[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!

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.

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.

The Myths of GDPR

There’s been a hell of a lot of confusion over this rather significant change in the law, with people offering different advice based on their interpretations of the regulations. It’s fair to say a few people have panicked too, and who’s to blame them with threats of million pound fines for non-compliance. The aim of this article is to quell those nerves and to offer some practical advice for writers on complying with the new laws.

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.

The Length of Stories

I see many people seeking guidance on how long their novels and stories should be. Having compiled lists of publishers of short and long fantasy fiction I've noticed a few trends. This article looks at the lengths publishers seek for fiction in their various forms: micro, flash, short, novelettes, novellas, and novels. But it begins with a few words of caution.

Killer Diseases of the Middle Ages

Diseases ravaged the lives of millions of people throughout the Middle Ages. A combination of bad diet, poor hygiene, inadequate sanitation and an ill-informed understanding of medicine left many people vulnerable to fatal infections. Given many fantasy stories have a medieval setting, similar circumstances would give rise to diseases in a secondary world. As we'll see, this presents interesting opportunities for the fantasy writer.

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.

Sharing is Caring Thursday #15 what editor’s want, taking advantage of ebook piracy, up-lit, and three writing tips to never forget

Another collection of tremendous articles for you today, featuring one of the best I’ve ever read: what editor’s want, how authors can take advantage of ebook piracy, up-lit, and three writing tips to always bear in mind. Enjoy!

Sharing is Caring Thursday #14 Vonnegut’s rules for writing short stories, editing questions, the science of writing by hand, and the five commandments of writing scenes

It's that time of the week to share some of the most helpful articles I've encountered during the past seven days. In today's instalment, you'll find Vonnegut's rules for writing short stories, editing advice, the science of writing by hand, and the five commandments of writing scenes. Excellent posts, the lot of them.