Just shy of our fundraising target: an update on The General

The General & The Visitor, two short stories written by myself and good friend Mark Brooks, has been on sale for two weeks. All proceeds are donated to Ranelagh House, a care home in my hometown of Liverpool. And we're so close to hitting our initial fundraising target of £100!

What the hell is NaNoWriMo?

I’ve seen this acronym all over the place lately. It sounds like a daemon H.P. Lovecraft forgot to make. Then I read a very helpful post by mylifewithbooksblog and all became clear.

Get yourself a free creative writing eBook

One of the things I love to do most in the world is helping you good people out in any way I can. Kindness can be a rare thing nowadays and it's always good to spread it around whenever possible. This is the philosophy behind The Writer's Tool Shed, and with the posts mounting up I've decided to compile those so far published into a free eBook—This Craft We Call Writing: Volume One. Over 150 pages of tips, hints, and guides on everything from dialogue, plotting, viewpoint and prose, to world-building, writing fight scenes and editing, complete with pictures! And it's totally free when you sign up to my mailing list!

The Bad Guys

After my research post looking at reasons why people stop reading a book, poor characterisation ranked top. I come across many articles looking at protagonists, but few to do with the bad guys, and a poorly characterised villain is just as off-putting as a poorly characterised hero. In this short article, you'll read a few simple ways to make your bad guys of pure evil more compelling, and your conflicted antagonists more intriguing.

The General & The Visitor now available at Amazon!

A couple of days later than billed, The General & The Visitor, two short stories written by myself and very good friend Mark Brooks, is now available to buy at Amazon. Click here to get your copy! All proceeds go to Ranelagh House Care Home, a charity based in my hometown Liverpool. When I gave… Continue reading The General & The Visitor now available at Amazon!

A fantasy writer’s guide to … medieval weaponry

This week we conclude our tour through medieval history with a glance at the weird and wonderful world of weaponry. This is not a comprehensive guide—I'm sure some of you will be annoyed I've left out your favourites—but rather a look at some of the lesser known yet effective weapons.

Viewpoint, tense, and narrative distance

This week I’m taking us on a tour of something which gets taken for granted: viewpoint. Viewpoint, in a nutshell, is the perspective through which your story is told, the eyes observing what happens. Most would say there are three types of viewpoint, but to make things easier I’m going to say there’s four. Bear… Continue reading Viewpoint, tense, and narrative distance

Prose: The Orwellian Approach

For more writing tips and discussions on the fantasy genre, why not sign up to my mailing list? When you do, you’ll receive a free eBook on the craft of creative writing, featuring guides to world-building, writing fight scenes, plotting, viewpoint, editing, prose, and much, much more. Two styles of prose tend to dominate: clear,… Continue reading Prose: The Orwellian Approach

A Guide To Writing Fight Scenes

On social media, forums and Reddit of late I've seen quite a few people asking about writing fight scenes. So this week, with axes in hand, I thought we'd battle our way through it.

7 Ways To Improve Your Writing

I've learned many harsh lessons since I began writing fiction, all of which have helped me improve as a writer. In this article I thought I'd share how I came to learn those lessons.