The Fantasy of Writing

I happen to be very lucky. I earn my living by writing.

I haven’t always earned my living by writing. I use to take very small pieces of things (like small bits of people) and put them into different mixtures of chemicals. Then I’d infuse them with resin, bake the resin overnight, cut the resin very thin with a diamond knife and look at the very thin sections resulting under (which means in) an electron microscope.

tel-with-captive-effect
Portrait of the Writer as a Young Scientist

That’s very different from writing. Mind you, I use to write about it after looking at the ultrathin sections of resin- embedded tissue. If it got interesting.

Now, I just write, no cutting bits off anything. And I get to write lots of fabulous things, including films and musicals and plays and animation and books too. I have clients all around the world.

Of course, not everything is based on my own ideas – they are not all my babies. But to be honest these days so many things are collaborative in nature that it doesn’t seem to matter. And this week I started writing the first of a series of children’s books for a client. Lots of fun, I was really buoyed up. Until I watched a show on TV last night that featured several fantasy writers talking about their books and what inspired their writing. Oh dear.

Then the need to get on with my own stories became almost palpable; so many stories, so little time. So many stories…

Today I didn’t enjoy writing the children’s book so much. I mean, I think it’s going to be great – don’t get me wrong; but I can hear my own children calling! Continue reading The Fantasy of Writing

Of beer and fantasy.

So…

We went to a brewery the other Sunday. Shepherd Neame’s brewery in Faversham, Kent, as it happens. And fabulous it was too. Britain’s oldest brewer, they believe and I’m not getting into a pointless argument about that one! I recommend the trip wholeheartedly, even if – unlike me – you are not a great beer fan.

I love beer.

beer-and-fantasy Continue reading Of beer and fantasy.

I’ve got a .gif and I’m going to use it!

Yes, it goes round in circles! Is there any reason for it?

book cover turning

Well, it does give me a feeling of great satisfaction. And you can see the back of the front cover – as it were! But apart from that, sorry no reason at all!

Pretty though, but after a while … Continue reading I’ve got a .gif and I’m going to use it!

Nicely’s Appeal Explained

You can’t beat a good Venn diagram can you? Still love a good Venn diagram – and it’s the perfect method for explaining the appeal of ‘Detective Strongoak’ to readers of fantasy, comedy and detective fiction. So here we go:

The Appeal Of Detective Nicely Strongoak to Different Fiction Readers.
The Appeal Of Detective Nicely Strongoak to Different Fiction Readers.

So there we are! Very informative, I’m sure you’ll agree and clearly illustrating the target audience! Just about everybody who likes a good book! Continue reading Nicely’s Appeal Explained

Words we love to hear #94

Just heard those magic words from a producer: ‘So, anyone optioned the film rights for your book yet?’

Nicely film strip

Of course they haven’t read it yet! But in the same week that you get the contract for writing a feature pilot for a TV series that you helped to create, well it’s not bad news!

Continue reading Words we love to hear #94

World Building Gone Mad?

I love a good bit of world building. I not only want to smell the coffee, I want to know which estate the beans came from and through what small cat-like creature they may have passed through. This is one of the reasons that I was excited by the title credits to the recent TV adaptation of the ‘Shannara Chronicles’. There was a sort of ‘evolutionary’ family tree of how the races, elves, gnomes, dwarfs etc, developed in Brooks’s post-holocaust world. Top world building, even if it was difficult to imagine how exactly all this went on in such a short time period, or why elves were just seemed to be people with pointy ears. I’m sticking with ‘Shannara’ though and see how it err… evolves.

Shanara opening credits

I did wonder if I might have gone a bit far when I delved into the ‘The Paleoanthropological Relationships That Exist in the Hominini Lines of Fairyland’. This examined the ancestry of the particular races that people my own world of Widergard. Not only that but it equates dwarfs, elves, ogres etc with what we know of our own past ‘humans’. Too much world building though I wondered?

Judging by the response though, apparently not. Readers do love an obscene amount of detail about the places they invest their leisure time reading into – including evolutionary family trees.

lord of rings family tree

So if you want to know what really happened to the Australopithecines and Homo habilis go have a look at my longer article on the fab SF Signal.

Continue reading World Building Gone Mad?