There is nothing better than sitting down and reading through your own writing, polishing it while revisiting the joys and the heartbreak, the intrigue and twists hand in hand with your characters
Creating a map for your fantasy world is far more than giving your readers a helpful, absorbing bit or artwork on the inside cover of your book, it is about making your world make sense and is a vital part of planning.
This tutorial is not trying to turn you into an artist, but talk through one way of creating maps that will help you bring life to your work
I hope I often write well and that my work reads well.
Just occasionally I am extra proud of a line or a phrase or a short section; it is not that it is especially beautiful or uses clever words, but it just works.
As I work my way to an important battle in my current book, I am pondering over how much build up I should have before swords are drawn and the blood-bath gets going.
It is an interesting puzzle because it brings home the emotional response to war and death in a way that just shouting "go" doesn't.
Well, I have already covered soup and stew, but in your crackling warm tavern in your fantasy world, one of the mainstays of the food offering is bread.
Not for us is that pappy cotton wool rubbish sold by supermarkets, but a fresh, crunchy, rippable, herb-filled wonder that you could almost dunk in your beer!
As much as I enjoyed Lord of the Rings and even Eddings' Belgariad, I was always puzzled by the fact that when the heroes won the war, what the people ended up with was an absolute monarchy with no votes and no say. It may have even been Feudal.
So, if we are lovers of democratic rights, should this appear in our writing?
One of the things we miss in the modern gastro pub is the big bowl of spicy soup, a hunk of bread and a big frothy beer.
In poor communities, as you get to pumpkin season, vegetable soups flavoured with a bit of fat and perhaps a bit of peppers and chilli were a warming treat that would be welcome in any tavern. Well, here is a recipe...
One of the problems with being a complete nobody is that no one ever asks nobodies for interviews.
That is not surprising really since who would want to read about a nobody? Still, I fancied being interviewed and since I have been in the media for years, I decided to do it myself. Thoroughly shameless.
For just five days starting today, my ebook of short stories is FREE.
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I am not talking about your muse, whoever he/she is (oh, I would love a muse!), or the bloke you saw sitting on the train, or the dead tortoise you tripped over, I am talking what you surround yourself with.
Sustenance, flavours, moments of joy. What is yours?
Just about every book has some level of romance in it, even if it simple someone hankering after some romance. But should your story have sex scenes?
Sometimes it seems that there is more and more pressure to put at least a bit of graphic content in books. But are we doing ourselves any favours.
I am often getting stuck on yet another way to describe something that is beautiful or running out of sensible alternatives to "she said" during complicated dialogue.
So, on this page, I am going to collect together some useful lists that I have found to help us all along.
Just thought I would put down some random websites that I have found that I like.
I am avoiding any sites selling self promotion in exchange for giving them money for self promoting themselves. Also, avoiding those selling twitter followers, or anything else which leaves a bad taste in the mouth.
If you think I should list a site, tell me on Twitter by following me or something.
Whether you are writing a fantasy, a city thriller or a personal introspective journey, trying to get the timing of the events right is crucial.
Knowing how long it takes to get from A-B and how long anyone spends in any one place, could effect the weather, their mood, what they see, feel, hear, everything
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North London, 1976. The longest, hottest summer on record. The water is running out and the kids hate their parents. Which bunch of idiots would think it is a good idea to start a band?