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.

[Guest Post] On The Train to Know Where

I'm delighted to introduce novelist Gene Rosen who's put together a satirical story on the click bait articles we all fall victim to. You know the ones, "3 ways to get published in a week", "5 tips to make you write like Orwell." You click on them and learn sweet F.A. Enough of me, over to Gene.

[Guest Post] Creating a Fantasy Map

For this week's instalment of Fantasy Friday, I'm delighted to introduce fantasy author Jesper Schmidt. Jesper runs AmWritingFantasy.com along with Autumn Birt. He's a world-building and mapmaking genius and I could think of no better person to give an insight into the world of cartography!

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.

Music and Writing

A few posts ago I included a bit about listening to music while writing. I’m a lover of peace and quiet, but a few people came back to me with recommendations and since then I've experimented. Be it the grand classical music of Lord of the Rings, psychedelic jams or funky Latin rock, I've discovered a particular tune can really spur me on and help clock up all-important words.

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.