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. … Read More >The Life of the Medieval Lord

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. … Read More >Sharing is Caring Thursday #5 Secondary characters, reasons for putting down books, and knowing your audience

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. … Read More >Making Monsters

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. … Read More >Prose: The Controversial Flashback

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. … Read More >Dialogue: The Ingredients

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. … Read More >World-Building: A Minimalist Approach

Stopping the Reader’s Heart: Creating Tension

Can you think of a moment in a novel or story when you lost all awareness of your surroundings? The only thing that mattered was happening on the page, and then at the end, you come up for air and utter a “fuck.” … Read More >Stopping the Reader’s Heart: Creating Tension

An exciting year ahead…

So, here we are. 2018. It still feels like 2004 to me so seeing that written down comes as a bit of a shock. I can imagine a few of you have sore heads. I hope the painkillers aren’t too far from the comfort of your bed. … Read More >An exciting year ahead…

The end of another year…

In June I began this blog with a post on the writing process. I was always a bit apprehensive about starting a blog. What have I got of worth to give to the world? I managed to shake that niggling thought. … Read More >The end of another year…

Prose: “Tell me, and I’ll forget.” Showing Instead of Telling

In his book, On Writing, Sol Stein provides a very helpful guide on something writers so often hear about: showing the story instead of telling it. Do you remember asking someone, a family member perhaps, to tell you a story? It’s almost as if we’ve been conditioned to tell rather than show. … Read More >Prose: “Tell me, and I’ll forget.” Showing Instead of Telling