[Guest Post] Creating a Fantasy Map

For this week's instalment of Fantasy Friday, I'm delighted to introduce fantasy author Jesper Schmidt. Jesper runs AmWritingFantasy.com along with Autumn Birt. He's a world-building and mapmaking genius and I could think of no better person to give an insight into the world of cartography!

Why Stop Reading a Book?

I wrote to book reviewers and undertook polls on a number of Facebook groups: AmWritingFantasy (693 members), Fantasy Writers Support Group (5,447 members), The Phoenix Quill (846 members), and Writing Bad (8,000 members). The results are pretty interesting and hopefully will be of some use to writers.

Prose: The Controversial Flashback

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.

Sharing is Caring Thursday #2 book covers, skeletal warriors, writing cliches, writing tips

It’s Sharing is Caring Thursday and I’m back with a few interesting finds from the world of blogging, and this week, vlogging.

Sharing is Caring Thursdays #1 Newsletters, calls for submissions, best fantasy books of 2017, getting sales, and POVs

I spend a lot of time reading the blogs of others, lapping up the helpful tips, experiences, and stories they have to share. It’s important to support these excellent writers, and just as important to share their work for the benefit of others. So, here are some of my favourite articles from the past week or so, covering everything from writing tips and marketing, to calls for submissions and new books to read:

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.

Building Worlds

We read stories to become lost in new and unexplored worlds, ones filled with possibilities, mysteries, and oddities. The world in which a story is set is important to any tale, particularly so when it comes to science fiction and fantasy.