A Funeral of Feuds Sale

My latest book, a dark comedy called A Funeral of Feuds, is on sale for $0.99 until Friday 19 October. If you want to pick up a cheap copy on Amazon Kindle, now’s the time.

A Funeral of Feuds coverFor Adam Bennett, life is somewhat troublesome, and it’s about to get even worse.

Returning to his childhood home for his mother’s funeral, Adam finds himself once again under the same roof as his dysfunctional family. While he finds some escape in a curious encounter with an old acquaintance, the situation soon spirals out of control. Between his derisive siblings, an unexpected guest with a burning grudge, and his brother-in-law’s fear of clergy, this funeral might just have the elegance of a man backing his car down the motorway.

With healthy doses of irony and fatalism, A Funeral of Feuds offers an absurd comedy with laugh-out-loud moments that’s sure to go down well with anyone fond of British humour.


A Funeral of Feuds Copyright © 2018 Gavin Zanker.

New Release – A Funeral of Feuds

Here’s something new — I just finished a book called A Funeral of Feuds. It’s free on Amazon Kindle until Friday 12 October, so grab yourself a free copy while it’s still available.

A Funeral of Feuds cover

For Adam Bennett, life is somewhat troublesome, and it’s about to get even worse.

Returning to his childhood home for his mother’s funeral, Adam finds himself once again under the same roof as his dysfunctional family. While he finds some escape in a curious encounter with an old acquaintance, the situation soon spirals out of control. Between his derisive siblings, an unexpected guest with a burning grudge, and his brother-in-law’s fear of clergy, this funeral might just have the elegance of a man backing his car down the motorway.

With healthy doses of irony and fatalism, A Funeral of Feuds offers an absurd comedy with laugh-out-loud moments that’s sure to go down well with anyone fond of British humour.


A Funeral of Feuds Copyright © 2018 Gavin Zanker.

The Power Of Editing: Passengers, Rearranged

The Power Of Editing: Passengers, Rearranged

I recently came across a video essay from Nerdwriter that asks the question ‘is it possible to make Passengers better with some minor changes?’

If you weren’t aware, Passengers is a 2016 sci-fi film about a spacecraft transporting thousands of people when a malfunction in its sleep chambers awakens two passengers 90 years early. It’s an interesting premise reminding me of another sci-fi film, Pandorum, which has crew waking up onboard a spaceship with no memory of their identity or mission.

The video essay discusses how Passengers writes itself into a corner with the original script, leaving the last act of the film without any real tension or suspense, even requiring a new plot device to keep things moving. However, rearranging the footage and changing the point of view character alters the dramatic structure, injecting intrigue and mystery right from the start. The essay argues that editing it this way creates a more engaging viewer experience as well as a less predictable story, and I found it difficult to disagree.

Video below. Spoilers ahead, obviously.

After seeing how a simple idea could have such a huge effect on the story of the film, I began questioning if a lot of my own writing could be improved by switching up the point of view character or reordering the events shown.

As a general rule I choose the point of view character by figuring out who has the most to lose. In the case of Passengers, you could make arguments for either character on that front, but what is clear is that each character’s point of view tells a different kind of story, even going so far as to switch up the genre of the work. So arguably, the decision then becomes even more important.

It’s an interesting concept to experiment with. Maybe that space opera story you’re writing becomes a romantic comedy when seen from another character’s perspective, or that coming of age story turns into a disquieting mystery thriller. Looking back over my own work, I quickly found the possibilities spiralling.

So next time you’re bored by a book or a film, try giving some thought as to whether the story could be better told from another character’s viewpoint. Like the video says, you can learn just as much from films that don’t work as those that do.


“PASSENGERS” image by Jennifer Lawrence Films licensed under Public Domain Mark 1.0.