Why I Write Fantasy: Memories of Nature and Other Fragments

Glen Clova, orienteering like a ranger or druid or both, the summit of Arthur’s Seat at sunrise, the Trossachs and trout over fire, Loch Katrine swimming, the shock of freezing, the amazement of finding warmer currents and following their course, shivering anew every time they were lost, wet bracken and green ravines down to running …

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The Writing Life: Acceptance

Last week I talked about what success meant for me nowadays. A big part of why the shape of success has changed for me over the years is a growing acceptance of the things I can and cannot control in this writing life. I was very unrealistic in my youth. I wanted it all, but …

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Why I Write Fantasy: The Games of Fantasy Part 1: Game of Dracula

First things first: I don’t write fantasy because of games. I was entranced by fantasy first, games came later. However, there can be a positive interaction between playing games, exercising imagination, and coming up with story ideas. There is one as-yet unwritten story cycle that is definitely based on something I wanted to do in …

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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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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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