CategoryBlog

How I plan short stories in 5 questions

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I’ve been writing more short stories lately, and while I enjoy free-writing them (something I can’t do with longer works), I’m finding that my first drafts have been consistently terrible, needing rewrite after rewrite to get them to the same standards of my other work. I’ve been trying not to constrain myself too much when doing short fiction, but I am a planner by nature...

The world-building of Dishonored

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I’ve been playing Dishonored again recently (I obviously recommend it) – a first-person stealth game where you play as Corvo, the empress’s bodyguard who is framed for her murder and the disappearance of the heir to the throne. You then get the choice of going on a bloody rampage or being a sneaky bastard to put things right. The game was acclaimed largely for its amazing game...

What I learned from Stephen King’s On Writing

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I’ve just finished reading Stephen King’s writing advice book ‘On Writing‘. King is a prolific and successful author who has a lot to say about the craft, and as every writing website demands that you read it, I read it. The first part of the book is King’s memoir – a very speedy run-through of some of the formative moments in his life that shaped him into the...

Worldbuilding: Sanderson’s Laws for Magic

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If you are even slightly interested in the fantasy genre you should have come across the works of Brandon Sanderson. The man is a PROLIFIC writer of excellent fantasy and has written several of my favourite books (most notably the Mistborn series). Sanderson puts a ridiculous amount of work into his worldbuilding (but knows how much to show the reader – no crazy info-dumps here), and is...

The danger of comfortable

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I’m a creature of habit. I’m time poor. I know what I like. The above three statements mean I often re-read my favourite books instead of risking several hours on a new risky book. I will re-watch my favourite TV shows and films, again and again, re-feeling the same warm fuzzy feeling as my favourite characters and stories unwind in their familiar way. I even re-play my favourite...

Ira Glass on Being Creative

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A fantastic video stylising an interview with Ira Glass on the difficulty of being creative, specifically: When you first start out, you know your work is crap But you know your work is crap because you have good taste Most people quit at this stage – don’t! Everyone goes through this stage, and the only way to get through it is to do the work The more work you do, the more you close...

My writing regime and why it probably sucks

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I’m always trying to be a more productive person. I’ve read all the major books and tried all the common systems and taken bits and bobs from each to build something that works for me. It’s gotten me quite far in my marketing career, and I’m pretty good at getting my personal life in order too. Where it tends to fall down though is my writing. But I often fall into the...

What’s the most overpowered magic?

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So I asked the font of all internet knowledge (Reddit) what they thought were the most overpowered skills and magic in fantasy – partly for the laughs (Reddit is my favourite website to get a giggle) but also to generate more ideas for my stories. The internet hivemind delivered of course, and after wading through a lot of odd anime based arguments, I’ve whittled it down to my top...

Why I hate the ‘wake up at 4AM’ gurus

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Google ‘wake up at 4AM’ for me, don’t worry, I’ll wait… What did you find? Two things, (1) a whole bunch of ‘motivational’ articles screaming the benefits of how waking up at 4AM will help you succeed at life, and (2) another set of articles from rightly worried people asking why they can’t get back to sleep at that god-awful hour. Guess which...

Apparently I should be writing

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I have a big problem with procrastinating. I will do anything other than what I am supposed to do. This ironically leads me to sometimes do productive things (like cleaning the house), or nice things (like going out to get Becky a present), instead of what I actually should be doing – which is more often than not, writing. For me, I think the big problem was a word I used in that last...