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No, I'm not dead. Not yet, anyway.

Creating Languages

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?

Keep on Truckin’

Writing can be like a game of snakes and ladders. You inch your way toward the top, only for a snake to appear and banish you to the pits of misery. That’s how it feels, anyway. What is the magic formula for success?

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.

Turning to Art for Inspiration

Sometimes the ideas dry up. Trump's Wall blocks out creativity and all you can do is lament. A terrific solution to those droughts, I've found, is art

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. 

[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.

Religion in Fantasy

Religion and belief systems feature a great deal in the fantasy genre, and it’s unsurprising why. Religion, faiths and beliefs shape our own lives in a multitude of ways, providing purpose, meaning and structure.