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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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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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: Commodity Versus Art, the Eternal Challenge.

Ursula K. Le Guin died this week. I read The Earthsea Trilogy (as was) a few times in my youth, and loved it. I really should get around to reading the complete Earthsea fictions, and of course many of her other works often referenced in this week of obituaries and commentaries mourning her passing. In …

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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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Why I Write Fantasy: Infinite Possibilities

Now I’ve touched on this before in some circumstances, but I feel that it is worth restating one of the greatest draws for me in writing fantasy: the range of possibilities it grants you. In writing fantasy you are only constrained by two things: your imagination, and your ability to transform your fancies into words. …

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The Writing Life: First Drafting

I’m supposed to be writing my first draft right now. And looking for a job. We’ll talk about jobs later. Right now we’ll talk about writing a first draft, instead of doing it, because dealing with other commitments is a real thing that must be managed, and this blog doesn't write itself. I have historically …

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Why I Write Fantasy: Because it is the Mother Genre

Fantasy is a universal touchstone. Every culture has its myths, its origin stories, its tales of creation and destruction through which stride gods, monsters, and heroes. The first stories that we crafted were all fantasies. They formed frameworks to explain our world, and ourselves, to pass on cultural traditions, to reinforce social norms. Fantasy came …

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The Long Road: New Year’s Reflections

This is a special New Year for me. There is something genuinely, thrillingly new for me to celebrate in my writing life. This is the first year I don’t have to wearily resolve to get published. The first year I don’t have to make that resolution as shadows of doubt inhabit my mind, knowing how …

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The Writing Life: Aiming High Part 4 – What if Nobody Notices?

In earlier episodes of this series I described what aiming high means for me, why missing isn’t failure, and why I think as any kind of artist it is beneficial to strive for more and push your own personal envelope, no matter what medium you work in. Go creatives! These things are all well and …

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