I found out about this via Brand Gamblin and I think it deserves a special mention.

It uses classic design elements and a simple stylish sleekness to make its impact, while the scientific aspects are amongst the most fantastic I have seen in the mainstream.

Truly this is one to watch.

 

*checks time, nods, runs*

100-word story

You can’t do it.

Yes I can.

Oh, it was a problem. No way I could deny that, but still… Give up? Say the adversary was right? That I couldn’t do it? Balls.

Best thing to do was say screw it to the conventions and just go stream-of-consciousness.

Somewhere there would be a solution I could use. If only I could think of a way around it.

Told you that you wouldn’t be able to-

Fuck you, Brain. I know what I’m doing.

I put the finishing touches to it.

There. One hundred words. Told you I could do it.

Story building – Part 2

Last time I wrote a bunch of words. Mostly dialogue, little bit of description. Definitely first draft material, though.

Here’s a recap of the instigating idea, and what currently passes for the worldbuilding:

Idea

“Check this shit out, I’m going to be a fucking

eager Human Barbarian from a royal lineage who has a drinking problem”

Worldbuilding

Look at the character generated.

Does not fit flash fiction.

Why do I say that? Too big a problem for a short arc.

Just make him drunk, not drinking problem per se, but it is a problem in the particular circumstance.

VR

MC is drunk inside D&D style VR world.

AI is trying to talk him round and bring him out of the VR

Why is the AI bringing him round to get him out?

Because the guy has to get married.

He’s a warrior-Prince of the blood-royal in a high-tech society who doesn’t want to get married to the merchant-Prince he has to get married to, so he’s getting pissed in a VR. If he got pissed in “reality” it would be frowned upon by his family.

It’s a nigh-feudalistic society with something like a military caste, a merchant caste, and a philosophical caste. These castes rule the proletariat who serve as workers and low-level grunts of each caste. Every now and then a member of the proletariat (called barbarians) will be raised “up” to a caste. The castes do not breed, they have homosexual marriages between castes to maintain balance.

This time, I’m looking to do the biggest stuff that needs doing. I don’t care right now about the best grammar, the odd typo, or anything like that. In a longer piece, I’d be looking at faltering thematic arc, characters development arcs, plot holes, and all that malarkey. Most of that disappears in a flash fiction story. You’ve basically got a scene. That scene still has to have an arc, and it still needs to have some character development, but it’s going to be somewhat theme-light and there’s not a whole lotta plot to break.

So what do I need to check and fix on this pass?

Is there an arc?

Another way of asking this question for a flash fiction piece is to ask whether there is a story at all? It’s meant to be a stand-alone story — in this incarnation — so it should have a conflict, escalation and resolution. At the very least. Is it there?

We find out pretty quickly that Chiam is conflicted internally, and the intention is that there should be an external conflict as well. Reading through the first ten percent or so of the story, the external conflict in implied but it’s not very strong. There are almost always several ways to deal with problems like this at this stage. Here, I could add a bit to the beginning so that the drone character is introduced as the representative of the external conflict straight away. I could also change the admonitory third line so that it is more censorious. Or both.

I’ll try the second option first.

‘What is it you want, Chi?’

‘MORE ALE!’ He waved his tankard at a tavern wench.

‘No, Chiam!’ The wench vanished at the drone’s emphatic negation. ‘Why are you here? Between tick and tock, instead of getting ready for your wedding? You know how everyone is going to react if you stay here.’

”M not goin’ back. Don’t wanna get married.’

OK. That makes the point, and I quite like it (of course I do, I just wrote it), but it does have a slight whiff of the maid-and-butler (AKA “As You Know, Bob…”). If Chi already knows how people are going to react, why is the drone saying it? Except that people really do that. People do say “you know what so-and-so is going to think about this…”

But what about introducing the conflict the other way? Bringing it right up front.

Chi cradled the empty tankard in his hands, glaring blearily at the approaching drone.

‘If my parents sent you to get me, drone, you can just go right back!’

‘What is it you want, Chi?’ the drone said, not bothering to deny the charge.

‘MORE ALE!’ He waved his tankard at a tavern wench.

‘No, Chiam.’ The wench vanished. ‘Why are you here? Between tick and tock, instead of getting ready for your wedding?’

”M not goin’ back. Don’t wanna get married.’

That kinda works, too. It’s probably a better start than the previous opening line was, and it’s a bit more natural than the somewhat as-you-know-bob feel of the first one.

I could combine them. I really could. What would that give us?

Chi cradled the empty tankard in his hands, glaring blearily at the approaching drone.

‘If my parents sent you to get me, drone, you can just go right back!’

‘What is it you want, Chi?’ the drone said, not bothering to deny the charge.

‘MORE ALE!’ He waved his tankard at a tavern wench.

‘No, Chiam.’ The wench vanished at the drone’s emphatic negation. ‘Why are you here? Between tick and tock, instead of getting ready for your wedding? You know how everyone is going to react if you stay here.’

”M not goin’ back. Don’t wanna get married.’

*Twitch* “Everyone.” Hmmm. This happens sometimes. A minor point will trip me up while I’m meant to be looking at the bigger stuff, so, I’m going to line edit for a second—

Everyone is not going to give the slightest damn if someone gets married or not. I don’t care how high profile the wedding is. That’s me being lazy, and it should be fixed. Thing is, because I’ve noticed it, I have to fix it now or it will keep making me twitch as I try to do other things with the story. So. What should it be? A list of the relevant people? “… your parents, his parents, the trade board that ratified the partnership, and your husband-to-be, of course…

Well, no. That’s daft. World-building info, yes. A bit more external conflict, yes. Necessary? No. I’ve already introduced one source of external conflict that Chi, himself, has identified as his top concern: his parents. That’s all we need. So that line becomes:

‘No, Chiam.’ The wench vanished at the drone’s emphatic negation. ‘Why are you here? Between tick and tock, instead of getting ready for your wedding? You know how your parents will to react if you stay here.’

Fine. That’ll do for now. It may change again later as I focus on other aspects of the story, but for now it fulfils its purpose.

What about the rest of it?

Chi is escalating by raising objections to the drone’s points, but can there be more? Yes, there could. If there was greater escalation, however, it would need more resolution and the story would have to be a lot longer. So, the question becomes whether there is enough escalation for the story I’m telling. I think there is. I don’t think it needs much more than it has.

Resolution starts in the last third of the story and happens quite abruptly. There is something of a disconnect between Chi’s admission that he would have “cited jeopardy” and the drone beginning resolution with “I should not tell you this…”.

It’s missing a beat. It does not flow quite right. So, what happens if I do ratchet the tension up just one more notch and give just a small pause for breath after?

‘I know. We did get on. And if I hadn’t had any empathy with him, I would have cited jeopardy, even if it meant being relegated.’

‘So, what is really the problem?’ asked the drone.

Chi slumped back in his chair. ‘I am scared, drone.’

The virtual environment seemed uncommonly quiet to Chiam as he waited for the drone’s reaction.

‘I should not tell you this…’

Chi latched on to the halting words. Drones knew everything that went on and they were not supposed to let any secrets out.

‘Your soon-to-be husband,’ the drone continued, ‘is currently being attended to by a drone of my own class, because he, too, is virtually drunk. He hasn’t chosen a fantasy tavern, though. He’s in a seedy gin-joint out of some noir fiction setting.’

OK. That’s better. Not great, but better. The beats are right-ish, I think, and the rest of the resolution flows well enough to close the arc, at least.

Internal consistency & logical progression

Normally, these would be two different passes, but as this story is so short you can do them in one.

There isn’t that much to check. Drones seem to behave the same way throughout. Nothing seems to contradict itself regarding the society. The virtual reality doesn’t behave inconsistently, as far as I can see. Cool. Nothing to change there, I think.

That means we are left with the story in this state, for now.

The story as it stands

Chi cradled the empty tankard in his hands, glaring blearily at the approaching drone.

‘If my parents sent you to get me, drone, you can just go right back!’

‘What is it you want, Chi?’ the drone said, not bothering to deny the charge.

‘MORE ALE!’ He waved his tankard at a tavern wench.

‘No, Chiam.’ The wench vanished at the drone’s emphatic negation. ‘Why are you here? Between tick and tock, instead of getting ready for your wedding? You know how your parents will to react if you stay here.’

”M not goin’ back. Don’t wanna get married.’

‘Are you sure? Would you be happier back outside the Caste?’

‘I’M NOT A PROLE BREEDER!’

‘I see some semblance of reality is seeping back in, but that’s not really an accepta-‘

‘Go ‘way. He doesn’t want to get married.’

‘Ah, now we’re getting closer to it.’

‘Wazzat?’

‘He’s a good match. You’ll be a strong partnership.’

‘Sure.’

‘Is that not a what you want?’

‘I want love. I want to love and be loved.’

‘You want to have a child? You will eventually be able to foster…’

‘No! F’r cryin’ out loud, can’t you leave that alone? Love doesn’t have to lead to having babies! Plenty o’ proles, don’t have babies after their quota, but they stay together out of love. Plenty among the Castes have love for each other, but not everyone. It’s not guaranteed.’

‘There are no guarantees.’

‘I know that, but I don’t even know what he likes… The Dates don’t cover everything, you know.’

‘You’ve both filled out the questionnaire.’

‘Yeah, so what?’

‘So you know what he likes.’

‘No I don’t.’

An image of a scroll appeared before the old man. ‘It says he likes to do anything, on the right occasion.’

Chi groaned. ‘That’s what everyone says, drone.’

‘Maybe it’s true.’

‘It is and it ain’t. I’m not a Philosopher. It’s like when you’re with your best friend and she’s showing you her outfit choices for her Date that night. You can’t just say “Well, they’re both hideous, and frankly you could stand to lose a couple of kilos before you try to squeeze into either of them, honey!”, that just won’t do. So you pick the least objectionable piece of one outfit and dive into the wardrobe frantically trying to find things to go with it, before finally turning round like you’ve just had an amazing insight to say “You know what? It’s your first Date with the woman you’re going to marry! Let’s go and buy something new for the occasion!”.

‘You avoid the question.’

‘Yes. And that’s what his answer is. Anyone can say they enjoy anything on the right occasion, because you can easily say at a later date that the occasion never arises. Scan your databanks, drone. You’ll find a variant of that answer on most Questionnaires, I’d wager. Even mine.’

‘So, you want to be loved.’

‘Yes.’ Chi was almost sober after his little outburst.

‘You didn’t tell him that during your dates?’

‘No! Because, like you did, he would have assumed that I was talking about breeding. He knows I wasn’t chosen to be raised up to Caste until quite late on. He might think I still had tendencies.’

‘I think he might surprise you, Chiam.’

‘But he’s so cold.’

‘He’s a merchant-Prince, they tend to be analytical. They still have feelings.’

‘I know. We did get on. And if I hadn’t had any empathy with him, I would have cited jeopardy, even if it meant being relegated.’

‘So, what is really the problem?’ asked the drone.

Chi slumped back in his chair. ‘I am scared, drone.’

The virtual environment seemed uncommonly quiet to Chiam as he waited for the drone’s reaction.

‘I should not tell you this…’

Chi latched on to the halting words. Drones knew everything that went on and they were not supposed to let any secrets out.

‘Your soon-to-be husband,’ the drone continued, ‘is currently being attended to by a drone of my own class, because he, too, is virtually drunk. He hasn’t chosen a fantasy tavern, though. He’s in a seedy gin-joint out of some noir fiction setting.’

‘Really?’

‘In truth.’

‘You really shouldn’t have told me.’

‘Also true, but we held a drone conference on a subchannel and it was decided that we could impart this information under one especial condition.’

‘Which was?’

‘That you both found out the information at the same time.’

‘You mean, he knows?!’

‘The pair of you have amusingly similar reactions to that revelation.’

‘Yes, you both know. Now, I suggest that we divert tradition in one more way. We can arrange a brief meeting for both of you inside the VR, so that you can actually tell each other how you feel, before we get to the wedding. I think a neutral setting? Say, a sunny beach?’

‘Yes. Let’s go.’

Chi stood and the setting changed around him, fading from rustic tavern to the golden warmth of a late afternoon on a sunny beach. Uan Ndiaye stood nearby, smiling a little sheepishly. Chi imagined that his own expression was somewhat similar, but did not bother to school it.

‘I had somehow imagined late morning or noon,’ said Chi.

‘I asked for later in the day, but still warm. The drone…’ Uan looked around, briefly startled by something, and Chi only then realised, himself, that the drones were missing.

Chi decided that Uan looked a little lost, even nervous. He wants to be loved, too. That’s… Adorable.

Wrap up

You may have noticed that I did not cover anything that I said I would at the end of the last post. I realised that I was jumping ahead of myself, there. Those aspects of character development and line editing will come nearer the end of the process.

Next post, I’ll go through the questions:

  • Is there sufficient detail to paint the picture of the environment?
  • Is there too much detail anywhere?
  • Can a reader tell what’s happening?
  • How is the pacing?

For now, TTFN.

Story building

I thought it might be interesting to see how a story comes together. From idea to final story, although it’ll just be here, on the blog. Why? Well, let me tell you a story…

I don’t do flash fiction challenges that often, but Chuck Wendig’s Friday challenges caught my eye on the 9th January.

Looked cool. Clicked the link. Laughed.

Good start.

Here’s the idea…

"Check this shit out, I'm going to be a fucking
eager Human Barbarian from a royal lineage who has a drinking problem"

Nice. Still makes me chuckle a bit.

 

So, what was I thinking at that point?

Look at the character generated.

Does not fit flash fiction.

Why do I say that? Too big a problem for a short arc.

Just make him drunk, not drinking problem per se, but it is a problem in the particular circumstance.

OK. So far, so good. But that’s not a story. Let the brain free-wheel for a bit and see what happens…

*spin spin spin* Nothing.

*spin spin…* Ah.

VR

MC is drunk inside D&D style VR world.

AI is trying to talk him round and bring him out of the VR

Why is the AI bringing him round to get him out?

Because the guy has to get married.

He’s a warrior-Prince of the blood-royal in a high-tech society who doesn’t want to get married to the merchant-Prince he has to get married to, so he’s getting pissed in a VR. If he got pissed in “reality” it would be frowned upon by his family.

And that was it. Words started to come out. Not particularly good words, but it doesn’t matter.

 

‘Why are you here, instead of getting ready for your wedding?’

”M not goin’ back. Don’t wanna get married.’

‘Are you sure? Would you be happier back outside the Caste?’

‘I’M NOT A PROLE BREEDER!’

‘I see some semblance of reality is seeping back in.’

‘Go ‘way. He doesn’t want to get married.’

‘Ah, now we’re getting closer to it.’

‘Wazzat?’

‘He’s a good match. You’ll be a strong partnership.’

‘Sure.’

‘Is that not a what you want?’

‘I want love. I want to love and be loved.’

‘There are no guarantees.’

‘I know that, but I don’t even know what he likes… The Dates don’t cover everything, you know.’

‘You’ve both filled out the questionnaire.’

‘Yeah, so what?’

‘So you know what he likes.’

‘No I don’t.’

 

OK. So, I have a scrap of dialogue which hints at conflict and backstory. Good. Now what?

*Architect brain knocks on the window, hands over a note*

Oh, yeah. I need to know what the hell I’m doing with it.

 

At about the same time, I heard about the Abaddon Books call for submissions (http://www.abaddonbooks.com/post/535) which is now coming to a close. (N.B. If you’re reading this after the 15th Feb 2015, you missed it.) It kicked my head into world-building mode with this sentence: “We’re also looking to expand our shared worlds with something new.”

No chance I could get something in for the deadline, but it started the whatIf() daemon process in the background.

Synchronicity, it doesn’t just happen in books.

 

That means while I was working on the little scene stub, my little architect/daemon/hind-brain was working on a world in which to fit it…

Background to the world. Nigh-feudalistic society with something like a military caste, a merchant caste, and a philosophical caste. These castes rule the proletariat who serve as workers and low-level grunts of each caste. Every now and then a member of the proletariat (called barbarians) will be raised “up” to a caste. The castes do not breed, they have homosexual marriages between castes to maintain balance.

That was enough to be getting on with. After all, at the moment this is just a piece of flash fiction, even though I thought it could easily be built up into larger stories. Words were starting to tug at my fore-brain to get out, so I let them; filling in a few gaps in the first bit as I went.

 

‘What is it you want, Chi.’

‘MORE ALE!’ He waved his tankard at a tavern wench.

‘No, Chiam.’ The wench vanished. ‘Why are you here? Between tick and tock, instead of getting ready for your wedding?’

”M not goin’ back. Don’t wanna get married.’

‘Are you sure? Would you be happier back outside the Caste?’

‘I’M NOT A PROLE BREEDER!’

‘I see some semblance of reality is seeping back in, but that is not really an accepta-‘

‘Go ‘way. He doesn’t want to get married.’

‘Ah, now we’re getting closer to it.’

‘Wazzat?’

‘He’s a good match. You’ll be a strong partnership.’

‘Sure.’

‘Is that not a what you want?’

‘I want love. I want to love and be loved.’

‘You want to have a child? You will eventually be able to foster…’

‘No! F’r cryin’ out loud, can’t you leave that alone? Love doesn’t have to lead to having babies! Plenty o’ proles, don’t have babies after their quota, but they stay together out of love. Plenty among the Castes have love for each other, but not everyone. It’s not guaranteed.’

‘There are no guarantees.’

‘I know that, but I don’t even know what he likes… The Dates don’t cover everything, you know.’

‘You’ve both filled out the questionnaire.’

‘Yeah, so what?’

‘So you know what he likes.’

‘No I don’t.’

An image of a scroll appeared before the old man. ‘It says he likes to do anything, on the right occasion.’

Chi groaned. ‘That’s what everyone says, drone.’

‘Maybe it’s true.’

‘It is and it ain’t. I’m not a Philosopher. It’s like when you’re with your best friend and she’s showing you her outfit choices for her Date that night. You can’t just say “Well, they’re both hideous, and frankly you could stand to lose a couple of kilos before you try to squeeze into either of them, honey!”, that just won’t do. So you pick the least objectionable piece of one outfit and dive into the wardrobe frantically trying to find things to go with it, before finally turning round like you’ve just had an amazing insight to say “You know what? It’s your first Date with the woman you’re going to marry! Let’s go and buy something new for the occasion!”.

‘You avoid the question.’

‘Yes. And that’s what his answer is. Anyone can say they enjoy anything on the right occasion, because you can easily say at a later date that the occasion never arises. Scan your data-banks, drone. You’ll find a variant of that answer on most Questionnaires, I’d wager. Even mine.’

‘So, you want to be loved.’

‘Yes.’ Chi was almost sober after his little outburst.

‘You didn’t tell him that during your dates?’

‘No! Because, like you did, he would have assumed that I was talking about breeding. He knows I wasn’t chosen to be raised up to Caste until quite late on. He might think I still had tendencies.’

‘I think he might surprise you, Chiam.’

‘But he’s so cold.’

‘He’s a merchant-Prince, they tend to be analytical. They still have feelings.’

‘I know. We did get on. And if I hadn’t had any empathy with him, I would have cited jeopardy, even if it meant being relegated.’

‘I should not tell you this.’ Chi perked up. Drones knew everything that went on and they were not supposed to let any secrets out. ‘Your soon-to-be husband is currently being attended to by a drone of my own class, because he, too, is virtually drunk. He hasn’t chosen a fantasy tavern, though. He’s in a seedy gin-joint out of some noir fiction setting.’

‘Really?’

‘In truth.’

‘You really shouldn’t have told me.’

‘Also true, but we held a drone conference on a sub-channel and it was decided that we could impart this information under one especial condition.’

‘Which was?’

‘That you both found out the information at the same time.’

‘You mean, he knows?!’

‘The pair of you have amusingly similar reactions to that revelation.’

‘Yes, you both know. Now, I suggest that we divert tradition in one more way. We can arrange a brief meeting for both of you inside the VR, so that you can actually tell each other how you feel, before we get to the wedding. I think a neutral setting? Say, a sunny beach?’

‘Yes. Let’s go.’

Chi stood and the setting changed around him, fading from rustic tavern to the golden warmth of a late afternoon on a sunny beach. Uan Ndiaye stood nearby, smiling a little sheepishly. Chi imagined that his own expression was somewhat similar, but did not bother to school it.

‘I had somehow imagined late morning or noon,’ said Chi.

‘I asked for later in the day, but still warm. The drone…’ Uan looked around, briefly startled by something, and Chi only then realised, himself, that the drones were missing.

Chi decided that Uan looked a little lost, even nervous. He wants to be loved, too. That’s… Adorable.

 

So, there we go. First draft of a flash fiction story. 829 words.

You’ll notice that it’s considerably dialogue-heavy. It’s often that way with first drafts for me, I tend to have a scene and then let the characters talk out the story line.

Next post, I’ll go through and second draft it. It needs considerable tightening for starters and the characters barely have their own voice. And that’s just the dialogue itself. The rest of the story matter needs to go in there somewhere. Where’s the detail about the environment(s)? Are they just woodenly in a single position the entire time that they are talking? I don’t think so.

Next time. I’ll get to that next time.

For now, TTFN.

I want to attack Great Britain. How can I defeat the British army?

Answer by Carter Moore:

How to Defeat the British Army in 5 Easy Steps – Operation Viking Inquisition

So you’ve decided to take on a modern and experienced professional fighting force of some 120,000 personnel, but you’re unsure where to begin. That’s perfectly reasonable. Defeating one of the world’s most highly regarded military organizations is a pretty daunting task.

Many people have tried to defeat the British Army over the course of centuries, and most of them have failed. But hopefully with this advice, you and your victorious army (you do have an army, right?) will be knocking on the Queen’s door in no time.
 
The primary issue with attacking the British Army is that they’re really, really good at defending themselves from aggressors or would-be aggressors who play by the rules, make themselves known, and fight in the open. You will have to rely on the element of surprise for your attack to have maximum chances of success. Keeping that in mind:
 

Step 1: Set up your army in Norway

With a few exceptions, England hasn’t had to anticipate an invasion from the direction of Norway in the last 1,000 years; so it's unlikely that they will be expecting your army to come from there. The Norwegian fjords offer you plenty of opportunities to shield your army from detection until they’re ready to launch.
 
I estimate that you’ll need a well-trained fighting force of some 50,000, to include an air component, in order to reasonably assure numerical advantage in your attack. You might notice that this is a smaller number than the total size of the British Army I noted earlier, but keep reading. I would also highly recommend you include an air component to fend off the Royal Air Force.
 

Step 2: Hijack a Vanguard-class ballistic missile submarine

Of all the contingency plans that might exist within the Ministry of Defence, I’m going to go out on a limb and doubt that they have one entitled, “The Bastards Use Our Own Ships Against Us.”
 
Nobody has ever successfully (or, to my knowledge, unsuccessfully) attempted to take command of a nuclear submarine, which means they might not expect your attack to begin here. Given that the Royal Navy based its submarine fleet in Scotland of all places, it seems probable that they won't notice one of them missing for at least a few hours.

How you choose to defeat the Royal Marines guarding the base and take command of the vessel is entirely up to you, but a full frontal attack is not advised (see: British are good at defending themselves in open warfare). As has been discussed elsewhere, it's not likely that those guarding the submarine fleet have been trained to anticipate an assault that relies primarily on slingshots, so I would recommend you explore this possibility in detail. I also have it on good authority that they no longer train to fight against swords and longbows.
 
Alternately, if you’re the patient type, enlist in the Royal Navy and diligently work your way up the ranks until you’re in legitimate command of one of Britain’s nuclear-armed vessels, and then turn “traitor.” The difficulty here is that most – if not all – of your crew might interfere with your plans to attack their country, so you should have loyalists in key positions to assist with putting down the mutiny.
 

Step 3: Eliminate most of the British Army

You might be disappointed to learn that your new submarine contains a mere 40 W76-type nuclear warheads across a paltry eight missiles, but this will be more than sufficient to eliminate most of the Army’s fighting strength. Most of the Army’s garrisons are concentrated in just five major military installations, with satellite garrisons spread across 30 counties. As such, your new-found nuclear capability should be sufficient to destroy most of the Army’s headquarters units and the majority of its personnel and equipment.
 
However, I’m reasonably confident that the UK has not targeted its nuclear warheads against itself, and I’m not intimately familiar with the retargeting process. There should be an instruction manual onboard the submarine to help you through this process.
 
Your first salvo of warheads should be set to detonate approximately 100 kilometers above Great Britain in order to maximize the electromagnetic pulse effects of the weapons. This will help disrupt or destroy any national power or communications systems that are likely to survive the secondary wave of attacks (again, owing to the small yields of the warheads you’re carrying).
 
Because of the small yield of the weapons, you will need multiple detonations to maximize the EMP effects across the country; and due to the orientation of the Earth’s magnetic field in the Northern Hemisphere, you will be detonating the devices approximately 200 kilometers to the north of your intended targets. I recommend an attack pattern (intended target) of:
 

  • Coningsby (London)
  • Bewerly (Birmingham)
  • Wark (Manchester)
  • Nairn (Edinburgh/Glasgow)
  • Bunessan (Belfast)

Here’s where having your forces tucked away in the Norwegian fjords has an added benefit: By being several hundred kilometers to the northeast of the EMP bursts, they’re in a better position to be shielded from EMP than if they were arrayed along the English Channel. The London-intended high altitude burst alone could affect sensitive systems as far away as Germany.
 
Very shortly after the EMP attack, your salvo of warheads set for low-altitude detonation ought to reach their targets. Not only will the use of airbursts allow you to maximize the destructive potential of the nuclear weapons, but they will limit any fallout to the immediate area of destruction (being too high to pick up and disperse radioactive debris into the atmosphere). As such, the nuclear attack should not result in much obstruction for your invading forces. Your absolute priority targets should be:
 

  • Ministry of Defence Headquarters at Whitehall
  • Aldershot Garrison
  • Bulford Camp
  • Catterick Garrison
  • Colchester Garrison
  • Tidworth Camp

Bare minimum. Note the lack of bases along the eastern coast, ie, facing Norway.

Side note: The detonation over Whitehall will, unfortunately, obliterate the Queen's door (and all persons and property within many square kilometers); so contrary to the introduction, it is not advised that you attempt to go knock on it to declare your victory following the successful implementation of this guide.

Keeping in mind the potential threat from the Royal Air Force in supporting the remnants of the Army in repelling your invasion, I recommend you consider exchanging the destruction of low-priority garrisons (eg, primarily training centers) in exchange for air stations High Wycombe, Coningsby, and Lossiemouth. You can adjust the number of targets as you see fit, but keep in mind that the bulk of your nuclear attack should be focused against the Army’s capabilities.
 
A very crude examination of an attack on the Army’s garrisons with 35 100 kiloton nuclear weapons comes up with some two million dead and 4,600 square kilometers of destroyed land (three percent of the UK’s people and two percent of its land area). This brings us to the next simple step.
 

Step 4: Evade/Attack the Royal Navy

By now, the Navy will have noticed that you’ve taken their submarine and used it to kill several million people, and this will make them unhappy.
 
Your personal best bet, frankly, is to beach the submarine somewhere along the English coast and get as far away from it as possible before reestablishing communications with your army-in-waiting.

It's not cowardice if you live to rule again.

Your army’s best bet, however, would be for you to gallantly engage the Royal Navy with whatever torpedoes you have available in order to distract them from your invasion force. If you choose this route, though, be advised that the likelihood of your personal survival to see the full destruction of the British Army cannot be guaranteed.
 

Step 5: Taunt the Army a Second Time – Invade England

Given the chaos that’s sure to reign in the wake of your nuclear attack, your army should not have much trouble establishing a beachhead at a location of your choosing. Your presence should enrage the surviving Army – which I estimate to be down to 20 to 30 percent of its full strength, most of which should now consist of Reservists, who are not based at the now-flattened garrisons – and goad them into attacking.
 
It is not advised that you wait for the Army to be fully organized, however, and might instead choose to attack their components while they are detached from the main body. Your success will depend on the capabilities of your own armed forces.
 
Once you’ve mopped up the stragglers, you should take a brief minute to congratulate yourself for successfully defeating the British Army, and then prepare to defend yourself against the might of NATO’s counterattack.
 
To accomplish this, please refer to my guide, How to Surrender in 1 Easy Step.

I want to attack Great Britain. How can I defeat the British army?

The Man in the Glass

Never seen this poem before, and I’m not usually one for poetry, but…

The Man in the Glass
 By Peter Dale Wimbrow, Sr.
 When you get what you want in your struggle for self
 And the world makes you king for a day,
 Just go to the mirror and look at yourself
 And see what that man has to say.
 For it isn’t your father, or mother, or wife
 Whose judgment upon you must pass.
 The fellow whose verdict counts most in your life
 Is the one staring back from the glass.
 He’s the fellow to please – never mind all the rest
 For he’s with you, clear to the end.
 And you’ve passed your most difficult, dangerous test
 If the man in the glass is your friend.
 You may fool the whole world down the pathway of years
 And get pats on the back as you pass,
 But your final reward will be heartache and tears
 If you’ve cheated the man in the glass.

Like that.

Independently publishing ebooks in the UK – what’s changed since 1st January 2015?

Every UK indie author should settle down with a coffee (or preferably a pint) and read this.
Anyone else who is interested in indie publishing might benefit from some of the insights in here, too.

Digital Microbusiness Action Group

In broad brush strokes, here’s how things have changed, thanks to the new EU VAT laws on digital cross-border sales, for any UK author or small press independently publishing ebooks. By which I mean not just handing everything over to Amazon KDP. Bearing in mind almost all these people are doing this work in the evenings and at weekends, alongside the job that pays their bills. For whom reaching the VAT threshold with their business has never been a possibility – and they’re perfectly happy with that.

Up to 31st December 2014

Write your book and prepare it in epub and mobi formats, spending your own time and skills where possible, and money where you must, to buy in help, to get it copy-edited and proof-read, formatted, and source cover art and copy.

Quite possibly use a crowdfunding platform such as Kickstarter or Indiegogo to raise the money you need…

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