On worldbuilding: The Nihilistic Architect and the Negligent Gardener

George R R Martin’s now famous analogy of the architect and the gardener distilled the craft of novel-writing into two distinct creative approaches. I would suggest this is a particularly useful analogy when thinking specifically about worldbuilding – the manner in which writers go about creating a fictional universe for their story to live within. … Continue reading On worldbuilding: The Nihilistic Architect and the Negligent Gardener

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What Photography Teaches Us About Writing

Before a photographer takes a photo, a lot of considerations run through her mind: composition, white balance, light sensitivity, aperture size, and more – all the variables that will help her achieve the most accurate exposure of the scene before her. She’ll also look for ways to impart her own impression of the image – … Continue reading What Photography Teaches Us About Writing

BFS FantasyCon by-the-sea 2016 – Report

This year’s annual British Fantasy Society FantasyCon took place over the last weekend of September, featuring three packed days of panel discussions, guests of honour, masterclasses, book launches, and awards ceremonies. Attendees of all stripes – from forty-year veterans to wide-eyed debutants – converged on Scarborough, North Yorkshire, for a long weekend dedicated to celebrating … Continue reading BFS FantasyCon by-the-sea 2016 – Report

The Problem with Ideas-Driven Fiction (And How to Fix it)

Theme folds in meaning to our writing and gives a recognisable shape to the underlying structures that form the narrative. Without theme the narrative can feel flat or disjointed, but a strong theme provides an overall consistency that holds everything in place. Scenes, characters, and events take on new poignancy, attracting deeper sympathies. Most importantly, … Continue reading The Problem with Ideas-Driven Fiction (And How to Fix it)