Why I Write Fantasy: The Influence of Horror

I grew up in the 70s and 80s. Fantasy existed in book form, but in other media it was pretty scarce, especially in a UK where only three TV channels existed. For a child looking for images to fit his imaginings of monsters and adventure, it was to the creepy and the kooky that it …

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Why I Write Fantasy: Inspirations – The Music of Fantasy Part 3: Gothic Dreams

Now the 80s weren’t just the metal years for me, though metal was undoubtedly my first true musical love. I was a mostly closeted Prince fan. (Not metal enough, despite the outrageous guitar skills – I tried to point that out, but my mates weren’t buying it back then.) I went to see the Sign …

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Why I Write Fantasy: To Connect the Dots…

Last week I talked about how sometimes ideas assail me, story concepts or character ideas that want to make the difficult transition from idle fancy to fully-fleshed reality. It is really easy to just daydream the good bits: the dramatic confrontations, the epic climaxes, awful betrayals, heartbreaking deaths, hard-earned victories. And any amount of acid-tongued …

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The Writing Life: Finding Yourself Involved in a Comic Con

So a while ago you will recall I chatted on Jesper Schmidt’s YouTube channel about Morality in World building. See it here, if you missed it! My blog series on morality in fantasy starts here. Well, he mentioned that it was not a topic he’d ever come across when discussing fantasy fiction before, so I …

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Why I Write Fantasy: The Recurring Ideas That Won’t Let Go

I write fantasy stories because ideas for them keep popping into my head, almost always when I am in no position to write them down or record them. Life’s ironic like that. When I’m half-awake is a classic, that’s when ideas for dramatic situations come to me, cliffhangers without the set up that my still …

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Why I Write Fantasy: A Question of Morality, Part 4: A Clash of Codes

You can check out earlier discussions of morality in fantasy writing here, here, and here. This one goes long, as I felt the need for examples to make sense of what I was saying, so saddle up! This week let’s talk about something a little tricky – the minefield where morality and ethics meet, because …

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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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Why I Write Fantasy: To be an Original, Baby

I’ve talked about various inspirations and influences that led me to writing fantasy, an urge that has stuck with me since childhood, but it seems to me that at times I am endlessly circling around the central question of this series without ever answering it. I think in part because I’m answering it piecemeal, a …

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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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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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