The Writing Life: Work and Writing Part 1: The Overview

I’ve been meaning to write about the struggles of managing work and writing for a long time. I’ve written, or tried to write in a lot of different circumstances, and it is hard to say which, if any, has been the best option. Obsessive teen living on a farm with not much else to do? …

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Why I Write Fantasy: The Three Fours #4: Clearly I Have a Type

So while writing about Highlander, Bram Stoker’s Dracula, and The Crow, I couldn’t help but notice the common elements that the movies shared. In no particular order. 1) A narrated opening. All three start with someone speaking, telling you a story. Yes, apparently I’m five, and still like to be tucked up in bed and …

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Why I Write Fantasy: The Three Fours #3: The Crow

More spoilers for a film that this time is a mere 24 years old. The last film that has, so far, made me run back to the cinema three more times after the first viewing was this one. A modern gothic fairytale with yet another fantastic soundtrack, an alternate contemporary world that was close enough …

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Why I Write Fantasy: The Three Fours #2: Bram Stoker’s Dracula

Oh yeah. The music, the costumes, the saturated colours, the visual style that played with realism and then deliriously ignored it to tell its story in its own defiant way, and managed to sweep me up in it. I watched this movie four times in a rather dilapidated cinema in Dundee, complete with decayed but …

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Why I Write Fantasy: The Three Fours #1: Highlander

Spoilers for a 30+ year old movie follow. And for Alien3 too. You've been warned. There are only three movies I’ve paid to see more than once in rapid succession, and each time I ended up seeing the film four times in the theatre. In each case I was lured into the atmosphere of the …

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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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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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