World-Building: A Minimalistic Approach

Yesterday I was delighted to join Jesper Schmidt of AmWritingFantasy.com for a chat about world-building. Thank you, Jesper for having me. I had a great time! It remains to be seen if any of you will be able to understand my scouse accent. I thought I’d share my notes about what we discussed, namely a minimalistic approach to showing worlds, the best tips I’ve come across for revealing worlds, and a few tips about building a world.

Stopping the Reader’s Heart: Creating Tension

Can you think of a moment in a novel or story when you lost all awareness of your surroundings? The only thing that mattered was happening on the page, and then at the end, you come up for air and utter a “fuck.”

An exciting year ahead…

So, here we are. 2018. It still feels like 2004 to me so seeing that written down comes as a bit of a shock. I can imagine a few of you have sore heads. I hope the painkillers aren’t too far from the comfort of your bed.

The end of another year…

In June I began this blog with a post on the writing process. I was always a bit apprehensive about starting a blog. What have I got of worth to give to the world? I managed to shake that niggling thought.

Prose: “Tell me, and I’ll forget.” Showing Instead of Telling

In his book, On Writing, Sol Stein provides a very helpful guide on something writers so often hear about: showing the story instead of telling it. Do you remember asking someone, a family member perhaps, to tell you a story? It's almost as if we've been conditioned to tell rather than show.

Real Writing Stories #4 – My Writing Day – Marya Miller

I'm delighted to share the writing day of Marya Miller, a wonderful person who I met through social media. Marya is an excellent storyteller with some fantastic ideas. Not long ago I read her collection of short fiction, Tales of Mist and Magic, and fell in love with the characters, Granny Maberly in particular.

A Fantasy Writer’s Guide to … Castles and Keeps: Part II

If you’d like more writing tips  like this, why not join my writing community? Everyone receives a free ebook on the craft of writing, lists of publishers of short and long fantasy fiction, and a list of over 100 fantasy book reviewers. All you need to do is complete the form below!   The medieval… Continue reading A Fantasy Writer’s Guide to … Castles and Keeps: Part II

Real Writing Stories #3: My Writing Day – Caroline Barden

Real Writing Stories returns with a fresh instalment. Continuing with the series My Writing Day, I'm delighted to introduce friend and fellow writer, Caroline Barden. Caroline is a writer and professional proof-reader. Her work has featured in The Guardian newspaper and recently she was victorious in the Writing on the Wall flash fiction competition. If… Continue reading Real Writing Stories #3: My Writing Day – Caroline Barden

A Fantasy Writer’s Guide to … Castles and Keeps: Part I

We've lost more than we know, but what we have retained has inspired some, if not all, of the greatest fantasy stories in one way or another. Taking the time to do a bit of research on what you're writing about will empower your storytelling and, hopefully, enthral your readers. Today we're besieging the fortifications which dominated the Middle Ages, and of course which feature in our beloved fantasy genre.

Real Writing Stories #2: My Writing Day – Forest Wells

Real Writing Stories returns for its second installment. This week, with the help of writer Forest Wells, I'm launching a new weekly feature called My Writing Day. Readers of The Guardian newspaper may have seen this before. A writer shares their average writing day—the process, the distractions, the strife, the achievements. The Guardian however looks at the writing days of more well-known writers only. They're very insightful and inspirational pieces, but I think the stories of other writers at different stages in their journeys can be more interesting and relatable.