The Writing Life: Doubts Part 4: Procrastination, The Thief of Time

I’m going to try to keep this one brief. You know, because I’ve got things to do. In this fourth installment of the doubt series, (Here are one, two and three) I’d like to say that procrastination can be a profound expression of doubt, of fear holding us back. I held myself back for 25+ …

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Why I Write Fantasy: To Appear on YouTube talking about Morality in Fantasy World Building, Obviously

Brace yourselves lads and ladesses, we're going in! If something is missing from your life, it might be me in glorious technicolour! You can view me waffl- er, talking about issues around morality in fantasy, and how it can influence world building, character development and conflict. With random dubious digressions into world history. Extemporising is …

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The Writing Life: Doubts Part 3: Losing At The Comparison Game

Here we are again, wrestling with doubts! This week I’m going to highlight another way that doubt can worm its way into a writer’s psyche: the comparison game. By now, I hope you are all familiar with my cast of doubt-related characters: General Zod, Sally, and the Toad. Visit here for the primer! Over many …

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Why I Write Fantasy: A Question of Morality, Part 3: Upon What Authority?

Over the last couple of weeks I’ve looked at morality in fantasy writing and world building. This week I’m going to look at what kinds of things a moral framework or viewpoint could be based upon, what people may experience as the root of their morality. In fantasy, as in the real world, there can …

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The Writing Life: Doubts Part 2: The Perfect as Enemy of the Good, or Great

Last week I talked about the primal doubt all writers face: the “am I good enough?” (AIGE?) question. Unfortunately it is not alone in the doubt-riddled ecosystem, and other forms of doubt can sabotage progress even when you have managed to ignore AIGE? long enough to get some writing done, and even *gasp* have enjoyed …

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Why I Write Fantasy: A Question of Morality, Part 2: Beyond Good and Evil

Last week I chatted about the idea that morality in fantasy fiction is often either taken for granted, (painted in simple terms of big evil versus plucky underdog good) or oddly out of step. (Why would 20th and 21st century Western morals be the norm in a variety of quasi-medieval settings?) I also mentioned that …

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The Writing Life: Doubts Part 1: Am I Good Enough?

Last week I talked about dissatisfaction, and in the process mentioned its big brother, doubt. Doubt manifests for writers in quite a few subtle guises, so I’m going to dedicate a column a week for a while (with potential interruptions to allow folk to recover!) looking at how doubt can sneak into a writer’s life. …

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Why I Write Fantasy: A Question of Morality, Part 1

Today I had the pleasure of talking with Jesper Schmidt about morality in fantasy world building, one part in an extended series of  discussions on this topic that are well worth watching. He has a great YouTube channel dedicated to all things fantasy writing related – check it out here! He also helps to run …

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The Writing Life: Dealing with Dissatisfaction

Writers, it is often said, are their own worst critics. I take this to mean that writers, and artists in general, tend to be very harsh on themselves, though it could of course mean they are simply poor judges of their own work, and are incapable of accurately critiquing their own output by virtue of …

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The Writing Life: Sometimes You Don’t

Sometimes, despite your best efforts and most earnest intentions, you just don’t make progress in your writing. Not because you’re blocked, or uninspired, or bored, or frustrated, or overwhelmed by whatever it is that you are working on. Sometimes you just can’t. Life, in capital letters, gets in the way. Loved ones get sick. You …

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