5 Invaluable Pieces of Writing Advice

Not long ago I read an article, the title something along the lines of "The Best Books for Aspiring Writers". One of them was a book you may have heard of: Letters to a Young Writer by award-winning writer, Colum McCann. Each time I pick it up it fills me with inspiration to write, its pages filled with practical and philosophical advice on the craft, some of which I've found tremendously helpful. There's a chance you may do too. So in this post, you’ll find five of my favourite bits of advice so far.

Sharing is Caring Thursday #11 a firefighter’s guide to fighting dragons, loglines and pitches, multimedia books, and writing character thoughts

Another varied bunch of helpful delights for you this week, with some interesting topics for you to ponder: a firefighter’s guide to fighting dragons, loglines and pitches, multimedia books, and writing character thoughts.

Finding Your Theme

A story's theme takes a hard look at the meaning of things, examines deep-rooted ideas. A story with a theme is a story with a point. This article looks at the definition of ‘theme’ before exploring ways for you to come up with or uncover your themes and lastly, how to weave them into your stories.

Maidens, Wives, and Widows: The Lives of Women During the Middle Ages

Life changed a great deal for women during the Middle Ages, reducing the majority to three societal statuses: Maiden, Wife, and Widow. Get some inspiration for your fantasy stories with today's Fantasy Friday article.

Tubes of Thunder: The Medieval Cannon

For Fantasy Friday this week, I thought we'd return to medieval warfare and to something I don't come across all too often in the fantasy stories I read: the cannon. This article covers the development of European cannons, how they were made, the gunpowder used, and how they fared in battle. Hopefully, it'll give you a few ideas for your own tales!

[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.

Sharing is Caring Thursday #6 Reviewers selling ARCs, world-building, agents, and using ‘and’ & ‘the’

This week I'm sharing a mix of articles courtesy of some of the excellent bloggers I follow. You'll find an interesting research piece on the use of the words 'and' & 'the', insights into querying agents, the importance of world-building, and a very sad development in the world of writing, one all writers should be aware of: reviewers selling ARCs.

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.

The Pesky Peasantry of the Middle Ages

Welcome to another instalment of Fantasy Fridays. Today we're looking at the lives of the medieval peasantry, a class of people somewhat shrouded in mystery—peasants weren't good note-takers. In exploring the lives of the peasantry we'll uncover what it was like to be one of them, the kinds of houses and towns they lived in, and what their day to day lives involved. There's plenty of nuggets of information for you to pick up along the way which you can use to enrich your fantasy stories.