One of Them Yearly Reviews

A look back at a 2018 filled with twists and turns, and a glance into the hazy future of 2019

Plotting: The Crucible

The crucible is one of the simplest and most effective plotting tools. At its core is the relationship between the protagonist and the antagonist. The conflict they share spawns plot. It illustrates wonderfully the interwoven relationship enjoyed between character and plot.

The Essence of Science Fiction and Fantasy

Today I present a guest post by Ed White, writer of fantasy and science fiction. It's these two genres that his article focuses on, discussing their origins, their very essence, and, as Ed puts it, 'the legion' of sub-genres that have developed to make these genres two of the most exciting, inspirational and forward-thinking of all.

World-building: Battle Tactics I

Dros Delnoch, Pelennor Fields, Julatsa, the Battle of the Bastards, Helms Deep. These are just some of the most iconic battles in fantasy. The writers of these epic clashes knew a thing or two about warfare, and this post aims to give you some research to aid your creation of the compelling and gripping clashes fantasy fans love so much. 

Online Writing Groups

The writing game can be a lonely one, but it doesn’t have to be that way. In fact, working with others can improve your writing tremendously. It can be quite tricky finding fellow writers nearby to meet up with, but the internet has made that a whole lot easier. Hundreds, if not thousands of writing groups exist online. No longer do writers have to sit alone in their bedroom reading work aloud to their cats. But it still can be quite difficult to find the right writing group for you. So here's a list of all those I’m aware of.

[Guest Post] Spirituality and Magic in Sci-Fi and Fantasy

I'm delighted to introduce Ed White, writer of creative and visionary fiction, who's contributing to the blog this week with an insightful post on a significant subject in SFF: spirituality and religion. Enjoy!

Clitheroe Castle: A Case Study for the Fantasy Writer

Last week I took a drive up the motorway to the Duchy of Lancaster and to one of the smallest castles in England: Clitheroe. The purpose of this post is to give you some ideas for your world-building and writing. We’ll first look at the castle's features before exploring what life would have been like in the castle back in ye day.

An Approach To Editing

A good story is grown. It takes weeks, months, of careful nurturing, uncovering the meanings hidden within, fixing characters so they leap from the page, refining plot and prose to make it gripping and immersive. Just like growing a plant, a story requires patience and dedication.

The Length of Stories

I see many people seeking guidance on how long their novels and stories should be. Having compiled lists of publishers of short and long fantasy fiction I've noticed a few trends. This article looks at the lengths publishers seek for fiction in their various forms: micro, flash, short, novelettes, novellas, and novels. But it begins with a few words of caution.

Killer Diseases of the Middle Ages

Diseases ravaged the lives of millions of people throughout the Middle Ages. A combination of bad diet, poor hygiene, inadequate sanitation and an ill-informed understanding of medicine left many people vulnerable to fatal infections. Given many fantasy stories have a medieval setting, similar circumstances would give rise to diseases in a secondary world. As we'll see, this presents interesting opportunities for the fantasy writer.