The Writing Life: Managing Priorities

Life has recently gotten a lot busier for me. I’ve started a new job. I’ve set a final editorial schedule for my next book. I’ve got a panel to moderate at Denver Comic Con. Each of these three things takes up time, and mental energy. I have a lot to learn, a lot to do, …

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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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The Writing Life: What Have Deadlines Got to do with Past Tense Boxes of Chocolate?

I don’t know what I’m going to write this week, so I’m just going to start like this and see where my mind takes me, and come up with a title to match the verbiage produced. Is the writing life like a box of chocolates? If so, have I been chewing on the same near …

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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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The Writing Life: Doubts Part 5: How I Made My Peace with Doubt (Or: How I Reduced Doubt to the Guerilla War Option Only. Or: Be The Shark)

That’s a lengthly title. But for me an accurate one. I have not defeated doubt, I have not cast it into the outer darkness to lie impotent and weeping. I have, like the demon in my book, cut it down to a manageable size, and reduced it to fighting me at the page by page …

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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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