Writing fantasy can so often leave you caught up in a web of your own making. Most fantasy involves a secondary world, that is a world different from our own. Granted, it doesn’t have to be totally original, but it raises the question: how different should we make it? Should we scrap everything we know and play God and build from scratch? Should we shape and morph things that already exist? Or should we keep what everyone finds familiar? These questions can be asked when it comes to inventing anything for our worlds, but one such area in which it’s particularly prevalent is with language. In this new world of ours, does everyone speak the same language?
As you may or may not be aware, I'm in the process of drafting 'A Fantasy Writer's Handbook', a non-fiction guide to writing fiction, fantasy fiction in particular. The book is split into three parts: fiction writing, fantasy writing, and what to do when the writing is done. Today, as a little midweek treat, I thought I'd share one of the chapters from part one: Dialogue.
There’s been a hell of a lot of confusion over this rather significant change in the law, with people offering different advice based on their interpretations of the regulations. It’s fair to say a few people have panicked too, and who’s to blame them with threats of million pound fines for non-compliance. The aim of this article is to quell those nerves and to offer some practical advice for writers on complying with the new laws.
I’m delighted to share with you a guest blog post I wrote for http://www.writingbad.org. This is part of my Fantasy Friday series (though please forgive it going live on Monday!).
Fantasy is a genre rich with imagined creatures and beasts. Creations which haunt our dreams and make us walk that little bit faster after dark. This article first looks at a few of the more common monsters and then explores some methods to assist you in becoming the next Dr. Frankenstein.
Thank you, Sam, from Writing Bad for letting me loose! I hope you enjoy it.
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The fantasy genre is rich with imagined monsters, creatures, and beasts. Creations which haunt our dreams and make us walk that little bit faster after dark. This article will first look at a few of the more common monsters, and then will explore the methods to assist you in becoming the next Dr. Frankenstein.
Types of Monsters
Demons are probably one of the most common types of monster I come across in fantasy. They feature in James Barclay’s Noonshade, quite heavily in Raymond Feist’s Riftwar Saga. H.P. Lovecraft had his famous demon, Cthulhu, and Tolkien his demon, Balrog. But what is a demon exactly? Let’s have a look at some of the most common tropes:
- They are inherently associated with evil. Their desire is to break into our realm from whatever plane they come from and wreak havoc on life as we know it.
- In terms of…
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Why the hostility toward flashbacks? If done well, they work. But done badly, they break the reader’s experience, preventing them from discovering what happens next in the story. To quote editor, Sol Stein, “If we are enthralled, we don’t want to be interrupted.” The trick, therefore, if you feel compelled to use one, is to use the flashback in as little a disruptive way as possible. Here are a few techniques to help you do that.