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.
I’m delighted to share with you a guest blog post I wrote for http://www.writingbad.org. This is part of my Fantasy Friday series (though please forgive it going live on Monday!).
Fantasy is a genre rich with imagined creatures and beasts. Creations which haunt our dreams and make us walk that little bit faster after dark. This article first looks at a few of the more common monsters and then explores some methods to assist you in becoming the next Dr. Frankenstein.
Thank you, Sam, from Writing Bad for letting me loose! I hope you enjoy it.
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The fantasy genre is rich with imagined monsters, creatures, and beasts. Creations which haunt our dreams and make us walk that little bit faster after dark. This article will first look at a few of the more common monsters, and then will explore the methods to assist you in becoming the next Dr. Frankenstein.
Types of Monsters
Demons are probably one of the most common types of monster I come across in fantasy. They feature in James Barclay’s Noonshade, quite heavily in Raymond Feist’s Riftwar Saga. H.P. Lovecraft had his famous demon, Cthulhu, and Tolkien his demon, Balrog. But what is a demon exactly? Let’s have a look at some of the most common tropes:
- They are inherently associated with evil. Their desire is to break into our realm from whatever plane they come from and wreak havoc on life as we know it.
- In terms of…
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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.
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:
Real Writing Stories returns for its second installment. This week, with the help of writer Forest Wells, I'm launching a new weekly feature called My Writing Day. Readers of The Guardian newspaper may have seen this before. A writer shares their average writing day—the process, the distractions, the strife, the achievements. The Guardian however looks at the writing days of more well-known writers only. They're very insightful and inspirational pieces, but I think the stories of other writers at different stages in their journeys can be more interesting and relatable.
Not so long ago I looked at the bastard that is procrastination. After reading it, an excellent writer and blogger by the name of Jack Milgram got in touch. Jack has very kindly put together an infographic to help with time management. I'm sure we all feel we could use a few extra hours in the day. Well, Jack's infographic may just be what you need.