martin brennan

The Writing of Martin Brennan

  • South of the Border, West of the Sun by Haruki Murakami

    'For a while' is a phrase whose length can't be measured. At least by the person who's waiting.

    — Haruki Murakami, South of the Border, West of the Sun

    I‘VE BEEN trying to broaden the genre and writers of the books I’ve been reading this year, so I read South of the Border, West of the Sun as recommended by my partner. I devoured it in just a few two hour reading sessions, and Murakmi’s simple and straightforward writing style mixed with the beautiful imagery he weaves left me thinking about the book long after I finished reading.


  • The Hermit, Blood Meridian

    A MAN’S at odds to know his mind cause his mind is aught he has to know it with. He can know his heart, but he dont want to. Rightly so. Best not to look in there. It ain’t the heart of a creature that is bound in the way that God has set for it. You can find meanness in the least of creatures, but when God made man the devil was at his elbow. A creature that can do anything. Make a machine. And a machine to make the machine. And evil that can run itself a thousand years, no need to tend it.

    — Blood Meridian, Cormac McCarthy

  • The Graduate (1967)

    My whole life is such a waste

    — Benjamin Braddock

    IN THIS classic film backed by a Simon and Garfunkle soundtrack Dustin Hoffman plays Benjamin Braddock, a clean-cut golden boy with loving parents and the world at his feet. He has just graduated from four years at college and his future lays vast and limitless before him, and at his graduation party all of his parent’s friends are happy to see him and offer their advice. So why is Ben so eager to get away from the people he has known all of his life, to shut himself away in his room? Why does he look as if he is on the verge of a panic attack while his party guests are all smiles? Why is this young, smart kid so worried about his future?


  • The Editing Process

    THIS is the first post in a series of posts where I will explore my writing style and process, for a few different reasons. I hope by writing out my process in some detail I can identify areas where I can improve, have something to look back on when I’ve written more stories and novels, and hopefully help others gain insight into different areas of the writing process. I would also love to hear feedback from other writers no matter how far along you may be in your career or hobby. We are going to start toward the mid-point of the novel-writing process, which is where I find myself at right now. I’m writing a book I’m calling Bottom Feeders, which is about the Crabs Motorcycle Club, a group of misfits and losers fallen from grace and at the bottom of the shitheap, doing jobs for a larger club, the Devil’s Faithful MC, just to get by. It’s a mixture of crime, humour, and action and sitting at 85,000 words at the completion of the first draft. I’ll get to how I wrote it in a future post (it involved a lot of cheap notebooks and pens) but for now I’ll focus on the editing.


  • Fiction Writing

    I WANTED to take this opportunity to explain what I like to read and write about, so you may be able to understand my frame of mind when you read my fiction. I guess I have kind of a predictable taste in writing for a late-twenties white dude. My favourite authors are Cormac McCarthy, Stephen King, JRR Tolkien, George RR Martin, Hunter S Thompson, George Orwell, and Bret Easton Ellis, and I’m starting to get into Papa Hemingway. If I had to pick any of these authors as my biggest influence I would say King for his fairly simple writing style but engaging character building, and for whom I aspire to be like it would be Cormac McCarthy who writes words so bleak and so beautiful I suspect he’s some sort of southwestern vampire who’s been alive to see the world from its primeval beginnings.


  • Patreon

    Okay, I’ve finally gone and done it and made a Patreon. My motivations for doing so are outlined on the page, but here is the main thrust of it:

    So why make a Patreon if I’m happy to amble along penniless on this writing hobby in my spare time? The answer is you. I want to hear feedback from other people about my writing, what do you like, what do you hate, what do you want to see more of? I want to release my short stories and have them read and adored and/or reviled, and I want to connect with other writers. Most of all I want to know that someone is out there reading my writing, and that will help me get me off my arse to write instead of browsing reddit.

    Rest assured that even if I don’t make a penny from Patreon I will still post my writing online. Thank you for reading this not-oft-updated blog for all these years. I don’t plan on stopping any time soon!

  • Brave New World by Aldous Huxley

    O, wonder!
    How many goodly creatures are there here
    How beauteous mankind is!
    O brave new world, that has such people in't!

    — William Shakespeare, The Tempest

    IN A perfect future everyone is genetically engineered to know their place in a caste system, every want or need is catered for, and if a citizen is ever feeling down, soma is there to take them on a holiday. Though in this bright imagining of the world where even death is no big deal, fractures form in the perfect facade with the elimination of free will, love, and family in the name of the betterment of society. In Brave New World Aldous Huxley goes in a different direction from the normally grim, brutal, dystopian future towards something that is still in our eyes fundamentally wrong.


  • Hell's Angels by Hunter S. Thompson

    He died in the best outlaw tradition; homeless, stone broke, and owning nothing but his clothes and his Harley

    — Hunter S. Thompson

    BRUTES. Huns. Thugs. Murderers. Rapists. Lowlifes. Outlaws. The Hell’s Angels, a motorcycle club out of Oakland, California, was a force to be reckoned with in the mid-sixties, with a terrifying mystique surrounding them akin to the one that surrounds the wendigo and the sasquatch. Hunter S. Thompson, intrigued by the horror stories circulating around the state and the media about this band of criminals, threw himself into their midst.


  • Pet Sematary by Stephen King

    Death is a mystery, and burial is secret

    — Stephen King

    KING utilises all of the instruments in his depraved toolshed in this horrific novel about the secret practice of burial, and the great taboo of death. Like so many King novels, it begins with a regular, All-American family who move to a small town, in this case Ludlow, Maine, to begin life anew. Dr. Louis Creed takes a job with the local university, while his wife Rachel and his young children Ellie and Gage, along with their pet cat Winston Churchill, settle into their new life far from the hustle and bustle of Chicago.


  • Logan (2017)

    THIS is the Wolverine movie everyone’s been waiting for the past seventeen years. Loosely based on the Old Man Logan comic books, it is a no-holds-barred, no quarter given exhibition of brutality, packed with violent hand-to-hand combat that has more impaled heads than Vlad’s castle moat. The setting is 2029, and life goes on as it always has for most Americans. Though not for mutants, who have been brought to the brink of extinction by a virus designed to suppress the X gene that is distributed through food and drink. Logan, the most hard-wearing and stubborn of them all, cares for an aging Charles Xavier, whose fraying senility is the cause of violent psionic seizures, along with Caliban, an albino mutant who can detect and track other mutants. They huddle together in secrecy in a foundry in Mexico, hiding from the corporations that would seek to end them and use their genes for a new generation of super soldiers.


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