Making Maps: Part II

We're continuing on with our geographical quest by looking at forests, mountains, hills, volcanoes, wetlands, and ice and snow. By the end of this two-part article, you should have all of the basic tools to help you chisel out the maps of your secondary worlds with the confidence of a cartographer.

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.

Sharing is Caring Thursday #10 investing in your writing career, the influences of women, writing too much, and vital elements of a story.

Happy International Women’s Day! A day to celebrate the inspiring achievements of all women across the globe. “What is better than wisdom? Woman. And what is better than a good woman? Nothing.” Hopefully you’ll find some inspiration in the articles that feature in today’s post. This week, investing in your writing career, the influences of women, writing too much, and vital elements of a story. Thank you, writers, for the wonderfully helpful content.

Sharing is Caring Thursday #7 Insights of a creative writing teacher, the unchosen heroes of fantasy, the importance of reading, and using infographics to promote your books

Here’s another grouping of wonderful articles from the blogging world for you to sink your teeth into. This week we’re treated to the insights of a creative writing teacher, the unchosen heroes of fantasy, the importance of reading, and using infographics to promote your books!

The Life of the Medieval Lord

To gain an insight into the role and lives of the lords of the Middles Ages we'll first take a brief look at the reign of King Richard II, otherwise known as Richard the Tyrant. From there we'll turn our focus to the world of barons, the individuals who held almost unlimited power over the land granted to them by the king.

Sharing is Caring Thursday #5 Secondary characters, reasons for putting down books, and knowing your audience

The quality posts keep on coming. This week we're going on a whistle-stop tour of secondary characters, reasons for putting down books, knowing your audience, and a few good old writing tips.

Making Monsters

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.


If you happen to enjoy what you find, why not stay in touch by signing up to my mailing list? Subscribers receive a list of 50 fantasy book reviewers, as well as a copy of This Craft We Call Writing: Volume One, a collection of writing techniques, advice, and guides looking at, amongst others, world-building, writing fight scenes, characterisation, plotting, editing and prose.

 

Writing Bad - Official Site

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

Cthulhu_by_disse86-d9tq84iDemons 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…

View original post 1,258 more words

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.

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 Minimalistic 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.