Fincher’s The Girl with a Dragon Tattoo is one of my favourite films. It’s a story structure twister, and has the most emotionally satisfying ending I’ve seen from his films. But it defies the conventional Three Act structure, a cornerstone of screenplays but not of novels and short stories. These prose-based stories have more free-form approaches to structure and tackle more direct and indirect narrative questions than a film may. But many good books still follow a Five Act structure of some kind, but perhaps not what’s been studied to death in film and theatre school.

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If you’re creating a Kindle book for the first time, then you might it frustrating that the Microsoft Word-based process doesn’t yield a functioning NCX Table of Contents (The ToC using the Kindle menu) for your book when it’s directly uploaded to Amazon Kindle.

Let’s find out how we can fix that using Calibre, a free eBook and multi-OS reader that can be downloaded here.

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The Casualties of Wrath by T.C. Christopher

Caught between the war-torn South Africa and building a new life with his wife, Micah Pietersen struggles with the reality of being a stateless exile. The war for water has ruined his once-great home. His adopted home of Chile, the birthplace of his wife, Sofia, teeters on the edge of its own civil war.

The young couple works together, hoping to save the lives of the refugees fleeing the African state. Until the tragic conflict drags over the border and rips Micah away from Sofia, now lost in her nightmare across the ocean. The Casualties of Wrath tells the story of a man trapped in the chaos of war, and how far he needs to go to save his love in the desperate race against death.

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The Dreams of a New Land by T.C. Christopher

As a collection of short stories, the Dreams of a New Land tells the tales of a multi-racial and multi-cultural South Africa, a land plagued with a dark and violent history. However, it also shows an African people searching for a new narrative beyond that of a post-Apartheid country – one to guide them through the trials of crime and corruption plaguing the once Rainbow Nation.

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I attended the Decolonising South African Editing event at the University of the Witwatersrand (2 August 2017). Wits has and always will be the most politically charged university on the African continent. So while the event was a success, and the many technical aspects of the event addressed with strong expertise, the content of the debate was controversial and explosive. I thank BlackBird Books and Jacana Media for an entertaining evening that was both insightful for many and frustrating for a few. Unfortunately, I am one of the few. What follows is my opinion of the debate itself, of which the content was outside the control of both the organisers and the host, being that it was a public debate. And as always with public debates in South Africa, things go wild.

This piece was written in conversation to a friend, who is also a writer, and it is entirely my opinion as a young South African writer, and with all the implications that label carries. These are not the opinions of BlackBird Books, Jacana Media, nor any of their representatives, nor are they opinions of any other attendee to the event.

CREDIT: Express/Hulton Archive/Getty Images
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I am proud of and enamoured by Sisonke Msimang. Have a read of this excellent excerpt from her public lecture last week! It was mind-blowing, absolutely shattering, and confirms my belief in our people, how far South Africa has come, and how to figure where it must now go. The video will come in June!

UPDATE: The talk, Eyes on the back of our heads: Recovering a multi-cultural South Africa, can now be accessed here and here.

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