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.
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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
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
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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?