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.

Time Management (infographic)

Not so long ago I looked at the bastard that is procrastination. After reading it, an excellent writer and blogger by the name of Jack Milgram got in touch. Jack has very kindly put together an infographic to help with time management. I'm sure we all feel we could use a few extra hours in the day. Well, Jack's infographic may just be what you need.

Plotting: Architectural Suspense

We've all read that novel where at some point you put it down and forget it ever existed until you trip over it one day and then in a state of annoyance donate it to the charity shop. It failed to grip you, to compel you to go on. Often the culprit is a lack of suspense—the glue that binds the reader’s hands to the covers.

Creative writing lectures

If you’d like more writing tips you can get my eBook, This Craft We Call Writing: Volume One, for free by completing the form below. Inside you’ll find over 150 pages covering everything from dialogue, characterisation, prose and plotting, to world-building, writing fight scenes, viewpoint, and much more! With NaNoWriMo a week in it's just… Continue reading Creative writing lectures

Real Writing Stories: Part One

The stories of fellow writers really inspire me to keep bashing away at the keyboard. Learning about other people's journeys, the difficulties they've encountered and overcome, their unwaivering passion for writing, can help me get through days when I feel like giving up.

The Pigeon Catchers

November is upon us and the cold of winter is beginning to bite. Reading is perhaps one of the best pass times when it's too chilly to venture outside. So to keep you occupied, I'm delighted to be able to bring you a new story of mine, The Pigeon Catchers, which has today been published by Far Horizons in their quarterly ezine.

A Guide to Naming Fantasy Characters and Places

I come across a lot of posts on social media asking about naming characters, particularly in the fantasy genre. How different should they be to real world names? Should I throw an apostrophe in the middle to make it sound more fantasyish? With NaNoWriMo kicking off tomorrow you don’t want to be wasting time thinking of names. So here’s a quick guide to help you out.

Music and Writing

A few posts ago I included a bit about listening to music while writing. I’m a lover of peace and quiet, but a few people came back to me with recommendations and since then I've experimented. Be it the grand classical music of Lord of the Rings, psychedelic jams or funky Latin rock, I've discovered a particular tune can really spur me on and help clock up all-important words.

Exciting news!

Today is turning out to be a busy day. Over at r/Fantasy I'm in the firing line for Writer of the Day where you can ask me anything you like. Click here here to check it out. We're kicking things off about 1pm GMT. And I'm very excited to announce that Ducks is now available… Continue reading Exciting news!