The Writing Life: Managing Priorities

Life has recently gotten a lot busier for me. I’ve started a new job. I’ve set a final editorial schedule for my next book. I’ve got a panel to moderate at Denver Comic Con. Each of these three things takes up time, and mental energy. I have a lot to learn, a lot to do, …

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The Writing Life: What Have Deadlines Got to do with Past Tense Boxes of Chocolate?

I don’t know what I’m going to write this week, so I’m just going to start like this and see where my mind takes me, and come up with a title to match the verbiage produced. Is the writing life like a box of chocolates? If so, have I been chewing on the same near …

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The Writing Life: The Lessons of Genre

Hello there! I’m a writer of fantasy. This is the genre in which I have always wanted to work, into which my intuition and imagination have drawn me. I cannot conceive of doing anything else. However. There is much to be learned from other genres: the well crafted misdirect of murder mystery, the connection of …

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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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