It is a recurring problem this; how fast is my army, wagon, horse, dragon, bloke on foot going to travel across my land in my story?
In fantasy, of course, they can travel any speed you like with a wave of a wand. But what happens if we want to make it a little closer to real life? Well, research time!
This is the first in a very occasional series of recipes that might fit in with your fantasy tavern.
This one is a basic stew than can be made with mutton or beef, cooks slowly all morning and can be kept warm over the fire for the landlady to serve up with bread
I know not everyone uses Word for writing a novel, but a lot of people do. So here are some very basic tips that might come in useful for those starting out on the novel writing mountain.
Write about what you know about. This is the first bit of advice anyone gets when they first start trying to write a book. But does that mean write about the commute into town? Or perhaps the type of school you went to? Maybe about how you learned to drive?
For me, the real advice is to write about WHO you know about.
I have written a book called The Stink. It is set in North London during the long hot summer of 1976 and tells the story of a group of sixteen year olds who have finished school and are trying to start a band.
Really, it has just been an excuse to write about the era I was brought up in and I had a lot of fun writing it. It has yet to find a home, but for fun, or idiocy, I thought I would post the first chapter.
What is the difference between a mythical creature and any other invented creature?
This deep philosophical problem is possibly more important to the reader and the author than either might necessary realise. It might govern whether the creature can walk or not, can talk or not or even just survive.
I have realised that every time my characters wander into a tavern or inn that the first thing they ask is what is there to eat.
Now this probably says a lot more about me than it does about them, but I have also begun to think that perhaps the taverns that I invent are the ones I myself would like to visit.
It is pretty common for any of us to be accused of taking life too seriously sometimes. Well the same can be true or our stories and especially our characters. Sometimes people can be just plain silly and that applies whether they are a little girl, a teenage bloke, a mass murderer or a Methodist. All right, maybe not always the last one, but most people, okay?
The question for the author is are they brave enough to allow their characters to be people?
There are two sorts of dragon in fiction, broadly speaking; dumb beasts that screech and have an orc sitting on top of them and eat princesses and ones with interesting senses of humour voiced by such luminaries as Sean Connery and Sir John Hurt.
But if a dragon is an intelligent, well spoken and such literate fellow, why would they be running around in the nude and living in damp nasty caves?
I love getting under the skin of a character for the first time, seeing how they think, how they react, what private thoughts they have, even where they are ticklish. I know Fantasy is meant to be about huge magical explosions, dark, mysterious thoughts, and rooms lit only with candle light and strange blue auras, but actually, I am far more interested in how the people wrapped up in the world think when they cut their finger, go for a piss, see a girl/boy/dragon that they fancy, or celebrate the big five-oh-oh!
Onenote has been part of Microsoft Office for years, but now it is available free as a download.
I am writing a huge fantasy saga at the moment and Onenote has been the perfect tool for planning everything about my novels and keeping my head together
I am currently in the middle of my attempt at fantasy. Actually I am over half a million words into it and going strong.
But it does beg the question of whether my own fantasy world is somehow better than the real world. Quite worrying, indeed.
A while ago Amazon launched Author Central, a simple resource where an author can upload a profile that is attached to any books they may have published.
I have created a profile for myself on both the dot com and UK site (It appears you have to create these individually) which was a fairly painless operation.
Start series one with Dirt for Free, and start reading the brand new series two with Girls of Dirt for only 99p!
Girls of Dirt includes a recap of series one.
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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?