Plotting: The Crucible

The crucible is one of the simplest and most effective plotting tools. At its core is the relationship between the protagonist and the antagonist. The conflict they share spawns plot. It illustrates wonderfully the interwoven relationship enjoyed between character and plot.

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.

Turning to Art for Inspiration

Sometimes the ideas dry up. Trump's Wall blocks out creativity and all you can do is lament. A terrific solution to those droughts, I've found, is art

World-building: Battle Tactics I

Dros Delnoch, Pelennor Fields, Julatsa, the Battle of the Bastards, Helms Deep. These are just some of the most iconic battles in fantasy. The writers of these epic clashes knew a thing or two about warfare, and this post aims to give you some research to aid your creation of the compelling and gripping clashes fantasy fans love so much. 

Invaluable Writing Advice: Part II

Not long ago I put together a post sharing some invaluable writing advice offered by award-winning novelist, Colum McCann in his book, Letters to a Young Writer. But I'd only made it halfway through at the time, so I thought I'd share some further insights from the second half.

[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.

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.