I had a short story published today in Kzine, the first one in what feels like aeons!
We're just under a month away from the release of A Fantasy Writers' Handbook and today I'm delighted to give you another glimpse inside the covers. When somebody first suggested blogging to me I told them in no uncertain terms to 'eff off'. My concern was that I had nothing worthwhile to say, nothing anyone would find interesting. In this teaser chapter, I reveal what changed my mind, what I've learned in my years of blogging, and some ways to make some cash in this developing field.
Writing fantasy can so often leave you caught up in a web of your own making. Most fantasy involves a secondary world, that is a world different from our own. Granted, it doesn’t have to be totally original, but it raises the question: how different should we make it? Should we scrap everything we know and play God and build from scratch? Should we shape and morph things that already exist? Or should we keep what everyone finds familiar? These questions can be asked when it comes to inventing anything for our worlds, but one such area in which it’s particularly prevalent is with language. In this new world of ours, does everyone speak the same language?
As you may or may not be aware, I'm in the process of drafting 'A Fantasy Writer's Handbook', a non-fiction guide to writing fiction, fantasy fiction in particular. The book is split into three parts: fiction writing, fantasy writing, and what to do when the writing is done. Today, as a little midweek treat, I thought I'd share one of the chapters from part one: Dialogue.
All this discombobulating has given me an idea: an examination of these rules from the perspective of those 'bound' by them, the writers. What rules do you detest most? What do you find yourself breaking often? What ones do you not see the point of? Which do you regard as outdated and no longer relevant?
I’m a bit of a planner when it comes to writing. I need a framework, something to help keep my eye on the end game. Before I begin any story or chapter it has to be planned in as much detail as possible. In the past, most of my planning focused on plot. Moving the story from A to B. While I include character development in this, it never had much of a focal point.
It's interesting how attitudes change. When I first began writing I viewed plot as the most important element of a story. If characters live a static existence, then what's the point? The more time I invested in improving my writing, I realised the error of my ways. Character is, in fact, king. It's their conflicts,… Continue reading The Importance of Premise