The NaNoWriMo Review

NaNoWriMo has come to an end for another year. This was my first time, and after speaking about taking part before the event I thought I ought to share my experience.

A fantasy writer’s guide to … Castles and Keeps: Part Two

In our first assault, we tackled a few of the main types of fortification found in castles—towers, gatehouses, moats, drawbridges—as well as looking at some of the earlier types of medieval fortifications. Today we're going in for a second charge to tackle walls, battlements, and the structures within the walls.   "Ride now! Ride for… Continue reading A fantasy writer’s guide to … Castles and Keeps: Part Two

Real Writing Stories #2: My Writing Day – Forest Wells

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.

Plotting: Architectural Suspense

We've all read that novel where at some point you put it down and forget it ever existed until you trip over it one day and then in a state of annoyance donate it to the charity shop. It failed to grip you, to compel you to go on. Often the culprit is a lack of suspense—the glue that binds the reader’s hands to the covers.

Real Writing Stories: Part One

The stories of fellow writers really inspire me to keep bashing away at the keyboard. Learning about other people's journeys, the difficulties they've encountered and overcome, their unwaivering passion for writing, can help me get through days when I feel like giving up.

A few tips to help you own NaNoWriMo

We’re just a week away from NaNoWriMo and the excitement is building. Here's a few of the best tips to help you prepare to crush that 50k word target.

Building Worlds

We read stories to become lost in new and unexplored worlds, ones filled with possibilities, mysteries, and oddities. The world in which a story is set is important to any tale, particularly so when it comes to science fiction and fantasy.

What’s the Plot?

People want to read stories. Your heroic warrior protagonist might have all the depth of the oceans, but if all he does is decapitate orcs, the reader's going to feel pretty headless too.