now a long blog, so I’ll finish here, but don’t worry, you won’t have to wait long for part 2 in which I’ll share some of the things PWM say and what they actually mean.

Also, I want to say that these examples are from a minority. I know most men, and women, out there are actually good guys trying hard to straddle the world our grandparents and parents knew to the one we live in and the one we want to make better for our children and grandchildren.

 

 

 

 

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January Review

So what happened in January – it started well, but finished on something of a low.

Locked Down is out for review, and the ebook is up for pre-order, the paperback will be up shortly, but Amazon doesn’t allow books to be pre-ordered if they are print on demand, seems odd, but it’s their game, their rules.  So that will be joining the ebook shortly.  I have one review on Goodreads already, so that’s good, and I’ll have to start the promotional stuff soon.

I have been working on Speed of Aether, but to steal a friends comment, Spead of Aether isn’t warp speed.  I’m behind where I wanted to be with this novel at this point.   I’ve reached 46k words, but I should have finished the book by now.

This isn’t because of the book, it is all the distractions, self-publishing especially.

I also took a week out of writing Speed to do a 5,000-word short story for an open competition I heard about. Now the bones of that were down quickly, but it took a fair amount of polish.  The problem was, I didn’t submit it because the feedback I got included the fact that I’d misrepresented a certain fetish.  And after looking into that fetish a bit more, I got the point.  I had.  And though the story was still a good read if you knew nothing about the fetish, I didn’t think it was the right thing to do to put it out there.  So more research needed.  Then I’ll re-write it, ignore the 5k limit and I suspect at some point it will be coming out as a novella.

I’m also down on wordcount, because I have barely been able to work on anything this last week.  I’m picked up a lung infection from somewhere and it’s laid me very low.  I can’t take a deep breath without it making me cough, movement or any form or exertion leaves me breathless – now I admit I’ve not been fit for a while, but I could walk up a flight of stairs without it making me call for oxygen, can’t do that right now. It’s seriously affected my ability to concentrate too.  You wouldn’t believe how long it’s taken to write this blog. Still, it’s an infection, I have been prescribed antibiotics and it will pass.  I just wish it would pass faster.

This year I promised myself that I would read and listen to more.  At least one audiobook and one paperback a month.  It doesn’t sound like much, but both are things that have suffered due to my full schedule.

This month I listened to “The Invisible Library” by Genevieve Cogman. I thoroughly enjoyed the story, Irene and Kai are such fun and the story had plenty of interest points to keep me listening.  The only downside was the narrator, her breathy voice worked well in some places and in others (which was, unfortunately, most places) it annoyed me.  It was like listening to a vicious argument spoken like an M&S Foood advert – This isn’t, an, argument, this, is, an M&S argument.  Really there are times when you want the action to feel active and that narrator lost that impact for me a few times.  Don’t get me wrong, it’s great book, I’d recommend reading it, I wouldn’t want to put you off listening to the audio either, but it was only a 4* for me.

This month I’ve mostly read an unpublished manuscript – which was brilliant!  It needs polish but if the author does what they need to do to get it published, I’m sure it will go down a storm. I’ve also read about half of “A Time for Silence” by Thorne Moore, very good Welsh-centric book. and part of “Dawn’s Early Light” by Pip Ballantine and Tee Morris, one of the Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences novels.  These are very different genres and very different storytellers.  But that’s been a good thing because I’ve been able to match what to read to how I was feeling.  Both have their good points, have to admit I’m enjoying the steampunk more as it a joyous adventure story, but there’s a more of an emotional connection with Thorne’s characters.  To be honest, there’s a character in there that I really don’t like, mostly because he reminds me of people I know. But isn’t that what the writers set out to do, entertain and evoke an emotional response?

Anyway, that’s me done for now. I’m going to listen to some “Mortal Engines” now, as that’s about all I have the energy for. I’ll catch up with you as soon as I can.

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I am a Sick Bunny

CrimeFest

Yes – it’s official I am a “Sick Bunny”, will explain later.

I spent last weekend (17 – 20 May 2018) at Crimefest, had a great time, as ever. Caught up with lots of old friends, made some new ones.  Listening to the panels, I’ve picked up some great tips for future novels – and the current work in progress.

I’ve attended a few Crimefests now and never managed to get on the Forensics Excursion, but this year a note went out last minute to say that two tickets had come available, and I was lucky enough to be one of those that snagged one.  It was brilliant.  A great way to look at ‘crime scenes’ and see how they worked. At last now, I understand the priority order how things are numbered for photographs etc. at crime scenes.  Makes so much sense now (the lower the number the more vulnerable the evidence). Will definitely be using what I learned, and it was well worth giving up a lie in to leave the house at 0630 in order to be sure to be there.

Thoroughly enjoyed loads of panels. Would pick out a couple, The “Debut Authors” on Friday with Emily Elgar, Caroline England, Chris McGeorge, Elizabeth Mundy, Robert Scragg.  Meet Robert at Newcastle Noir and he’s one to watch.  Another highlight was the “Bloody Scotland” panel; Lesley Kelly, Douglas Lindsay, Caro Ramsey and Tana Collins, who I’ve blogged about before. My last of the weekend sent me out on a high, that was the “Give Me A Break” panel on Sunday – will be reading books from Oliver Bottini and Alis Hawkins.

It was also lovely to see so many members of Crime Cymru, at the event, and many of them on panels (including Cathy Ace, Rosie Claverton, Alis Hawkins)

Well as you may well know, there’s always Gala Dinner at Crimefest, and I attended this year. The organisers do give delegates the chance to say who they would like to sit with, but this year I decided to take the role of the dice and ask nothing, just see where I got placed.  I was fortunate because I ended up on a table with Kat Hall, Sarah Ward, Oliver Bottini (German Author recently translated into English), Katharina Bielenberg of Maclehose Press.  Even though there was a lot of German spoken (of which my limit is about sprichst du Englisch?), but these were lovely, interesting and inclusive people, I had a great evening.

So why am I a sick bunny?

One of the other people at the table was David Hicks, of The Book Trade Charity.  I’d met David in London in March and we’d spoken, and I’ve given him a copy of my short story collection Last Cast Casebook. I never really expected to hear from his again, let alone bump into him, but I did and he told me that he’d read the collection, and I am a sick bunny. I think that means he enjoyed it, even if some of the stories made for uncomfortable reading – and that means I did my job right.  Woohoo!

So, there you go.  Crimefest was fantastic and I am confirmed a sick bunny.

 

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The Day I Outsold Agatha Christie

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Never thought I’d be able to say that, but I can.  GB Williams outsold Agatha Christie. More copies of “Locked Up” sold than did “Ordeal by Innocence” by Agatha Christie.

And I can now say I’m an Amazon #1 bestseller.

Wow saying that feels good too!

Okay, so I only outsold her for one day in a niche market, but it’s a great thing to be able to say. The fact that it happened when I started the day feeling down and utterly useless, only makes it sweeter.

And I have another review since that day, another 5-star review that says:

“I found the author really brought prison life, er, to life, and without stumbling into any horribly hackneyed prison cliches. Certain characters could have easily drifted into stereotype or caricature, but GB manages to just twist her characters that little bit out of the ordinary.

“I admired Ariadne (the epitome of a fish out of water; a woman PO in a prison full of hormonal and deprived men), found her obvious internal conflicts fascinating to watch develop. And a little bit of me wished I actually was Charlie. Same feeling I get when I read Lee Child’s Reacher books – “why can’t I be more like him?” etc. If that’s not escapism, I don’t know what is.”

On the same day I was also the number 2 best seller on the US site – does the happy dance – another thing not to be sniffed at.

So, if you brought “Locked Up” already – THANK YOU!!!

And, if you want to see why Charlie can be compared to Reacher – why not go get your copy?  And if you do – please review, it makes a huge difference to a writer to know what their readers really think of their work.

Thank you!

Please review

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Coming out of it

Life is full of difficult moments, tough choices.  I’ve not been around much this last month because I’ve been walking with the Black Dog. That doesn’t mean that I’ve been doing nothing. Mostly I’ve been writing and trying, and I’m going to keep on writing and trying, and who knows sometime it might pay off.

Today I wrote a passage about a character who did something only to feel crushed and embarrassed by the action later. That’s something I’ve done, I’m sure a lot of other people had done the same.  It got me thinking. I’ve been reflecting on how my life shows in my writing. And it does. While I’m not adventurous, I don’t have the courage my characters show, I sure know how to make myself feel bad. I look at the characters that I put on paper and I put them through hell because that’s the crap I put myself through.

Take Charlie Bell.  He’s a copper life – or I – turned into a killer. He ruined his life by making a difficult choice.  He knew what he was doing and it didn’t stop him doing it despite the cost because it was the only way.  Of course, he didn’t realise quite how much it was going to cost him. When he discovers the final payment, he shuts down.  Won’t eat. Won’t communicate. Won’t even move. Everything is too much of a bother.

This is typical depression non-activity. Except for me.  Comfort food is my downfall. Not much stops me eating.

But I get over it, and Charlie is forced to get out of his dark moment too.  To find out what pushed him over the edge, and what brought him back in Locked Up.

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Keeping Up with the Changes

Image result for ipcc to iopc

When writing crime, there’s a distinct need to do your research.  So when I heard that the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) was being replaced, I wanted to know more.

The IPCC has gained itself some mistrust after investigations into how several men died in custody (separate incidents). Relatives of the suspects killed and injured in police custody have expressed doubts about the actual independence of the IPCC.

The replacement is the Independent Office for Police Conduct, the IOPC.  The Home Office say that the new structure will “ensure greater accountability to the public”.

On-going investigations will be transferred, by the question to my mind is, aside from the name, what will the difference be?  Well, one of the big difference will be that the IOPC will be able to launch its own investigations without referrals from police and making its probes completely separate from those carried out internally by forces.

That sounds like a good change to me, here’s one that I’m less certain about.  The IOPC will also be able to bring disciplinary cases against police officers even if their home force disagrees with its findings and takes no action.  I can see how this could overcome some in-house cover-ups, but I also believe that local knowledge plays a big part in policing and the force itself will have that, the IOPC won’t.

Still, the first real improvement doubtless outweighs the second secondary concern.

As a writer, this now means that I have to give real thought to which organisation I refer to in any future work, and in you have a work in progress that includes the IPCC, maybe you should consider the move now not to date your work before it goes out there.

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