Has the Fantasy Literature Genre Become Stagnant?

This article is by Nicholas Cockayne.

faeSadly the answer would seem to be, yes.

Firstly, it is worth stating that the fantasy genre gets a lot of bad press for having no literary value, a totally untrue assertion. Fantasy literature is almost unrivalled in its ability to transport the reader to different worlds of imagination, to inspire a little magic into the mundane humdrum of everyday life, to explore the best and the worst of the human character. Continue Reading

How to Stop Writing – Beating Writer’s Fatigue

This article is by E.L. Skip Knox.

writers-fatigueI don’t get writers block, but I do get something that’s just about as bad.

Writer’s fatigue, sometimes simply known as burnout.

I can write, that’s not a problem. But sometimes I get tired. I get more than tired, I get weary. Writing becomes a burden. I write in a basement room and some days I can feel that burden descend on my shoulders as I descend the stairs. I know what I have to do, but I have no enthusiasm for doing it. Continue Reading

Big Picture Story Structure – Part 3: Seven-Point Plot Structure

Luke JediThis is the third part of a three-part series on story structure.

The first part began a discussion on the Three-Act Structure. The second part continued that discussion. This third part explores Seven-Point Story Structure and plot weaving.

So where were we?

Oh yes, we had just finished breaking down Star Wars into the key components of the Three-Act Structure. And I’m here to say we’re here to do it again, but with Dan Well’s Seven-Point Story Structure. Continue Reading

Big Picture Story Structure – Part 1: Three-Act Structure

Luke SkywalkerBefore I start, I want to let you know in order to do this subject justice, I need a lot more space than one article is normally allotted. So, it’s divided into three parts.

The first part begins a discussion on the Three-Act Structure, the second part will finish it off before we move on to the third part, which will discuss Seven-Point Story Structure and plot weaving.

So fair warning, timbers be shivered. Cliffhangers be ahead. Continue Reading

Speaking Without Words – Writing Body Language

speakingWhen you’re watching a movie, you can see the actors as they deliver their lines. You can see the expressions they make, and you can hear their tone of voice. Seeing them talk tells you a lot more about what they’re saying than just the words they’re using.

When you’re reading a text, you only have the words the writer gives you. The rest you have to make up yourself. As a writer, you have to take that into account.

In theory you could write down exactly everything that the character speaking does – every single motion, conscious or not. In practice, that would be nigh impossible, and it would almost certainly be incredibly dull. Continue Reading

Swordplay for Fantasy Writers

crossed swordsThe clash of blades, sparks flying. The barbarian with his twenty-pound two-handed sword, swinging for your head. The epic showdown with acrobatics… now that’s fantasy.

No, like, seriously a fantasy.

And this article isn’t about any of those things. It’s about swordplay in a realistic situation, using familiar physics and historical inspiration.

We write fantasy, where the possibilities are endless. Continue Reading

In Defense of Escapism and the Themes of Fantasy

fantasy escapeThe great journey, the valiant quest, the ongoing war between good and evil, the “chosen one” who by magic rises above peasantry and poverty to a place of heroism – these are the clichés of fantasy, and I will not defend them as clichés. But they also explore fantasy’s greatest themes.

They explore the themes of escapism. That’s part of what makes them awesome.

With fantasy, we can shuffle aside the trappings of modern society and explore life at the whims of the author and the worlds we create. Continue Reading

Write More, Care Less?

With November comes NaNoWriMo and by now many people are either realizing:typewriter

a. they might have something worth salvaging.
b. they have a steaming pile of crap.
c. a and b
d. none of the above

I came to the conclusion a couple of years ago that having a steaming pile of crap can be a good thing. Yeah, gross, right? So the age old question comes into play: is it better to have nothing or a bunch of slop on a page?

I think the key is to just care less while you’re writing. This doesn’t mean dishing out whatever random junk you have in your arsenal and hope it works. It means stop worrying about sentences not being perfect or how you’re going to market it. Continue Reading

The Griffin: Call it a Chimera Comeback

griffinBeing naturally drawn to mythology and the Reniassance Festival as a wee kiddo really paved the way for my geekiness as an adult (no way, really?). And it was only a matter of time before I laid my eyes upon this fantastic creature.

At first, I wasn’t sure what it was, but upon the shields of heraldry they stood, mighty-chested and with talons raised high. Looked like pissed off chicken-dragons to me.

And – to 10 year old me – they were badass. Continue Reading