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!

What Makes You Put Down 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.

Dialogue: The Ingredients

Dialogue was one of the first aspects of creative writing I looked at on this here blog, and since then much has been learned on this crucial aspect of the craft. In this return article, we’ll look at what dialogue in fiction entails and the ingredients necessary for making it the most effective it can be, before finishing up with a few helpful editing tips.

World-Building: A Minimalist Approach

Yesterday I was delighted to join Jesper Schmidt of AmWritingFantasy.com for a chat about world-building. Thank you, Jesper for having me. I had a great time! It remains to be seen if any of you will be able to understand my scouse accent. I thought I’d share my notes about what we discussed, namely a minimalistic approach to showing worlds, the best tips I’ve come across for revealing worlds, and a few tips about building a world.

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:

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