Character Plotting

I’m a bit of a planner when it comes to writing. I need a framework, something to help keep my eye on the end game. Before I begin any story or chapter it has to be planned in as much detail as possible. In the past, most of my planning focused on plot. Moving the story from A to B. While I include character development in this, it never had much of a focal point.

The Importance of Premise

It's interesting how attitudes change. When I first began writing I viewed plot as the most important element of a story. If characters live a static existence, then what's the point? The more time I invested in improving my writing, I realised the error of my ways. Character is, in fact, king. It's their conflicts,… Continue reading The Importance of Premise

The Essence of Science Fiction and Fantasy

Today I present a guest post by Ed White, writer of fantasy and science fiction. It's these two genres that his article focuses on, discussing their origins, their very essence, and, as Ed puts it, 'the legion' of sub-genres that have developed to make these genres two of the most exciting, inspirational and forward-thinking of all.

Online Writing Groups

The writing game can be a lonely one, but it doesn’t have to be that way. In fact, working with others can improve your writing tremendously. It can be quite tricky finding fellow writers nearby to meet up with, but the internet has made that a whole lot easier. Hundreds, if not thousands of writing groups exist online. No longer do writers have to sit alone in their bedroom reading work aloud to their cats. But it still can be quite difficult to find the right writing group for you. So here's a list of all those I’m aware of.

[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 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.