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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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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Why I Write Fantasy: The Blind Faith Edition

So two weeks ago I talked about the infinite possibilities in fantasy, then last week I discussed why it can sometimes seem repetitive, at least in terms of setting. These things would appear to be contradictory, but I think can resolve quite easily, even as I believe we will see new authors pushing or shattering …

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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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Why I Write Fantasy: The Why Is So Much Of It So Similar? Edition

Last week I talked about the infinite possibilities offered by the fantasy genre, but buried in there was the nagging question: “Why then is so much of fantasy writing so similar?” I think any reader of fantasy over the last thirty years knows what I’m talking about, but let’s do a quick recap without falling …

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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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