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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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: 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: Inspirations – the Music of Fantasy Part 2: The Metal Years

I started buying metal and rock albums in 1983. I still remember the date when I first bought Heaven and Hell by Black Sabbath, and the Rainbow albums On Stage and Rising, and I celebrate those days each year. Loudly. 35 years this year. That seems hardly credible, let me tell you! Ronnie James Dio …

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Why I Write Fantasy: Inspirations – The Art of Fantasy, Part 1: Masters Old and New

So yes, now I’m dotting around. Last week I talked about a fragment of the music that inspires me, and began with that avatar of fantasy infused metal, Ronnie James Dio. I once wanted to design a tabletop roleplaying game campaign around a number of his songs. Maybe I’ll talk about that another time. This …

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Why I Write Fantasy: Inspirations – the Music of Fantasy, Part 1: Ronnie James Dio

I’ve done a fair bit about morality in fantasy recently, and though I have at least another three meditations on that theme, I think it’s time for a break. Let’s get back to the origins of why I write fantasy. I’ve written a few columns on my literary influences, but I have been led to …

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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: 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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